Rice for architecture by Ricehouse

Type of organisation or company
Andorno Micca (Biella), Piemonte Region
Language for original content
Project elaborated in partnership
Submitted by
ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform)
Start/End date
Type of funding

We've moved on since the three little pigs had issues with straw houses...

Primary agricultural production generates a considerable amount of secondary material. The majority of this is simply thrown away, even if in some cases the material has an intrinsic market value that is potentially higher than the costs associated with managing and processing it as waste.

Raw materials must be taken from the environment, transformed, used, disposed of and returned to the environment from which they were taken. We therefore need to shift to new models that guarantee a sustainable future based on new materials with zero environmental impact, exploiting what nature and by-products of primary processing make available, such as rice husks and rice straw.

Ricehouse enhances by-products of rice cultivation. It is innovative, developing and placing new construction materials on the market. These include rice straw, rice husks, thermo plastering base coat, lightweight screeds and clay- and lime-based finishes.

Identified challenge (s)
Main results

Ricehouse has industrialised the process of making pre-compressed wood and straw frames in order to produce prefabricated straw houses with very high energy performance that meet passive standards. In terms of sustainability, prefabricated wood and straw homes ensure balanced thermal comfort based on a minimum energy source, normally produced from renewable sources, without the need to add a "conventional" heating system and the unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels and preventing expensive connections to the electricity distribution network.

The houses are made from rice husks and lime products: Ricehouse's natural mortars are obtained by mixing aerial lime with rice husks.