From Spring 2010 Rachel and her family have been building a 1.5 – 2 storey family home approx 200sqm with straw bale walls in Newmarket. Their aim has been to build a low impact, energy efficient, healthy home, with a garden designed around the production of fruit and vegetables. Once complete, they intend to measure the building’s performance. They are combining traditional materials like lime and clay; waste materials, such as recycled newspaper; natural materials, like straw; and modern technology, such as solar panels and a heat pump. In addition, they want to design the building to breathe, thus avoiding the use of moisture barriers, and minimise the use of materials with high embodied energy, such as concrete. They hope that the result will be a super insulated breathing building, that takes advantage of solar gains, encourages natural ventilation, and has a small environmental footprint. Follow their progress over the next 12-18months on their blog.
Their house is still under construction, and Rachel has been kind enough to offer CCF a tour of the site! If you’d like to come along please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (booking necessary)