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A 1960s bungalow with a self-built extension, constructed of compressed straw bales which are load-bearing, holding up the roof. Some of the existing walls are also lined with straw bales for insulation. The theme of the house is to use highly efficent but low-impact materials with little embedded energy, eg wood-fibre boards, Warmcell cellulose fibre, Thermafleece sheeps wool, and straw bales. The plaster on internal walls is composed of clay dug out from the from the garden , and the surfaces are painted with clay paints.
The extension has a green sedum roof and the walls are rendered with local lime and recycled glass. Rainwater is used for flushing toilets. Triple-glazed timber windows and a very highly air-tight shell with mechanical ventilation heat recovery make this a house with very low fuel costs. Light tunnels are fitted in three rooms to make maximum use of natural light.
Heating is provided by a highly efficient brick-built masonry stove, which stores heat and releases it slowly to the home, as well as heating hot water. The owner has only to fire up the stove once every three days to keep the house warm.
Technologies: solar hot-water and PV, mechanical ventilation with heat-recovery, managed rainwater system (minimises pump use and energy consumption).
The house has ramp access for disabled people.