Learn and Build an Eco house near Lunca Cernii de Jos, Hunedoara, Romania

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Romania

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    26/10/2020

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  • Description

    Description

    Hi all !

    Here is a future Strawbale House, waiting for you to help with the building. A strawbale house that will be quite different from others, since most people consider making it with only one row of bales. Which in my opinion is not quite sufficient in a cold long winter in the hills.

    There may be other houses alike, but this one will have one-meter thick walls, because climate is cold and winter is long. The house will be heated mostly with compost, by using a thermophilic bacteria reactor, but also will have - as a backup - a combination stove (kitchen + kind-of-fireplace) heating the whole house with very little fuel, using an unusual concept, related to bell-stoves and a bit inspired from rocket stoves as well, but still different and, more important, DIY.

    Electricity comes from solar panels (even in winter, I have many panels, and I'm frugal when needed) and storage is in Lithium-Iron batteries, a quite new concept which is very promising (I'm already using them since mid 2015); Electric lights will be using DIY LED lamps; water comes from a ground well and from a downhill stream; will be stored in an attic reservoir, filtered in a local-made sand-and-gravel water filter; we already have a dry-toilet and I'm still searching a way to use this concept at the new house as well. I will pursue especially a permacultural approach for gardening, in the future living here.

    What we'll have to do? Apart from learning all these unusual concepts and tehniques that I studied and planned in the last nine years (2010+) since, we'll have to work, of course. But will not be so hard. We'll do mostly woodwork: timber, poles and beams, nails and hammers, electric saws and so on. In June-July we'll build floors, staircase, attic and roof. In August, strawbale walls and clay plaster. More details further in the Details section..

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Help with Eco Projects

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We have plenty of historical and beautiful location to visit around: Deva Stronghold, Sarmizegetusa (2500 y.o.) ruins and others at 40 miles away; also here is a beatiful place to just stay and enjoy for a while, far away from cities.

    From me, you may learn how to do your own photovoltaic system with not-so-big-money, how to make a house with extremely low heat losses, how to combine high and low technologies to make for a sustainable way of life in a faraway place. I described part of the tech in the introductory section...

    And we have enjoyable neighbours, they also practice "workaway" and are hosts, and we meet all summer plenty of people, mostly form Germanic-Nordic countries, but also we had French and Italy. Lots of fun.

  • Help

    Help

    From July: we'll do the main structure (mostly erecting and fixing wood beams and poles with nails and screws) and second floor infrastructure (wood beams and studs, screws and nails, and covering with timber floor), erecting the roof framing; at beginning of August we'll manipulate timber for attic structure, we'll construct frames and rafters for roofing, we'll use mineral wool for attic insulation, and then building the roof of the house probably around middle-end of August.

    Main skill required: hammering. Nails. Lots of 'em. Let's not say it's hard in itself, but will be a lot... Some cuttings with electric saws. Assembly with screws... And a bit of vision, because not everything is already on paper. Some things like stairs, door and windows frames, will may need a bit of changing, designing, improvising.

    From August, Strawbales building:

    Need no special skills here, because the work itself will be quite easy and straightforward to catch: just to manipulate and insert the bales in the walls, press them into space, and then secure them with posts, sticks, steel wire and nails; also the bales will be "treated" against pests with lots of sodium carbonate, and will be protected against rodents with a galvanized steel net.

    Another step will be to plaster the bales with a clay emulsion; clay is locally plenty, just to be mixed and applied. But yes, will be lot of manual work... even with tools.

    After, the walls will be secured with some thin timber poles; next step involves sticking plastic foil on the interior of the walls on these poles; is a rather delicate process and foil needs to be kept intact, no holes; at the poles surfaces will be holes from the clips and nails used, but will be sealed with some silicone or other material to be impervious to air leaks. Air contains water vapors and must not go from inside of the house to the bales, because condensation will occur and bales will rot.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Romanian: Fluent

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have actually a room which can accomodate on bad weather up to 4 people, and otherwise plenty of location around, for tents and caravans. But I will keep the number of visitors to mostly 4 to ensure in any case (lets say we had days in June and August when temperature at night drops to 3-4 celsius) if is cold they can refugiate in the house.

    We are not vegetarians; we eat various food, mostly romanian/balcanic traditional dishes (various soups and sauces, vegetables, with and without meat).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Local transportation:

    -Bus from Hunedoara to here (55km away) is in Monday and Wednesday afternoon, at 15:30; Fridays at 16:30.
    -Bus from here to Hunedoara is in the same days at 6:30 in the morning.
    Also there may be locals who go to city around 9-10 in the morning

    -Buses Deva to Hunedoara (10km) are every 15 minutes in daytime.

    -When you come first-time, I can pick you from Hunedoara to the location in my car (I have a small jeep).

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    thousands of sqm available; electricity & water as well; net through hotspot

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week

August 2020, with Workaway'ers (i'm in the back, blue shirt)
Our Valley, seen from tophill, after Perseids meteor night, 13 Aug 2020
August 2020
Our second visitors, Aug 2020
Summer 2020, we had a temporary dog !
This place, how it looks in 2019 summer
2020, Photovoltaics to run the building workshop
Summer 2019
The Strawbale house, skeleton stage
October 2019
Basement building, September 2019

Host ref number: 723933924384