Turf House, an Icelandic Traditional House

Krismawati By Krismawati, 27th Oct 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Iceland>The Southwest

Turf House is a traditional Icelandic house which designed to be resistant to the difficult climate with the live grass cover the wall and roof as its uniqueness.

Turf House, an Icelandic Traditional House

The grass on the roof and walls is living and would be replaced when it dry. In the good weather, flowers and weeds would bloom on the roof and make a beautiful scenery of this house. The amazing thing is, turf house usually can last about 50 to 100 years (wow).
So how do they get the grass growing on the walls and the roof without making the building collapse? The answer is, they use the stones as the building foundation. Furthermore, the sides of the house that are usually covered by the wall only given in the form of wood frame and beams that are locked together using wooden pegs and notches, instead of iron nails.
As a buffer, mounted pillars of solid wood placed on the top of the foundation stone not directly touch the ground to prevent it from quickly obsolete. All pillars compiled continuously to connect and form a triangular structure on the roof. Then some wood mounted transversely, giving a space on the roof which make an air circulation on the top of the house, like the attic in the modern house. Circulation space also serves to prevent wood rot caused by grass planted around the house and roof. This airspace usually not use by the occupants.
For the walls, they use 8 inches by 20 inches by 60 inches of turf blocks. The best turf for house construction was about 60% vegetable, primarily the root plants that growing in the bog, and 40% mineral, the sandy material in which the plants grew. This turf contain much water, so should be dried first to make it lighter and has a consistency a bit like cork with a shape like a brick.
Then the grass set like installing brick in a modern building. If the brick using a mixture of cement, sand and water as an adhesive, then the grass interspersed with the gravels for drainage.
The grass house has several different designs, and one of the model which named the longhouse is a typical house of the Viking heritage that was usually populated to about 20 people where the home interiors vary according to the economic level of the homeowner. The sophistication of the manufacturing system shows the progress of civilization Scandinavia since hundreds years ago.

extracted from various literature


Architecture, Grass House, Icelandic Architecture, Icelandic Traditional House, Icelandic Turf House

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