The LOHAUS Book is now available on Amazon Kindle around the world!
What people are saying:
“It’s worthy of 5 stars and perhaps more to those involved in Social Enterprises or creating Co-Working Hubs… By the end of the book, I was looking into Aquaponics for my house and looking forward to returning home to ride my bicycle. One month later I’m riding more and more, and look forward to visiting LOHAUS more often.” — Adrian Cahill
“Immensely helpful guidance for our own sustainable development incubator in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.” — M. Hamdy
The most common question we get about LOHAUS is, what does the name LOHAUS stand for? The name, in all upper case, is actually an acronym, meaning Lifestyle of Health and Urban Sustainability. Only then do people understand why we were the first coworking and event space to invest in air quality monitoring and multiple air filtration systems including indoor aquaponics gardens. They also understand why we were the first building in downtown Shanghai to install solar panels on its roof, because that is part of urban sustainability. We are one of the most sustainable offices in China.
There is, however, a deeper, philosophical meaning embedded in the question, what does LOHAUS stand for, that is also important. In many ways it is more important than what we do to make money as a social enterprise. LOHAUS stands for making a social impact, being beneficial to its community and broader society in which it operates. The social in “social enterprise” is for social impact. It is why LOHAUS exists, in fact. The more health and urban sustainability initiatives we embarked on, the more people began asking, why are you doing this? Or, what is the strategy behind LOHAUS’s social impact initiatives? The LOHAUS book has those answers.
LOHAUS: A Lifestyle of Health and Urban Sustainability
China and the world are facing ever-greater problems, including air and water pollution, a growing wealth gap, and unequal development. On a personal level, individuals, families and other groups are busier than ever, holding stressful corporate jobs, finding healthy and safe food, and competing in an escalating race of qualifications and degrees while going ever further into debt. The answer to all of these problems is a combination of urban best practices and personal behavior changes, to create more livable cities, equal societies, healthier environments, better jobs, and fulfilling lives. Our philosophy, LOHAUS, is creating the Lifestyle of Health and Urban Sustainability that the world needs, and everyone can benefit from.
Originally a physical building in Shanghai, the LOHAUS – Loft of health and urban sustainability — has been demonstrating new technologies, new ways of work, and better approaches to urban living. This book tells you what both the LOHAUS building and the LOHAUS philosophy are, and what they can do for you.
The introduction goes into detail about the origins of the LOHAUS approach. The physical LOHAUS is based on elements from the Bauhaus design and architecture movement from 1930s Germany. LOHAUS applies this concept in what it calls the Holistic Building approach. Different from LEED and other architectural standards for sustainability, the holistic building is considering not only sustainable design but also sustainable usage and sustainable working and lifestyles as practiced by the occupants. Like Walter Gropius, founder of Bauhaus, the approach created by LOHAUS founder Jason Inch takes the complete building as the goal. Only by considering the original design, the usage, the commerce going on inside, and other factors can a building considered to be truly sustainable. Also introduced are the elements of health and urban sustainability that form the core of the LOHAUS philosophy, and how it differs from other approaches to sustainable and healthy lifestyle options such as off-grid living.
The book’s first chapter starts with the locanomics approach used in the LOHAUS. Locanomics means local economics. It means supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs and family-run companies. It means building community by using the sharing economy, for everything from shared cars to shared homes, in effect sharing things with each other instead of buying them yourself. Locanomics means thinking local and acting local, while at the same time being aware of your community’s part in the greater national and global economies. Locanomics is the core of the LOHAUS philosophy.
The second chapter talks about the global war on pollution, but especially the need to improve air quality in China’s cities. In China, the electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, and China is the world’s biggest market for automobiles. Along with China’s still strong seven percent GDP growth, the pollution problem is getting worse. And what is bad for China is bad for the world because we all share the same air. This chapter looks at both the macro perspective, the electricity needed to power our society, and the micro perspective, the behaviors needed to improve air quality at home such as quitting smoking tobacco. LOHAUS has answers to all of these problems, from greater adoption of electric cars to the greater use of natural air filters — plants — in the home environment, e-cigarettes, and more.
Chapter three builds on the LOHAUS-Bauhaus concept by promoting its vision of Net Zero Buildings. LOHAUS generates its own electricity by solar panels, and also uses many energy-saving technologies including LED light bulbs and triple-glazed windows. This chapter covers both the technologies needed to create a Net Zero Building and the behavior changes required to live in balance with nature and the built environment.
Chapter four extends both the building and the philosophy of LOHAUS into the greater community of other buildings, infrastructure, and transportation systems in Smart Cities. The Smart City chapter is primarily concerned with the impacts of transportation on urban life, from the decision of where to live and work to the responsible transportation choices of both individuals and civil planners. For those unwilling or unable to adopt the practice of living very close to, or even at, work in order to allowing walking and cycling to be primary modes of transport, solutions for medium- and long-distance travel are also discussed so that the reader can be more informed.
Chapter five forms one of the core concepts of the LOHAUS philosophy, that the nature of work is changing and both individuals and companies must adapt to trends such as automation and artificial intelligence or suffer the consequences of an increasingly transitory employment environment. In The End of Work?, several contemporary work alternatives, such as coworking, working in shared offices, as well as frequent life sabbaticals to recover from intense periods of project-based employment, reenvision your future, and reeducate for the needed of tomorrow. Most controversially, the idea that individuals today should not, nor will be able to, retire in the future. We instead face a better future of lifelong, fulfilling employment opportunities without the need to retire. How to prepare for this future of challenge and change is the main outcome for the reader.
In the final two chapters, six and seven, cover new technologies that are used at LOHAUS and will become major drivers for societal improvement and sustainability.
In chapter six, Big Data, the importance of data in both individual and societal decision-making and management is examined. LOHAUS collects data throughout its building, and also publishes data for all to see and use, including the energy generated from its solar panels, its indoor air temperature and air quality monitoring data, and more. This transparency is one important message. The second important message in the chapter is to use this data to make better decisions about issues that affect sustainability. For many, the idea of measuring, monitoring, and managing their own energy use seems like too much trouble but it is only when this happens that individuals become aware of their impact in the community and even globally. The chapter describes how consumers, companies and governments can begin making use of this large data resource.
In the last chapter, 3D Printing, the vision of sustainable, local manufacturing is presented alongside with the experiments LOHAUS has been doing to make the vision a reality. From manufacturing ones’ own consumer goods to innovating new products to reducing the supply chain for most manufactured goods, 3D printing offers a new alternative that is where inkjet and laser printers were 30 years ago. In the same way those printers created desktop publishing and entirely new business models, so will 3D printing as it matures. The skills needed and the understanding of its effects on society are the main outcomes for the reader.
The book ends with a short but aspirational tool that readers can make use of: The One Pledge. One thing a day, one day a week, one week a month, one month a year: We all can make a difference. Several examples are presented and the reader is invited to create their own pledge.
Finally the LOHAUS Manifesto, which started the building LOHAUS and what it stood for and formed the early foundations of the LOHAUS philosophy is presented in retrospect. The reader will understand how and why LOHAUS is the right approach to sustainability for the urban environment.