Building a Straw Bale House Dome & More at an Eco Village in Greece

Building a Straw Bale House Dome & More at an Eco Village in Greece

My name is Apostolos. I am a Co-Founder of Free and Real. Free and Real is a micro-community. Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Everywhere, & Respect, Equality, Awareness, and Learnings. It was started in Athens in the beginning of 2009. We had a group of people all met online in an internet forum. We had grand plans and ideas about total world. We realized that we had to start small and have actual practical examples if we wanted to reach more people. So we decided to leave Athens to create a school. And we wanted to make a model that anyone can copy anywhere in the world. For the last seven years we do many different workshops all around the subject of sustainability and self sufficiency. We came here, had zero knowledge about anything like I was a website designer. We started from knowing nothing to creating amazing 3 level structures. My name is Anastasia. It’s a place with different kinds of constructions where we spend most of our time testing different applications. The system is all self sufficient. And, let’s take a look around. We started this construction one year ago. The process was fast, we had a lot of work and a lot of people. This we needed because we didn’t really have a workshop and we didn’t really have a place to build, presentations, or be one in the wilderness except in the sleeping areas that we have. So it’s a very nice common space. As you can see, the table we also eat here so it’s like a multi-function space for us. And we are planning to close the walls around for stability reasons. Welcome to the Mega Yurt. There is no cement anywhere in this floor foundation. We use only technique with stone and stomping. So we dig 40 cm x 40 cm depending on the height that we want to go and after we use technique with a stomper. We put stones around and we really compressed them. The ones inside is only stone we have with clay, which we figured out would be a good solution in terms of weight. And on the floor again there is straw installation. The best part about this yurt is this. It’s a heater. In the winter, it’s perfect. It uses a minimum amount of wood and it really uses the maximum capacity of the heat that it can. So we feed the stone here and the smoke travels through the barrel and after it travels through the vent and goes outside. And here on the bench there’s like only 10-15 centimeters. That means that if you burn wood for one hour it gets warm so people really like laying on this. Here’s where we do the presentations so talks during workshops or we watch movies. And up there there’s a small observatory which you can see the sea from. We have a small workout space. Now we have the chance to have a ping pong also. And this is the abode. It’s a simple structure just for, it just has a bed. Here we have a small garden. We have seasonal things usually. It’s not huge, but we plant as much as space we have This is just our old washing machine. It was not working anymore and we converted it into pedal powered. You can see the connections in the back also. We compost our food. We upcycle a lot. It’s a good example here. This is a solar air heater. The technique here is with bamboo inside and you just stick the cob around. So the solar air heater it’s made out of beer cans and they’re painted black and cut at the bottom and at the top so they go inside, circulate, and there’s an output in the end and you can connect to a small ventilator with a panel in the winter so it actually doesn’t, it’s not like a heater but it heats space in the winter so it breaks up the humidity and this works during the day with the sunlight. Which we don’t really need now because the space is open, but in the future, we made it and were like, “okay, we can put it in the wall.” This is the cob kitchen and on top there is a wooden house. This is the hexa-yurt because it has six sides. It’s the place where we mostly sleep. Here the crew. The people that live longer here. And for sure the place where we sleep in the winter because it has very good insulation and there’s a small stove that doesn’t need a lot of wood so we are very warm in here in the winter. The walls are OSB and the insulation is really interesting. We found these materials which is made out of up-cycled bottles so there really break down the bottle and they make like a pillow and we use it in this structure. We like to experiment with different materials and to test them. And there’s a small attic up there. And this kitchen came after the down part so the whole thing was really on some central poles Here we have heated stone. This gets very warm. You don’t get to really cook on it, but you can warm up water for teas and stuff like this. And same here. You fill it here and it travels again through the bench. It’s where we have our coffees. It’s where we also spend our time in the winter when it’s cold because it’s a smaller place to heat up. And here we usually have fruits and some vegetables from the garden. Most of the teas we collect on the mountain. This is the cuckoo yurt. This initial idea of this yurt was to be a model for people with family but because we didn’t use it for family house, we use it for hosting people in the workshops and so on. And this here is First Yurt. So you can clearly see, it’s been like 8 years here since it was here. Slowly, slowly it started decomposing like the inside of the wood and everything so now we use it only for storage. Here is our toilet. It’s a dry compost toilet. It’s very simple. It’s just a big compost bin under. Here is where we empty one time per year or two times per year if it’s needed and we store it so we can use it later in the garden. It’s not thing because you have to move it so you shovel it up so it’s not the best day of the year, but it’s just one day. This one is clearly for sleeping as you can see. Which is pretty good insulated also. The hexa-yurt and the mystic yurt are the best for the winter. And here we have an outdoor shower. Very simple in the summer, very pleasant to have some fresh water here outside. We are just planning the map to make a new shower. This one is storage and it’s also where we…huh…and here there are babies. I didn’t know they were here. It’s a new cat family. So this land is one thousand square meters that got into our possession around seven and a half years ago so when we got it, it was totally barren. It was nothing. And doing natural farming with seed bombs. What you see now we are trying to create a food forest. Half of them survived during the summer. The ones that survived, have adapted. This is exactly the center of the land, where we are now and it’s the central geodesic dome but through the years and the harsh sun of Greece and especially the very harsh south winds we have during the winter we always had a problem with the canvas so we made the decision to convert it into a strawbale house. So here the idea is to create water reservoir, but we want to make it into as close as possible, to a natural lake. The next step is to add a special coating material and then start collecting water in the winter and also getting some from the spring that we have close by and start adding special plants fish that can create a micro-climate and basically change the micro-climate around. If you live in a city, there are many things that you can do that can make big changes if a lot of people do them. For example, a very easy thing I always mention is what you shop and what you eat. This is the things you actually vote every day. This is the simplest thing that one can do in their lives, no matter where they live..

20 thoughts on “Building a Straw Bale House Dome & More at an Eco Village in Greece

  1. Anonymous author raises questions over Donald Trump's mental fitness
    I'm politically Neutral and I have question. If Trump is not fit for office how the hell is Hillary or Biden fit? They are both on the brink of death.

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