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Straw Houses at Lake Garda

How and Why we built Eco Sustainable houses of zero impact.

Casa Viva is a dream that comes from a long way away.

We all need the silence and force of Nature to be happy: Nature gives us so much and in return asks only for respect.

We are living in historic times which are asking us to change: to care for the environment is not only an obligation but a necessity and to build eco sustainable houses from straw at zero impact seemed the right choice to us.

Finestra della Verità in Paglia a Casa Viva a Garda

Low environmental impact

Straw is a throw-away product from the cereal industry, a material that escapes the monopolies of this industry:

it isn’t produced in a factory but in a field and those selling it aren’t Straw Producers but Farmers.

Straw walls are known for their transpiration, guaranteeing a healthy atmosphere inside a building without condensation or mould. This natural system that regulates internal humidity also is a wonderful insulator of heat and sound which, in a straw house gives you a feeling of well-being and comfort.

Casa Viva breathes: here’s how

To use Mother Nature’s gifts fully, the houses and their windows were designed bearing in mind the direction of the wind and the sunrise and sunset. With a water diviner, we looked for sources of water and dug a 60m deep well to bring the water to the house.

The foundations are in iron cages filled with stones, to which are fixed with steel pins the larch beams that define the limits of the buildings. To curbs are fixed the vertical pillars of wood which form the main support of the houses. Then the walls put together at the sawmill are hoisted into place by crane, as if they were Lego parts!

The walls, from outside to inside, are of larch or fir wood from Trentino, a sheet that protects the straw from water, the straw, horizontal straw canes and plaster that has been used to build for centuries.

Tetto in Giardino Sedum a Casa Viva a Garda
Camere costruite in Legno Larice a Casa Viva a Garda
Eco Camere a Casa Viva, Garda
Intonaco in Argilla sulle Eco Camere di Casa Viva a Garda

The roofs are covered by Sedum, a succulent plant that filters the air like lungs. Under the green roof, three beams, the straw and an air chamber make the roof. The attics are made of straw, rice chaff and cork. The fixtures are all different recycled pieces.

Under the terracotta flooring runs fresh water from the well for summer cooling and heating in the winter when the water has been heated by solar panels.

Casa Viva breathes – really breathes and we feel this as our mission.

With this, our dream, we want to show that living in symbiosis with Nature is really possible and that everyone must do their part to slow down, get rid of excess and leave the world in a better state than we have found it.

This is how Casa Viva breathes

Giardino sul tetto di Casa Viva a Garda

Garden on the Roof

Sedum is a succulent which filters the air like lungs. It is a bright green plant which needs sun and stores water in its leaves. If you look closely at the roof, you will see its different shapes and brilliantly coloured flowers.

Passeggiate con Cavalli al Maneggio di Casa Viva a Garda

Horses

Horses are patient and empathetic beings and you will wonder at the emotions they stimulate: it is these emotions that, with our help, will let you relax and let go of your stresses.

Pavimento in Cotto nelle stanze di Casa Viva a Garda

Water at 13C

The water is 13C and comes from our well - it is this water that is fed through pipes under the terracotta floor. This is a technique known as Free Cooling: natural air conditioning which keeps things fresh in the summer and no need for other air conditioning.

Colazione con Prodotti Locali a Casa Viva Garda

Local products for breakfast

Besides the fruit and vegetables from our vegetable patch, we choose only local environmentally friendly grown products from local producers who offer healthy things that sustain communities and realise certain values. Eco friendly for us is an ethical choice that gives benefits to Man, animals and the environment.

Costruzione in Paglia di Casa Viva a Garda

The Window of Truth

This is like a small picture which you will find in all our rooms which explains how we have built the Straw House Casa Viva. You will sleep in a living room scented by Nature.

Biopiscina con Fitodepurazione per vacanze eco a Garda

Our Natural Swimming Pool

Swimming in the pure water of our natural pool makes you feel at one with the natural environment. You will experience a dip in a living ecosystem which purifies your mind and stimulates your creativity giving you a great sense of wellbeing.

Infissi di Riciclo a Casa VIva Garda

Recycled fixtures

The walls of Casa Viva are built around the fixtures and non the other way round! Doors and window frames are one off recycled pieces because we believe in using what we already have on our planet without throwing more things away and thus creating something new from something old.

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Giardino sul tetto di Casa Viva a Garda

Garden on the Roof

Passeggiate con Cavalli al Maneggio di Casa Viva a Garda

Horses

Pavimento in Cotto nelle stanze di Casa Viva a Garda

Water at 13C

Colazione con Prodotti Locali a Casa Viva Garda

Local products for breakfast

Costruzione in Paglia di Casa Viva a Garda

The Window of Truth

Biopiscina con Fitodepurazione per vacanze eco a Garda

Our Natural Swimming Pool

Infissi di Riciclo a Casa VIva Garda

Recycled fixtures

Blog

eco stories

Casa Viva is a story that deserves to be told.

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