Helen Kari's REHE: Timber Frame and Light Clay-straw House

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Build Project Description

NB! We are organizing and hosting local pop-up cafe day on 29th of July. So if you are interested in making workshops, music or cooking, you are welcome! Fantasic oppurtunity to see Estonian cuisine, people, traditions and music in one day!:) Building site is situated in a countryside about 60 km from our capital Tallinn. It´s in the middle of the fields next to massive forest, bogs and nature reserve areas. The closest small town (Kose) is about 15 km away. There is an old house (old log house covered with bricks) that is unfortunately not restorable. Fortunately it is enough to last and live in about 5 years, after that it will serve as a sauna and/or greenhouse. The land is flat and solid - perfect for building, next to old house and a future timberframe-clay house is an old lime-stone stable. The house will be our future home and we are planning to build it ourselves and with the help of our freinds and family! Estonian weather in the summer can be different - starting from 15´C and rain to 30´C and pure sunshine. The most important and unusual thing is that in the middle of the summer (June) it´s light almost all night through.

Structure of My Build Project

Individual Builder (ie: Personal Home or Structure)

Building Styles Integrated

Straw Bale
Local Materials
Round Wood
Timber Framing
Wood Shakes
All the materials come from around us (maximum 15 km)

Sustainable Systems Integrated

Cob Oven
Composting Toilets
Indoor plumbing
Heating system
Rocket Stove
Natural Furniture building

Build Project Facilities

We offer a very comfortable house to stay in, with electricity, kitchen (rocket stove) and compost toilet. We have a well for water and we are hoping to prepare running water system for the summer. There´s a small bond for swimming and refreshing and lots and lots of fresh air.

Activities near the Build Project

There are massive forests and bogs next to our village that offer official and non official hiking and biking trails around us. Also lots of cultural and historical sites nearby (F.Ex Kau manor (about 2 km away) offers lots of concerts and open air festivities during the summer http://www.kau.ee/). There´s a lot of wild life around us so many animals and birds end up in our "back yard". Starting from deers, hares to storks, cranes and swans! Not many people live close but lots of friends are visiting us and having sauna, music and dance nights with us. We can arrange bikes, a canoo and a car if necessary.

What to Expect about Food

Shared Costs
We can provide most of the food and we hope to harvest our own fruits and veggies from August, but in the mean time we can offer two meals a day. We are trying to get as much fresh and local food from farmers around us that is possible in the beginning of the summer, later it becomes easier. So weather you are an omnivore of vegetarian, we are able to offer you fresh and local food.

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Current Building Status


Type of Build Project

New Structure

Projected Start and End Dates

1 Apr 2017 to 30 Sep 2017

See Videos of the Build Project

See more Photos of the Build Project

Type of Volunteer Being Looked for

We are looking for fun loving, nature loving, culture loving and open souls. Physically able to keep up with Estonian Vikings :) Althogh we have lots of heavy work to do with the house, there´s an oppurtunity to learn and build smaller projects like summer kitchen or permaculture garden. Now that the frame is ready (Sept 2016), lots of work with straw-bales and clay awaits! Also with the heating systems and other things inside. So if you have any experience with cob or light clay building, permaculture etc. you are welcome to teach us. All the others can join us in our learning process! PS. we are hoping that you have tolerance of active, energetic and non-English speaking toddlers:)

Where you will be Sleeping

We have a comfortable old house with 4 small rooms. Preferably bring your own sleeping bag but otherwise we should have everything covered!

How much Notice Needed Prior to Hosting

14 days

The Number of POOSHers Desired

3 POOSHers


Helen Kari's picture

Peeter Loomus's picture

Tere. Kuidas projekti seis praegu on? Mind huvitab põhumaja ehitus ning võimalusel sooviks ehitusel kaasa aidata.
Michael Beck's picture

Hello Helen! If you could udate your dates soon, this would be great! Thanks.

Helen Kari's picture

Thank you for reminding, indian summer keeps us outside and not in the Internet! :) It´s done now, can´t wait for the next spring!
Eric Puro's picture

This was such a great project!!