The idea for the NoHA BiOS was borne out of necessity. Sitting at a desk eight hours a day, as well as the growing internal conflict I felt working as an engineer across grossly inefficient food, petrochemical and building services sectors, provided the impetus for this project. I felt that I could no longer be complicit in the social and environmentally detrimental aspects of the industrialised systems that support life today.
I also had a growing awareness of the increasing unaffordability of housing, utilities and food. The Declaration of Human Rights suggests everyone is entitled to “a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family..." including food, water and housing, amongst other things, but it seems that these most basic human needs are becoming more expensive and less accessible. In addition, most people spend a lot of their time working to earn these most basic requirements for themselves, and the cost of convenience and a modern lifestyle mounts with every year that passes. That expense can be measured in terms of money, time, stress or impact on the environment. It is therefore not surprising that more and more people are seeking alternatives to their traditional, highly stressed lifestyles. Shorter working hours, simpler lifestyles and a desire for more efficient products and processes. Traceability and accountability of food and services with the aim of living a more conscious, more fulfilled, healthier and happier life with a reduced impact on the environment. These will become the traits of our society if we are to survive and indeed, thrive.
There has been an associated surge of interest in all forms of low-energy, low-impact and off-grid lifestyles, though ultimately people's aspirations are tempered by their expectations. The perceived inconveniences of adapting to a low-impact or off-grid lifestyle ultimately moderate people's enthusiasm for making changes to their normal routines. The recently popular tiny house movement is a relatively low cost, easily transportable, fully customisable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar home for instance. However, they have the same major inconveniences as mobile and motor homes, when compared to traditional, static houses: limited space, barriers to accessing utilities (depending on the remoteness of the housing site), and a major impact on family and social life.
Personally, these were the things I saw as my own challenges to adopting a mobile, off-grid lifestyle. I had a desire for minimalist surroundings, but would feel claustrophobic in a traditional tiny house. I wanted water without having to be connected to municipal services. I wanted a way to grow food year round within arms reach. And I wanted ways to recycle all organic waste and to cook and heat with renewable energy sources... and for all of this to be incorporated into a transportable unit.