For a while we have been banding ideas between us, trying to decide upon which type of eco-building method to use. Comparing the different ways of building a sustainable, eco-house is a bit of a daunting task these days. Not that this is a bad thing; wonderful architects, designers and conservationists are finding more and more innovative ways to provide this much sought after form of housing.
So ideally the house would provide shelter off-grid with small rooms but enough space for family and friends to come and visit.
With energy prices predicted to rise and rise over the next few years, a house that is self-sustainable and perhaps even earns money by selling its energy to the grid, makes sense.
Now back to the question of which type of eco house to build?! There are merits to each and every type of sustainable build, choosing between them can feel like wading through a quagmire. We explored each option in as much depth as possible before committing to our final decision.
All of the literature advises to design the build once the land is purchased, and that is exactly what we are doing, in an effort to fit into our surroundings leaving as little a mark as possible on Mother Nature.
Straw Bale Building has won out and in July 2015 we completed a three day course learning all the methods involved in building with straw. The course was fabulous! It gave us brilliant confidence that we can self build as long as we get help from an engineer during the planning stage.
The course was held at the Earthship Centre in Stanmer Park, Brighton, UK, and was jointly run by the Brighton Permaculture Trust and the Low Carbon Trust. Over the next couple of months we will be putting a design together with the help of an engineer, ready to submit the designs to the French planning authorities. Watch this space….