Japanese students at Waseda University have designed and built an innovative straw house that produces its own heat through agricultural fermentation. During the cold months, dried straw is composted in acrylic cases within the house using the low-odor Japanese “bokashi” method. The fermentation naturally heats up the house by generating 30° celsius heat for up to four weeks.
“A Recipe To Live” was LIXIL* International University Architectural Competition’s 2011 winner and stands in the coastal town of Taiki-cho, Hokkaido.
It was envisioned by students Masaki Ogasawara, Keisuke Tsukada and Erika Mikami following the natural cycles of a dairy farm town, centered in pastures and based on straw.
This sweet natural shelter dries the straw inside transparent window-shelves during hot summer months, which acts as a “heat shield panel” while releasing cool moisture inside.
Once the straw is dried, it goes into interior acrylic cases that during the cold winter start fermenting thanks to the addition of Japanese organic compost “bokashi”.
The fermentation naturally heats up the house and can last up to four weeks on a 30° heat.
Just like working with any other agricultural product that need cooperation and labor from people, this live house will need a changing of the grass walls a few times a year.