From the very beginning sustainable building practice has been a major concern, taking into consideration both the materials used, the building process and use of energy and resources in the finished house. However as times go by, the knowledge about sustainability increases, and some of the houses build in the beginning would maybe now be considered more experimental than straight sustainable.
As we are all different, and most of the houses in the village are build by the owners themselves, the focus on, and interpretation of sustainability varies from house to house. Some have chosen to buy new materials, expensive heating solutions, and hired help. Some have build everything themselves with recycled materials for a very small budget. This, and the fact that very many of the houses are ”dream houses” build in a very personal style, makes the overall impression of the village as a showcase for alternative building materials, alternative architecture and sustainable building.
The ongoing building process during the last 20 years have of course been an inspiration for not just ourselves, but also for the eco building wave in general. A process of constant experimentation, knowledge seeking and improvement of existing buildings and new houses.
There are no written rules of the use of building materials, yet the majority of houses are build by natural and sustainable materials to some extent. For instance Larch and Douglas timber have a natural oil content that makes it more weather resistant, unfired bricks are energy efficient to make, can be produced locally and are very good at absorbing heat. Straw bales can be used both as insulation and construction material, flax is a wonderful easy-to-work alternative to mineral wool, and gives a very pleasant indoor climate.
In addition to these materials as paper insulation, mussel shells, and recycled bricks and tiles are very common here along with eco paint and old fashion white wash.
The building process scan also be improved sustainably wise, for instance by using clay sand and soil dug up in the village, straw bales from the neighbouring farms. Local timber either uncut or cut in situ in the village. And by using locally recycled second hand materials like bricks, tiles, doors, windows, roof tiles and timber.