Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Ecotopia with its seven acres of land started in 2006 based on a holistic perspective with permaculture principles as guidelines. Ecotopia Österlen presents sustainable solutions such as different combinations of ecological building materials with related structures, energy calculation, ecocycle gray water sewage system, wood-fired oven, combined heating system, solar panels, linseed-oil and egg tempera painting etc. At Ecotopia old and new knowledge are intertwined. The farmhouse is a traditional Scanian house from the 19th century built of dried mud-bricks. In 2010 it was lengthened with a farm building. After that the Future workshop and Meeting place were built.
In 2014, the construction of a total of five eco-cabins was completed. The cabins are placed in different natural surroundings and each cabin has four beds, which makes a total of 20 beds. The cabins are all built differently regarding construction and choice of ecological building materials, such as straw, clay, mud-bricks, wood, peat and reed. Kitchen, two bathrooms and four compost toilets are available in our service unit at Mötesplatsen (the Meeting Place), 1-2 minutes walk from the cabins. Our wheelchair accessible cabin has its own kitchen and bathroom.
Straw bale cabins
Two of the cabins are built of straw bales. One has clay walls and floor, while the other is covered with wood panelling and has a hardwood floor. Both cabins have geothermal heating.
Pictures and description of the straw bale courses in Ecotopia:
Herbert is author of the book "Neues Bauen mit Stroh" (New Building with Straw), head of the austrian strawbale network ASBN and partner in the Leonardo-project "Strawbale Training for European Professionals (STEP). As a collector he documents European straw bale buildings since 1999 on his website (database, german), in lectures, workshops and books.