SCL Straw-bale House
The project is the first in the city of Vicenza and among the first in Italy. The new building is a single house on lot whose construction technique is wooden structure and straw-bales insulations.
It is distinguished both from the architectural point of view and constructive from the building practice for the study of forms, the very low environmental impact, for the research on the construction materials used.
The project is a manifesto of an architectural idea linked to the archetypes of building; a juxtaposed perimeter wall and a roof make up the family home. In simple contemporary forms of which the house is made echo ancient building materials like man.
The building is located in the northern part of the city, near to the old civil airport, in an intermediate context between the city and the first countryside, where buildings have at least two floors above ground. The nearby road is a secondary one but rather busy.
The fence-wall protects from the street and from the nearby parking lot, opens towards the garden and delimits the private patio to the south. The large roof, the same size as the fence but rotated 90 ° accommodates and protects the entrance, creates a large porch for the life outside, let the sky clear over the patio. The latter guards the life inside and at the same time is a basin covered with pebbles, integrated with the building, for rainwater disposal, the micro-climate control of the garden, the use of water for purposes irrigation.
The heating and cooling of the house are studied starting from the ratio of openings, sunlight shadows and the prevailing winds in the area. The air conditioning as the production of hot water and electricity are entrusted to a system of photovoltaic panels and heat pump with accumulation of water. The house is not connected to the use of natural gas.
The technology requires that the straw-bales are used as large bricks to close the wooden structure. The plasters are completely free of cement (to promote breathability) and with light aggregates (for example lime and hemp). The building package is cheaper than traditional techniques and ensures very low energy consumption, moreover the production process and the life cycle of the building consume very low levels of the so-called “gray energy”.
Structural design: Micheletti Ingegneria
Construction firms: Casalogica s.r.l.
Photo: Alberto Sinigaglia