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 consumed 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.

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. 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 comfortable, affordable, sustainable homes.

In Vale das Lobas, the local natural materials are granite and earth.  For earth construction, we have selected Compressed Earth Blocks, which we will make from earth derived from within the valley. The result will be homes that are elegant, durable, cool in the summer, and cosy in the winter.

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Compressed Earth Blocks

High thermal mass – cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.

Straw Bale Construction

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

Biological Swimming Pool

A planted zone next to the swimming area provides biological filtration,

circular bath house

Beautiful stone masonry, recycling granite stones to give them a new purpose.