Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Maria Recchia's house

Our next stop: Maria Recchia's home. Maria works with the Centre for Community-Based Resource Management in St. Andrews and is an avid organic gardener. She has nearly finished building this gorgeous strawbale home. Here she is with Dave in this photo outside her home. We spent a fun afternoon with Maria, during which she patiently showed us how to work with earth plaster and filled us in on lots of resources and building tips. This is a timber frame (non load bearing) structure with strawbale exteriour walls. She has an excellent composting toilet system and plans to install solar panels in future. Her greenhouse (the wooden-sided windowed part that's sticking out here), can provide extra passive solar heat to the interiour of the home, or the heat can be blocked out simply by leaving the inside greenhouse door shut. The clay earth for the plaster was taken from the excavation on site, and sifted by hand at first until a neighbour made a gas-powered sifter (using a washing machine motor I think?). Lots of innovative tools are made to make strawbale building more efficient. Did you know that the spray gun that auto shops use to undercoat cars & trucks can be used to spray on the clay slip? Brilliant! Now, we have to figure out where to get one...


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