When Anders Stokholm asked his old friend Felix Jerusalem to design his family’s new home in Eschenz, a northern Swiss village on the Rhine River and Untersee Lake, the client and architect agreed that they didn’t want to disturb the ancient Roman artifacts buried in the property’s wet soil. But they did want something both modern and green. Jerusalem’s solution, the Strohhaus, beautifully merges the old with the new: The structure floats above the saturated ground on pilings—–referencing building methods used in the area thousands of years ago, according to Zurich-based Jerusalem. And except for its concrete core, the entire house is made from slabs of prefabricated, formaldehyde-free compressed straw.
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- Hay insulation, passive solar, drought-tolerant gardens: Behold the following 7 houses from Dwell's pages that give back by striving for net-zero status.
- When it comes to ecologically minded building materials, straw bales are among the kindest (they involve repurposing waste material from the grain growing industry).
- Built for a young family of Spartan-minded clients, architect Felix Oesch's spare, concrete prefab outside of Zurich is a marvel of clean living.
- In the Napa Valley, one sustainable residence elegantly demonstrates straw bale technology.
- How an unfussy, nearly zero-energy family home in Santa Cruz, California, wound up with hay bales in the walls, a state-of-the-art heat pump system, and six very happy residents.
- It’s impossible to ignore nature in Big Sur.
- Boulder, Colorado, straddles a dynamic geographical border where miles of Rocky Mountains descend into flat plains that stretch all the way to the Appalachians.
- The E+ Green Home, a concept house located an hour outside Seoul, not only points the way to a greener South Korea, it may well be the most sustainable house in the country.