Huff and puff: Is straw the future of New Zealand house construction?
Today’s alternative? Straw houses! According to the organisers of the International Straw Build Conference at Methven in Canterbury last month, ‘straw-earth buildings’ are the way of the future for New Zealand housing, as supplies of cement and steel are forecasted to deplete over the next 15-or-so years, and as the price of heating (and cooling) a house increases. Read More
I have had a few friends who went to this International Conference, all of them were enthusiastic. Strawbale construction has developed and is being used in many creative ways. Keep an eye out for more on this
LILAC is an inspirational affordable co-housing development in Leeds in the UK. LILAC stands for Low-Impact Living Affordable Community and it combines low-impact eco housing with affordability and co-housing, possibly one of the first in the world to encompass all of those aspects at the same time.
See more on their website: http://www.lilac.coop/
Paul Chatterton from the School of Geography at the University of Leeds presented their story in this TEDx talk. The story of dogged determination and persistence is very similar to that of the Earthsong co-housing development in Auckland.
Paul describes an ownership model proportional to income which would have a major impact on housing affordability and social housing.
The buildings are built with high levels of insulation and air-tightness along with proper mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (similar to the Passive House approach) resulting in very high thermal efficiency.
Insulation is provided by straw bales, using ModCell‘s innovative modular system. The system has the advantage of low-, or negative-, carbon construction, yet forms very linear walls indistinguishable from any other modern construction method.