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Living in harmony with nature: sustainable house in Italy made of clay building materials defies challenging climate

Living in harmony with nature: sustainable house in Italy made of clay building materials defies challenging climate

Living in harmony with nature: sustainable house in Italy made of clay building materials defies challenging climate

In 2023, a special construction project was realized in the northern Italian municipality of Castelleone that sets aesthetic standards and makes a significant contribution to promoting sustainability and ecological construction methods. The project is characterized by the use of clay building materials, which not only meet the local climatic conditions, but also represent an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional building materials.

Builder Ing. Alessio Vairani
Planner arch. Antonio Pandini
Plasterer Recenti Gianfranco
Heating engineer designer Paolo Vegetti
Technical support Naturalia-Bau
Green building consultant Emanuele Goio, Ph.D.
Photos Naturalia-Bau / Arch. Matteo Bignozzi

The client made a conscious decision to use clay building materials and their properties, as the climate in the Castelleone region is characterized by high humidity, sultry summers and foggy winters. These climatic conditions require a special construction method that both regulates humidity and ensures a pleasant indoor climate. Clay building materials offer the ideal solution for these conditions.
After a vacation in an organic hotel on Lake Garda, they were so aesthetically impressed by the clay building materials from ClayTec by NaturaliaBau used there that the owner immediately realized that these were the right materials for her family’s home.

The interior walls of the residential building, consisting of aerated concrete blocks, were first treated with “primer YELLOW” primer to prevent the clay plaster from drying out too quickly. “Primer YELLOW” is a liquid primer with a fine grain that serves as a base for fine plasters, provides a fine-grained grip, reduces and equalizes absorbency and protects plasterboard and other building boards from moisture from the clay plaster application.
The “Clay adhesive and reinforcing mortar” was then applied as a functional clay layer. “Clay adhesive and reinforcing mortar” can be used for reinforcing layers on clayboards and wood fiber finishing and interior insulation boards as well as a base for fine ClayTec clay finishing plasters and YOSIMA. “YOSIMA clay designer plaster” in a green-grey tone with the “Pearl” aggregate was used as a finish on the walls. YOSIMA is available in a total of 146 different earth tones. In addition, special effects can be achieved with six different textured aggregates. The ceiling finish consists of “CLAYFIX clay paint”, which also ensures smooth interior surfaces. “CLAYFIX Clay Paint” is also available in 146 different colors and with the two texture aggregates “coarse grain” and “fine grain”.

In addition to the functional benefits, aesthetic aspects also played a decisive role in the decision to use clay building materials. The owners wanted a modern, minimalist appearance that nevertheless embodies an inviting and warm character. By using earth building materials, the owners were able to blend architectural details harmoniously into the natural surroundings. Carefully crafted design elements give the building a unique touch and emphasize its modern aesthetic.
Overall, the home in Castelleone is an outstanding example of the successful combination of sustainability, functionality and aesthetics. The use of clay building materials is not only an ecologically sensible choice, but also contributes significantly to the family’s well-being in a challenging climate.

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