Welcome to NEWburbia

South of Los Angeles lies Southern California’s infamous “OC” – a highly populated suburban sprawl off the Pacific coast. Known for its sunny weather, Orange County is nestled between the ocean and a glorious mountain range. Unfortunately, the majority of the time all you see is smog…

The Molnar-Bartons, who were recently gifted a quarter acre of land in the Orange Hills, love Southern California. They are realizing, however, like many other Americans, that because very little thought was given to sustainability at the time when this area was being developed the long term forecast of living here holds a justified anxiety. Gridlock traffic, nationally high air pollution, lack of sufficient water, immense consumerism, ignorance and excessive waste makes for a severe list of problems for current and future Orange County residents.

On the bright side, there is also an endless supply of sun- light (a renewable non-polluting resource). So much sunlight in fact, that if harnessed by OC homeowners it could power both Orange County and LA County combined! Most people living in the suburbs also have small front or back yards. Suburban lawns could be far more useful as family gardens (most helpful in the coming years as oil prices spike, driving up the cost of food).

Similarly, as no one enjoys spending their time stuck in traffic, in today’s wireless world – no one should have to. Home offices linked to corporate networks could drastically cut back commuter congestion. For those of us on the road our non-pol- luting solar powered electric vehicles will be saving us money and contributing to better air quality at the same time. Suburbia, if restaged, actually has the capacity to be quite sustainable.

With this in mind the Molnar-Bartons are setting out to build a public demonstration regenerative house – a house that creates more energy than it uses and is built for a modern coexistence with nature. Utilizing cutting edge technology and creative design they feel confident that they can build a model home and showroom that will work to inspire others to consid- er eco-retrofits and sustainable building projects of their own.

Each episode of NBOC will focus on a different building prob- lem that the NEWburbian team (filled with friends, family and colleagues) will have to find sustainable solutions for. They’ll be your learning curve as they trailblaze and struggle through brand new technologies, building legalities, waste equals food theory and long-standing dwelling practices. One part educational, one part DIY home building and always fun, NBOC will be an entertaining exploration, discussion and demonstration throughout.