Eco-Friendly Home Uses Only Straw for Heating & Cooling - a recipe to live by (disasters no power-electric etc. -but we got hay

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Sun, 11/02/2014 - 01:15.

Students at Japan's Waseda University are revolutionizing home heating by designing a home heated by actively decaying compost. The home, located on the island of Hokkaido in the town of Taiki-cho, is known as "A Recipe to Live."

a recipe to live hay heated home

The compost element of the home is not nearly as disgusting as it sounds. Hay is enclosed in transparent window shelves and works as a heating system in the cooler months and a cooling system in the summer. In the winter, the hay decomposes, releasing heat. In the summer, cool air is released in the home as the hay dries out.

interior hay heated home
floor plan hay heated home

The hay ferments and composts using the bokashi method which produces very little odor. The straw only needs to be changed a few times a year - a minor inconvenience in exchange for a home that produces its own heating and cooling.

a recipe to live house

Aesthetically, the home is an exceptionally beautiful piece of architecture. It is simple with clean lines, natural wood, and soft lighting. The home's interior echoes the home's gorgeous setting, and the hay panels add to the home's organic feel. A zero-energy home that is also minimalist and beautiful: it really is a recipe to live by.

(via: Inhabitat)




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How many BTUs/hr does a cubic foot of rotting straw produce?

 Though perhaps on the right track environmentally, from my personal composting experience this straw-in-the-walls scheme isn't going to produce any practical home heating solution.  

I believe if you filled an entire 8' deep basement under an entire house with organic compost and throttled bubbled air flow into it for aerobic digestion - and there were water heat exchange circulation pipes in the midst of the compost, then you might be able to suck out enough heat to heat an R65 insulated house in a latitude similar to Cleveland, Ohio.

The straw scheme - might as well try it in your pants on the ski slope - you'd freeze solid!