There’s nothing like living in a 150 year old town house to learn the advantages and downsides of local traditional construction. In summer and winter, inner conditions were more comfortable than those outside, but in spring and autumn, due to the big heat absorption of its walls, it was the opposite. Some simple solutions had to be found in order to have a more active regulation of this micro weather.
Porrera is located in the Priorat, amongst low hills. Its climate is slightly more continental than the one in el Camp, with hotter summers and much colder winters. As it was a rental house, where no structure or enclosure could be altered, these solutions had to be reversible, light and cheap. The system we developed allowed fire wood to last three winters instead of the one that was initially planned.
The budget was almost zero, there was some time available. So a self-built strategy had to be chosen. But the dwellers were not bricoleurs, although they enjoyed working with their hands on the weekends.
Techniques had to be very simple too. No special tools had to be bought, and no craft skills were required. Scissors and glue were preferred to hammer and nail, bricks, wood or mortar. For the price of an IKEA chair, we got 1000 m2 of cardboard.