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The building project


This building project is our contribution to reduce CO2 emissions and the wider environmental impact of the building industry. It is an example how each of us can make a difference. The objective is also to inspire architects, engineers and their clients to innovate, design and build (or refurbish and furnish) with natural, local and waste materials. We all have to work together in order to reduce amount of energy, water and transport in manufacturing building materials and in their construction into our homes and other buildings.  


Our house is built with straw (a waste material) using panels made by Ecococon and bought from Case in Legno De Pra, Treviso. The structure is supported by a wooden frame (a renewable material) and finished with earth plaster (clay dug from under the house, leftover straw from bales and sand from a nearby quarry). The straw walls have an external wood fibre panel coated with silica.    

We minimised the cement content by using strip foundations instead of  the usual large concrete slab. Inside the strip foundations we insulated the space underneath the house with industrial waste polystyrene and polyurethane that otherwise would have ended on a landfill site. 


The roof is ventilated, which means no overheating during hot summer months, as air can circulate under the coppi tiles (handmade clay roof tiles), which we reused from a ruin on site. 


The windows and doors were made by local joiners and we chose the most energy efficient triple CLEAR glazing for the oak frames. 


We aimed to use the principles of bio-architecture but we were restricted in some instances by the local council regulations which required us to use more or less the footprint and form of the old ruin. However inside we were able to have a bit more freedom.  


The house feels incredibly spacious and light when you enter from either of the main entrances, thanks to the 7 meter high ceiling in the main area and the many windows and glass doors. Our electricity consumption for lighting is also minimal using natural light to a maximum.  


The house also has a stable and even temperature throughout the year due to the highly insulating straw. So summers are cooler and rooms require no air conditioning (if the doors are not left open), on the other hand winters are warmer and require a lot less heating than traditional houses in the area, naturally saving in the cost of energy. We pre-heat the house with a stove and use wood from our site. In the future the idea is to heat water with solar thermal panels.  


The house will never be damp because the clay in the earth plaster absorbs excess moisture and when the ambient air gets drier due to heating in winter, the clay will release moisture and keep the moisture level always in balance.  The walls are not painted with chemical paints but washed with lime liquid.


So all in all it is a very comfortable house to live in! We hope you will come and stay with us, or at least visit or take part in our SOCIAL CLUB (LINK) activities!

A bien tôt!  

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