Contemporary living: Ecological, modern & extravagant villa in Ticino on Lake Maggiore
Sustainable, energy-efficient, low-radiation and in harmony with nature - these are the global challenges of our time. Whether at industrial sites or in the construction of housing, an ecological rethinking must arrive in all responsible minds, because the climate changes cannot be ignored. Furthermore, the desire for an accountable and environmental living has risen sharply, because even the influence of toxic building materials and electrosmog affect health and well-being.
Today we would like to take a closer look at a good example. The ecological villa with its own forest in Brione sopra Minusio on Lake Maggiore, is a thorough environmental and thus sustainable family home. We ask the owners, a German couple, about their history and the idea to build an ecological villa here in Ticino on Lake Maggiore.
Why did you embrace the idea of ecology when planning and implementing your new home?
Primarily for health & well-being reasons. Many years ago we both became very ill in our old house. After a long search, we have identified together with specialists electrosmog and other burdens of this house as the cause of our illness. After moving into our new and unpolluted house on Lake Maggiore, our illnesses spontaneously and quickly stopped.
Which ecological characteristics do you wish for your future home?
Particularly important for us is the absence of low and high frequency electrosmog, of chemical pollution from building materials and an undisturbed geomagnetic field. Also, we have taken care not to have any severe disturbances by water veins in the sleeping areas. It is also important for us to have an environmentally friendly and future-proof heating system, without relying on fuel that has to be transported halfway around the world.
What were the challenges in the realisation?
There are many challenges that we had to consider in the implementation, starting with the simplest things, such as the Internet, because we did not want to use WLAN, so the LAN cables had to be routed to all rooms.
For the bedrooms, mains cut-off switches have been installed. These mains interruption systems are an electrical switching element, which can switch off the mains voltage in a circuit after all users have disconnected and restart it after a consumer has been switched on. Also, unique curtains have been set up to shield the high-frequency radiation (mobile phone, WLAN etc.). The beds are placed so that they are outside the existing water veins.
The floor coverings such as parquet and natural stones are only oiled or waxed. Plaster and wall paints are solvent-free and based on natural ingredients. Throughout the basement, special cork slabs have been installed to dampen the effects of the water veins. Care was taken to ensure that metals do not form closed circles that could disturb the earth's natural magnetic field. In the case of roof finishes, railings and other metal structures, the possible circuits have been purposefully interrupted.
For this reason, all walls including the outer walls are made of bricks and not steel-concrete. The roof is, therefore, a wooden construction. The underfloor heating is not made of metal pipes, but of plastic tubes.
The entire water system of the house is based within 3 systems of the company "Granderwasser". This solution ensures, among other things, that we hardly need less chlorine in the swimming pool. The basic idea of Johann Grander's method is to improve the water structure. It strengthens the self-cleaning and resistance of the water, generating a stable immune system within it. All silicones used (except in wet cells) are vinegar-based and largely solvent-free. Paintable acrylic is also largely solvent-free.
The heating system is based on three columns: Geothermal, solar thermal, stove with heat recovery in the heating system, the wood for the fireplace comes exclusively from our forest. The three connected heat accumulators together have a volume of approx. 10'000 litres.
Due to the sunny weather in Ticino and the size of our solar system, we can heat the house, including the swimming pool, about three-quarters of the year using solar energy alone.
A significant challenge was to realise an aesthetically modern villa in spite of these ecological requirements, in which the "ecological" is not visible.
How is the care in contrast to a "normal" house?
Regarding care and use, there is no difference to a "conventional" houuse. The oiling and waxing of parquet and natural stone floors only has to be done once at intervals of many years. It is sufficient to use cleaning agents specially adapted to the oil or wax surface instead of conventional cleaning agents.
Are you satisfied with the result?
We are very satisfied with the result and would never like to have it any other way. Also in our next home we realize the same ecological conditions as described above.