Students at Japan’s Waseda University are revolutionizing home heating by designing a home heated by actively decaying compost. The home, located on the island of Hokkaido in the town of Taiki-cho, is known as “A Recipe to Live.”
The compost element of the home is not nearly as disgusting as it sounds. Hay is enclosed in transparent window shelves and works as a heating system in the cooler months and a cooling system in the summer. In the winter, the hay decomposes, releasing heat. In the summer, cool air is released in the home as the hay dries out.
The hay ferments and composts using the bokashi method which produces very little odor. The straw only needs to be changed a few times a year – a minor inconvenience in exchange for a home that produces its own heating and cooling.
Aesthetically, the home is an exceptionally beautiful piece of architecture. It is simple with clean lines, natural wood, and soft lighting. The home’s interior echoes the home’s gorgeous setting, and the hay panels add to the home’s organic feel. A zero-energy home that is also minimalist and beautiful: it really is a recipe to live by.