While we visit the house in Castello dell’Acqua, which is a newly opened building site, with holes in the floors and the walls, Chiara explains that she has seen buildings in far worse conditions than this one be fully renovated using local and/or natural materials. “I was sending resumes all over Italy and Europe, then I met EdilCasa at the trade fair Fa’ la cosa giusta! (Do the right thing!). We immediately liked each other and for a couple of years I worked with them. Coming from Lombardy, I thought that what they were doing was “science fiction”. But I saw that it could be done, so I took courage and sent my application to ReStartAlp. Now I’ve been in the area for a couple of years and the first results are showing: I’m starting providing consultancies and cooperating with several entities”.

Encouraged by her experience in Biella and thanks to the support of her partner Andrea, choosing wood as a building material came naturally. “Chestnut and larch grow in the forests of the Valtellina valley, providing two types of extremely resistant wood that does not require a lot of maintenance. In Piedmont there is also a lot of black locust, which is even more suitable for the exteriors of buildings, for instance if you are looking to build an exposed wooden wall. Choosing the best woods means that we don’t have to use impregnating agents, thereby avoiding the need to paint and then repaint – all activities that have a considerable environmental impact, since almost all the products used to treat wood are polluting”, says Chiara.

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