[GSBN] Straw Bale Buildings in Italy - to visit?

David Arkin david at arkintilt.com
Wed Jul 30 13:46:40 CDT 2014

Hi Martin, All:

It isn't straw bale, but a few years ago we assisted with a renovation and the passive & active solar systems for a bed & breakfast, near Calamandrana in the Piedmonte Region:  https://www.facebook.com/CascinaGalloOrsi


Canan (pronounced Janan) and Umberto are excellent and gracious hosts!  It's further north than where you'll be, closer to Turin, but hopefully within range.  

Buon Viaggio,


ps:  It's a good model of how to comfortably renovate one of those devilishly cold stone structures that Art is referring to.

On Jul 30, 2014, at 11:13 AM, Art Ludwig/ Oasis <oasis at oasisdesign.net> wrote:

> Martin,
> The only straw bale we saw in Italy was under construction in the Valley of the Elves, near Pistoia, which is close to where you are going.
> My impression was that they could use some tips on design and implementation. Really interesting area; a huge, mostly roadless valley with about 25 formerly abandoned farmhouses that have been colonized by back to the landers. It's high elevation, so they can really use the straw bale advantage. It would take several days to walk the whole valley.
> There's thousands upon thousands of old stone buildings in Italy that are devilishly uncomfortable in winter. Interesting design challenge to figure out how to retrofit them. Attached greenhouse on south side, insulation on n and west?
> Art
> On Jul 29, 2014, at 9:35 AM, martin hammer <mfhammer at pacbell.net> wrote:
>> Hello GSBN members in Italy (and elsewhere),
>> I will soon be travelling in Tuscany and wonder if there are any straw bale
>> buildings in the region I could visit. I will be staying near Pontedera,
>> between Florence and Pisa, from August 1-4. Sorry this is short notice, but
>> this idea just occurred to me.
>> Any possibilities are appreciated. I've seen straw bales in the fields
>> traveling from Rome to Venice. Would love to 'see' them in a building (!).
>> Grazie
>> Martin Hammer
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Director, California Straw Building Association
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