Energy Efficient Baled Straw Ecological House – Italy


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 2: Contact Making Event

Venue: Belluno, Italy

Dates: 3 – 10 December 2016

Participants: Vít Votroubek, Lenka Tomečková, Zuzana Zbubová

Please read the info-pack & detailed project description

Hosting organisation: European Centre for Ecology

Participating organisations: Italy, Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania

Project report:

The project Energy Efficient Baled Straw Ecological House was held on Belluno, on the small town in northern Italy. Our Czech team came firstly to Venezia and then was traveling by train to nice and picturesque city at the Dolomity mountains, the beginning of Italian Alps. During way we changed environment from typical Venezian flats to high mountains sceneries.

At the first day we focused on introducing each other and „to break the ice.“ We tried to remember our names. Everyone wrote a name and nickname on paper, then told short

story how to remember this name. It was very functional. The second day was based on de- scription of project idea phase by phase. This first edition is called Contact making event. That means the main purpose is to meet people from many NGOs together and share their awareness and experiences in environmental topic. The second part will be in Serbia where participants will build straw baled ecological house. Reflection and evaluation of whole project will be in third part in Turkey.

So, second day after this introduction we discuss about differences in formal, non-for- mal and informal education, and their roles in life education. Then we defined contract which we should respect. For example points like speaking in English, be active, respect each other, etc. Afternoon we visited city and played there sightseeing game. We had to fill many tasks related to history and important points in city. In our team there was a boy from Italy. Thanks him we had big advantage and managed most of tasks as the first team

🙂 After walking around we continued with sharing informations about our organiza- tions in which we are working. For example there was introduced very interesting project in Greece about architecture – project Open House Worldwide with very big support in Thessaloniki. After that we had first evaluation group where we shared our feelings, sug- gestions and points for improvement. First international cultural evening was organized by Italian and Albanian teams.

At third day Serbian team prepared for us presentation about climate changes and global warming. After that related to previous activity we worked in teams on small post- ers – how to fight against climate changes and other problems in environment. We found very interesting linkages, especially relations between ecology and economy, but mainly importance of personal approach each of us. During next activity many of us showed presentation about good practices in concrete country. Everyone had little bit different point of view, someone from environmental, humanistic, architectural or scientific field. For example I had presentation about passive wooden construction from Czech republic and Austria. Many of us in most concepts present the same idea of Socrates house. What is it? It is house that is using sun more properly, the most of windows are oriented on the sun and the rest of house is narrowing to the north and cover with the earth. I showed very famous example from Moravia region from Horka nad Moravou near Olomouc, called Sluňákov in which these principles are used. We found other interesting facts and differences in energy efficient buildings such as difference in usage isolation and protec- tion against cold or heat. In Greece they have opposite problem, they use isolation for

protection against hot weather, this solution is often more difficult then classic methods for protection in countries with mild weather areas. Then tonight Czech team organized the second cultural evening with Romania and Greece.

Fourth day Italian group prepared for us architectural exercise. In teams we tried to guest which building is on the picture and what are the ecological aspects. These exam- ples helped us to understand how to look on the problematic of green building and how to include ecological aspects in different cases. During afternoons activity we should find similar aspects and details in public space in Belluno. This city is full of many useful

sources for contemporary architecture. Although buildings are there very old, it is possible to find many inspire solutions for practice today. Sustainable principles are not based only on amount of used isolation or methods of passive standards but as well on smart complex solutions. During this activity we found in city the usage of greenery, usage of water in public space, aesthetic monuments, details of technical infrastructure and others.

Fifth day Serbian team presented about flooding two years ago in small city Šabac, near Belgrade. Many volunteers from other Balkans countries helped them and finally managed to protect city against water. That was for most of them the first impulse to be interest about environmental and ecological topic in future. Their presentation brought main mes- sage – if we would improve our environment, everyone has to somehow contribute. In next session they showed us their own initiative in Šabac. Serbian organization is trying to solve problem of chemical waste which leaved after chemistry industry near mentioned city. This is big dangerous if flooding would come again. On these cases organizers showed us the importance of active citizenship. At the evening was last international evening held by Macedonia and Turkey team.

Sixth day was intended for writing personal story about own opinions in ecological top- ic, about our experiences or practice. These articles will be used as the theoretical source for second part of this project. Seventh day was focused on wide problematic of Erasmus+ projects, especially how to write project proposal and find new possibilities in next cooper- ation.

So, I would like to thank organizers and EYCB Břeclav that I could be a part of this Contact making event and contribute to make and move the aim – building straw house


– to more realistic outlines. This project is big opportunity to improve and help to Serbia region thanks sharing good practice from other countries. I wish the next activity will achieve mentioned aims and change them to practical output in the form of ecological house.

Vít Votroubek

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