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Trundholm municipality, which after the structural reform have become part of Odsherred municipality, provides an example of a local government that has been very open to an innovative housing association with a group of DIY builders. This example shows how the administration can absorb creative, social, aesthetic and technical initiatives and make an asset out of it in an attempt to revitalize the rural community. It also shows how experiences from ecological construction is gathered and hereafter is made subject for technical regulations. .
Fri og fro
The construction project Fri og Fro which today is located in Odsherred Municipality, started around 2004 when a couple who were part of DR Friland as DIY builders got the idea to start a housing cooperative with a focus on DIY sustainable construction.
The project did not have a building plot from the start. Therefore they made a project which they sent to all municipalities on Zealand, with a particular interest to establish housing project in Copenhagen. But the Copenhagen municipality was not interested because they could benefit from selling the municipalities’ few vacant building plots with new constructions. 7 other municipalities gave a positive response, but five of them retracted their interest soon after. There were only two municipalities who were interested: Tollose municipality and Trundholm municipality. Tollose municipality wanted a homogenous settlement without room for the cooperative’s wishes of individual expressions in the houses. Houses were required to be identical in the roof construction and had some other requirements which hindered the dream that was in the project to unfold; letting each member design their very own house with the individual creative solutions they wished. This left them with Trundholm municipality who were willing to sell land to their project. The municipality had been planning a residential neighborhood on the site since 1984 and they thought it was exciting with eco-buildings and therefore agreed to sell the land to the cooperative.
Although the municipality was positive towards the project it still required a great effort to get the project started and getting permissions from the various administrations. But eventually they had prepared an agreement with the municipality and the land was purchased by the top 16 on the waiting list.
The local plan for the area from 2004 ((Local plan No 5B3-2: Residential area with sustainable construction) ) is a rare sight and an expression of a pioneering work, similar to the local plan for Munksøgård in terms of dialogue and rapprochement between the housing association and the public authority; much like in the later MUSICON and Trekroner in Roskilde municipality. The local plan has been prepared in close cooperation between the municipality's technical administration and the housing association Fri og Fro. The local plan is illustrated by a series of visual examples of sustainable construction in Denmark, a series of artistic project sketches from “Fri og Fro”, and the association’s practical and ideological principles, such as:
- Diversity in types of dwellings and demography
- Individual and collective solutions
- Sustainable solutions in environmentally friendly construction, use of recycled and natural materials
- Self-sufficiency in vegetables, minimizing waste and debt
- Avoiding speculation by securing low house prices
- Support of Egebjerg town as a community.
For construction of houses with external walls of straw bales standards are set out from experience-based knowledge from Munksøgård, Friland and a number of other projects in terms of moisture, insulation, etc. - such as:
- Use of dry and golden straw bales
- Straw bales must be raised over terrain with a minimum of 25 cm
- To drain moisture; sheathing of straw bales with 30 mm of clay or lime plaster or other fire class 1 sheathing
- Wall must be free of vapor barrier, and exterior wall plaster must have a diffusion-open surface treatment
There are requirements for facade materials of clay, lime, wood or stone, and roofing is required constructed of non-blank materials, specified as shells, grass or straw.
Nature and environment
The local plan provides space for small animal husbandry, requires pesticide-free organic gardens, and all windbreaks and hedges must be of living materials. The scenic parts of the local plan area shall be free of construction and provide for public access.
Regarding energy, water and sewer conditions, use of renewable sources of energy such as photovoltaic cells are encouraged. The area is exempted from the else mandatory sewer connection, with requirements for each household to either individually or jointly to purify wastewater according to the SOP standard.
The area should be maintained mainly car-free and the road system must allow room for play etc. - pavements are to ensure percolation of rainwater.