Sunday, 27 September 2015

What's in a name?

I've just changed the name of this blog from "Building a house" to "Low energy building". Hopefully this will more accurately describe the content, but it should more properly be "Stuff vaguely relating to low energy building, and anything else I feel like writing."

The name of this URL "minuszeroeco" has not changed. When I put that in, it wasn't the first choice, but I hope it conjures up something. I'm in perpetual apology for using "eco", which has been used with such variety that it has little meaning left. Most obviously it appears at the beginning of "economics".

"Minus zero" may have come from a Boomtown Rats song "Wind chill factor minus zero", from their seminal 1978 album the Fine Art of Surfacing. It seems to lack precision and I've never been completely sure what it means. If it's zero then it is neither plus nor minus, and if it's minus, then it's not really zero.

This may be something like 2+2=5 for large values of two. In other words, if each 2 is actually 2.4, then adding them together will get to 4.8, which rounds up to 5. So minus zero is somewhere under zero but not quite minus one. And I suppose that's what I was aiming for while building the house. I wasn't just trying to make a house that breaks even, or comes out with zero emissions. I wanted to make sure that it really did have less than zero emissions.