Building in harmony with nature

There is a growing awareness that the modern industial lifestyle is not sustainable. If the whole population of the planet consummed at the rate of the United States, we would require four planets equal to Earth to meet the demand. In fact, we are racing towards the cliff edge, and we appear to be unable to regain control. 

It is clear that farming and building are two areas where change is not only necessary, but it is also possible. Our forebearers built homes with natural, local materials, as to do otherwise was simply not realistic. The knowledge still exists, and if we combine ancestral tradition with new innovation, like the use of cork for insulation, or photovoltaic panels to generate energy, we can create sustainable homes which are far superior to those currently being built by the construction industry. In vale das Lobas, we are building dwellings from local granite, and Compressed Earth Blocks, from earth derived directly from the valley. The result is homes that are elegant, durable, cool in the summer, and cosy in the winter. Our approach is to find natural, sustainable solutions, and then share them with education programs. If you are interested in sustainable construction, sign up to our newsletter, to get information on courses and workshops ahead of time.

circular bath house

Beautiful stone masonry from our artisanal builders, recycling granite stones to give them a new purpose.

Compressed Earth Blocks

Houses build with earth have a high thermal mass – cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.

Straw Bales Building

Straw acts as a natural vapour permeable insulation that allows the building to breathe.

Biological Swimming Pool

Plants provide biological filtration.