Building with straws and clay is back for good

In Nordic and Baltic countries constructing with natural material is getting more fashionable but there is a notable lack of skills. Through the Nordplus Adult-project “Experiences of Sustainable Building“, Säästvad Ehituslahendused LLC from Estonia is carrying out joint development work within adult learning in the field of natural building.

The modern building industry is using too much energy and emits an excessive amount of pollution. Building with natural materials on the other hand is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is therefore important to inform people about these issues and to teach them the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of natural building – these skills are not too complicated and everyone is able to use them.

“Our project has started very successfully”, said project coordinator Gerda Kättmann. “Different trainings have been carried out in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. The subjects were quite various, such as natural roofs, clay construction, straw construction, window and door restoration and rocket stove construction“.

Rocket stoves are simple as they are built around barrels. Rocket stoves achieve efficient burning of fuel, by ensuring a good air draft into the fire and efficient use of the resultant heat. Invented in 1982, the rocket stove is a quite new member in stove-world, and has led to the development of various innovations. They are used in modern households and also in many third-world locales, notably Rwandan refugee camps.

Naturally the rocket stove-science is not the only part of the project. The Latvian Kekava Municipality Culture Agency established teamwork worthy of mention. “The participants did not know much about the issue. After two days of training of woodcarving and using tadelakt they were offered theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The cooperation and feedback were splendid” said Kättmann.

All the information from trainings will also be gathered and made available for much larger audiences. There will be created a webpage that will contain information about the project activities, theoretical information about natural building and videos for practical learning.