To visit case studies that have used vernacular technologies to inform modern sustainable design
Monday, October 18, 2010
I am trying out living in La Casita ( the small house that Blanca built with a team of WWOOFERS and family). It is about 4m x 4m on 2 floors. It is made using pallets filled with straw or old bottles, then a liquid clay mix is poured over. After this it is ´rendered´ with a cob mix of straw, clay and sand. The pallets sit between a timber post frame. It has a green roof over timber rafters so I can hear crickets at night. They sound like they are in the room with me. The walls are therefore quite thin (about a pallet thickness, less than 200mm) so it is too thin for a thermal mass effect, I think. However, it seems to be warm at night and cool during the day, which is perfect. It has some tree shade on the East and South side but the sun comes from the North here, so most of the heat is still getting to the house. However we have had some cool days where it is absolutely freezing at night in La Casita and in the morning. El Bolson sits in a little pocket valley in the Andes and we do not see the sun until about 11am as it is hiding behind the mountains. I also do not see the sunset for the same reason on the other side. Despite this it is light from 8am until 9pm. Although La Casita is very sustainable using only recycled materials or renewable in the case of the timber post frame, it is not making the best use of the thermal mass properties of cob.