A design and building company, the Natural Building Company Oy was founded in 2008 with the main goal of spreading the word about natural building materials, and making them accessible for anyone to build with. The company started out with two architects, an engineer and two builders, all passionate about natural design and building. The company has grown a lot since the beginning, but its main goal remains the same. It is our wish for everyone to have both the right and the choice to build using natural materials and to live and work in healthier buildings. Today this is possible to a greater extent than until now. Read more
Natural and breathable house models
With the increasing demand for healthy buildings, we have begun planning a simple house model as a durable, natural and ecological alternative to common house packages. Our starting point is to create a house model, which is as healthy and safe as possible, both for its inhabitants and for the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are mice, rats, or insects a risk with straw buildings?
All buildings, no matter what material they are built of, will have this problem. It is hard to keep these little creatures out of our homes. Rodents and insects need somewhere to live and nest. When building with straw bales it is therefore important to make sure that the bales are well pressed (between 80kgm3 and 120kgm3), well compacted onto each other, and that the plaster is applied properly. When building with straw, make sure you get some good advice from a professional straw builder in order to avoid problems in the future.
Houses built with EcoCocon straw elements have less of a problem with little intruders, since the elements are so tightly assembled that no place is left for the animals to live in after the building is completed.
Is a natural home more expensive to build?
No, it is not, even though that is often claimed. We are happy to say that our type houses are in the same price range as any other home build with the same energy class, which is one of our main objectives as a company. Naturally, the price of any home depends on the materials the customer decides upon for their home.
What about moisture in straw walls?
All natural materials have the ability to absorb moisture and distribute it naturally within the wall structure. This is true for wood fiber insulation, such as cellulose, wood fibre wool, natural wooden walls, straw, stone, etc. The combination of straw and clay also has this ability with the added advantage of its ability to regulate the moisture content in a room or wall. Please refer to results from our ongoing tests in EcoCocon homes built in Finland: link.
Is fire a risk with straw?
Please refer to our fire test certificates in the Certificates section both for straw bale structures and for EcoCocon straw elements. Fire is not a problem. All straw houses are plastered with clay, which we know withstands fire very well. When it is professionally built, the compression of straw will always be between 80 and 120kg/per/m3, leaving very little oxygen in the structure. Without oxygen, fire cannot spread.
How durable is a straw house?
The oldest known straw buildings that are still used are 150 years old in Nebraska, USA, and 100 years old in Montargis, just outside Paris in France. The oldest straw house in Finland is around 20-25 years old. Element straw houses have been built for more than 15 years. EcoCocon elements straw walls have a 50 year guarantee. The quality of EcoCocon homes is such that we and many of our colleagues in Europe feel confident enough to issue a 100 year guarantee for these homes.
Please explain passive house?
There’s a lot of misconceptions about the passive house standard. Please click the link for an easy explanation of passive houses.