Organic houses seem to be a trend with strong growth lately. The shapes that they can wear are many: crinkle houses, straw bales, beaten earth or clay chambers, fritters, stuffed bags, cut logs and more. The variety is excellent, the price is small and the comfort promised by ecological housing is likely to convince people to change their way of life altogether. What does a new construction mean and how much it costs, you can find out below.
Some people have lived up to now, open to another type of life, because these houses automatically lead you to a different kind of life: they make you move to the country, get out of town, grow your food, so it's a kind of life that urges you to sustainability. Last but not least, there are a few customers who are looking for cheaply built solutions. There is a growing trend towards a more conscious lifestyle, which also includes housing.
How long does it take to build a natural home?
Construction time is the same as a concrete house: three to four months for a 100 sqm house if you hurry. It does not build faster and should not because we are talking about natural materials that should dry in the sun. You have to let each stage do its job. Ideally, the foundation will be built in one year, and the actual construction will start the next year. Moreover, materials should be bought one year before, ideally. However, storage is a problem for customers, as is the fact that for wood, for example, you do not have sources of high-quality materials and you need to import them. That's why we recommend customers to use the best quality materials they have nearby. I advise customers: either have patience and do not have problems, or do according to possibilities, but take responsibility for the cracks that will appear. In general, however, customers are not very patient and take the risks of a fast-paced construction, accepting improvements more often. See more here.
What improvements are involved and how often are they made?
This is an ample subject. First of all, it must be made clear that if a house is made well, it needs only rare and superficial improvements. For example, renew the paint five to ten years. If the materials have not dried well, there are cracks, water is infiltrated, and the improvements are needed perhaps even every one or two years. There is also a category of modern organic houses made with a very advanced technology, which requires no maintenance more than you would need in a concrete house, for example. This house is also built of natural materials, but they are prefabricated, which guarantees that you will not find any damage. However, this construction method costs up to 40% more than an ordinary house. Normally, a 100 sqm house costs somewhere between 35-40,000 euros, so the prefabricated can reach up to 55,000 euros.
Is there a limit to the height regime or the proportions of the house?
Theoretically, no. As long as you can make a wooden structure of nine to ten floors, you can also make a natural home. But from an ecological point of view, a one-story house is more efficient and economical in the long run. The temperature distribution is better. However, right now, a seven-story building made up of straw bales is being built in France. However, for single-family houses, we recommend a single level, although a house with a standard, two or three, can be created, according to the customer's needs.
Is the construction robust, earthquake resistant, flame retardant?
The straw bales are plastered five centimeters of clay, giving fireproof protection. Official tests are made in countries such as Canada and Germany and recognized around the world, showing that a straw bale house can withstand a temperature of 2,000 degrees for two hours. So after two hours, they start burning the walls. About earthquakes, materials must be adapted to the area. But it is important to note, in this context, that a house in the earth resists better the earthquake anyway than a brick house.