Electromagnetism in Architecture

Everyone talks about air pollution, water pollution and earth pollution and although they are monumental issues affecting millions of lives, we largely ignore the one element that has been contaminated more so than all others combined: ether.

Our negligence to this element has to do with the fact that ether is invisible to the naked eye. This makes it far too easy to “turn a blind eye” to the subtle repercussions that this contamination has on human health.

The amount of smart phones, laptops, tablets, wireless communication systems and electronics in general, has exploded in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down. Couple this with an insulated house loaded with electric wires, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and the result is a radiation bubble that you can be sure is distressing your brain, your body, your mood, your sleep and much more.

Before delving into the countless health effects from radiation, it’s important to note that electricity and magnetism are everywhere, all the time. In their unified state they are known as electromagnetism – one of the four fundamental interactions of nature (besides Strong interaction, weak interaction and gravitation). The electromagnetic force comes from the physical interaction between electrically charged particles, which, in turn, produces a magnetic field. Hence, electromagnetism in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, along with gravity, it is responsible for the nature of macroscopic life on Earth. The problem arises when humans manufacture electronic devices that are so ubiquitous, they replace the natural surroundings that our bodies are programed to live in.

In India I attended a seminar about the electromagnetic radiation in our built environment. Already equipped with rudimentary knowledge of the effects of radiation on our health, we focused on how to design and build structures that optimize human and environmental well being. René, a former electrician and electric utility project manager in the Netherlands, looked nothing like the “European professional” his titles suggested. He was barefoot, wearing ragged shorts, a torn shirt and a white head wrap made of copper and silver.

His low-key appearance coupled with his intriguing choice of clothing material gave me the feeling that he was an undercover superhero. He told his story, which began years ago when he bought that head wrap as an experiment. The same night of purchase, he went to sleep with it on his head and awoke the next morning feeling rejuvenated and 10 years younger. Although he had been in the energy sector for most of his professional life, when he woke up that morning feeling as if he had emerged from the fountain of youth, he knew that this was just the beginning of his ‘energetic’ journey.

I wouldn't want to even nap in here. A well-known way to improve your sleep and rest properly is to take ALL electronics out of your room - including cell phones ;-)
Not the ideal place to hang out. A well-known way to improve your sleep and rest properly is to take ALL electronics out of your room – including cell phones 😉

Turns out he had been sleeping in a place with high radiation and it was preventing his body from resting and recovering properly. The copper, silver and additional materials used to make the head wrap were combined in a specific proportion that created an energetic ‘shield’ for his head and allowed him to finally have the regenerative sleep his body had been longing for.

Since then, he has applied the findings from his personal experience to help clients around the world with insomnia, anxiety and a variety of other disorders. Today, he resides in Auroville, India where he helps out with a sustainable earthen home construction project. Not only are the structures made from natural, local materials, they also strive to shield occupants from as much harmful radiation as possible.

While René shared his story and the current work at Sacred Groves, he pulled out an electronic measuring device with several buttons and a long antenna. He was holding a frequency meter, a common apparatus used by electricians to measure the repetitions per second of a complete electromagnetic waveform, i.e. the frequency of a periodic electrical signal. The device made an intermittent beeping noise, depending on the electromagnetic frequency it measured. For example, as he moved it closer to a nearby radio, the beeping got faster and when he moved it further away, the beeping noise slowed down.

He put it close to a smartphone and we listened to the beeping become increasingly more rapid. Then, he did something that really scared everyone: he switched on the smartphone’s Wi-Fi and repeated the process. The radiation was so much more intense that the frequency meter produced a long, disturbing static noise. This basic device showed us how turning on a cellphone’s Wi-Fi significantly increases the frequency of electromagnetic radiation. I couldn’t help but think how often my cell phone is in my pocket with the Wi-Fi switched on, even though I’m not using it…

He explained how our bodies are conductors of electricity and since electricity wants to find the most direct passage to the ground, it regularly uses the human body as a vessel to achieve its goal. For this reason, an electric appliance at the foot of your bed emits the same amount of radiation on your head as an electric appliance that is physically closer to your skull. Basically, the effects of radiation are not localized – once it interacts with any part of your body, it affects the entire body.

Photo courtesy of: sciencemuseum.org.uk
Our nervous system is a network of cells called neurons, which are constantly transmitting information in the form of electrical signals. Our brain, alone, has around 100 billion neurons! (Rabbitts, 2014) Photo courtesy of: sciencemuseum.org.uk

René explained how in Europe, North America and other industrialized countries, electricians must adhere to strict protocol about electric wiring placement in buildings. These regulations help to minimize the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation on building occupants, even though most electricians are not aware of this particular benefit. Despite this unfamiliarity amongst professionals, at least the protocol in industrialized countries is obeyed and harmful radiation is somewhat subsided.

Unfortunately, in a country such as India, although such regulations may exist, they are not enforced. The methodology is: if the lights turn on, it works! It doesn’t matter how disordered the wires are nor how many wires intersect and tangle in the process, if the lights switch on, they leave the wires as is. This causes an unprecedented amount of ether pollution and has been one of the catalysts that have inspired the team at Sacred Groves to build in a more benign manner.

They are strategically crossing wires, conjoining them, and isolating them to the smallest area possible. They are placing the wires in parts of the building furthest away from where future occupants will sleep. They are also minimizing the amount of power sockets because, even when nothing is plugged in, those little guys are still emitting electromagnetic radiation.

Sacred Groves site in Auroville, India where people are working together to build 108 homes out of natural materials. Photo courtesy of: thehindu.com
Sacred Groves site in Auroville, India where people are working together to build 108 homes out of natural materials. Photo courtesy of: thehindu.com

The clincher, however, is their primary building material: earth. Earth absorbs harmful radiation and provides a natural shield that simultaneously provides a multitude of benefits including climate control, low maintenance, storm resistance, aesthetics, quiet and much more. Natural building materials provide too many benefits to mention in this single article but the main takeaway should be that: earthen building materials help shield occupants from harmful electromagnetic radiation.

It may be overwhelming – how we are constantly discovering problems and dangers about where we live, how we live, what we eat, etc. The general solution, however, is relatively simple: shedding off unhealthy habits and transitioning to a more natural way of living. It’s about undoing the damage that has already been done and making changes to lead a healthier life moving forward – one step at a time.

References:

Rabbitts, Spiritual Enterprise (2014). (http://www.spiritualgarden.net/info/human+electricity.html)

Fawwaz T. Ulaby, et al. (2010). Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics (6th ed.).

Ghelani, Saluja, (2014). Featured image from: http://reverseagingclinic.ca/electromagnetic-treatments/tests-with-electromagnetism-provide-hope-for-anticancer-treatment/

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