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Primal indoor climate thanks to reeds, straw and Variotherm

The small plot of land in Baden? Has always been there. It always belonged to the women of the family. Now Victoria is building on it. With her husband Lukas and Emil, the most relaxed baby in the world. "A two-month-old rookie," Victoria smiles. "He just feels completely at home here - in our house made of straw."

"The only conventional thing about this building is the concrete base. On top of this stands the timber construction in timber frame design." When this was erected, a farmer drove up with his tractor. On the back of the trailer: pressed straw bales. "Within one day, we insulated the spaces between the rafters with the bales with 18 helpers. A pretty good do-it-yourself job!"

Natural and energy-efficient

The reveals of the wooden windows are round. The edge of the house? Also round. An unusual house. We step over the threshold. It smells good. Of wood. Of straw. Of reeds. Wonderful. We, too, immediately feel at home in this house of straw and clay.

Although "house" is not quite the right word. The ensemble is still a complete shell construction site. But it is the most beautiful and natural one we have ever entered. A building made of wood and straw? Almost without bricks? Can it really stand up to modern building methods? It can. And how it can!

"I always wanted a house that was close to nature. But without Lukas I probably would never have dared to do it," admits Victoria. It may come as a surprise that Lukas had the idea for the house made of straw. He studied at the Technikum in Vienna. He completed his Master's degree at the FH Burgenland. Since then he has been active in research and university teaching there. His speciality: building services engineering.

Particularly pleasant warmth and coolness

A high-tech scientist advocating low-tech solutions? We look around. Electric roller blinds or Roman blinds? Not a thing. Instead, there are hinged shutters. They last forever. The roofing of the west-facing terrace blocks the sun and keeps the heat out. Old knowledge combined with the most efficient building technology for heating and cooling. That's what matters.

The EasyFlex wall heating does not heat the air, it works by means of pleasant radiant heat: the infrared waves strike furnishings and unheated surfaces at right angles. They give off this energy again in the form of heat.

The person is thus warmed "from the inside". This warmth is particularly pleasant for us, because it is reminiscent of the pleasantly warm rays of the sun on our skin. Another plus: hardly any convection and thus no excessively dry room air in winter. 

In the summer months, cooled water flows through the aluminium multi-layer composite pipes and cools the rooms pleasantly and healthily. Draughts and noise are a thing of the past - so the wall cooling can also run at night.

Cooling is double the fun!

Interesting: The building stores more CO2 than it consumes due to the natural building materials wood and straw! The CO2 footprint of the bricks used and the floor slabs is thus more than completely compensated. The walls are surprisingly thick, namely around 45 centimetres: "This means that the insulation value is very good. In fact, a heat pump would not pay off at all because our heating needs are so low. But in combination with cooling, you can use the heat pump twice," says Victoria. "Cooling is double the fun!"

Speaking of leiwand: What do the neighbours actually say about the unusual construction method? "They think our house is very cool," Victoria notes with a quiet smile. "On a windy day, a bit of straw blew over to the neighbours. But they didn't think it was that bad and said: 'Oh, it doesn't matter. It's only straw. At least the roses will be fertilised right away! Because of the natural materials, people are simply less bothered by our building site."