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Depatment of Nature park Vitosha


eng.Violeta Nikolova


Affordable Modular Construction Ltd


arch.Georgi Georgiev, arch .Iliana Ignatieva


Nature park Vitosha, Sofia

Children’s Eco Park “Beli Brezi” in Nature Park “VItosha” is built in 2013 according to project #BG0042 “Rebirth and preservation of traditional building technics and skills used in Bulgaria”, accomplished by Department of Nature park Vitosha in partnership with Norwegian Crafts Development – in priority field #4: “Preservation of the European cultural heritage”. The project is financed by Island, Lichtenstein and Norway through financial mechanism of the European economic area and the government budget of Republic of Bulgaria.

The building combines the functions of information, education and exhibition center, providing enclosed exhibition areas with the ability to be prepared children and student discourses about the biodiversity in the area of the Nature Park, ethnographic specificity, etc.

Inherently the project is the first of this kind and it sets the goals listed below:

  • The current building to be an exposition with demonstration of different ecologic building methods, including traditional for Bulgaria from 150-200 years ago;
  • Use of natural local building materials and low-tech labor;
  • Reproduction of old and introducing of new ecologic building technics;


In the process of designing and building were studied and applied different old building technics: stone masonry, half-timber frame constructions, block construction of uncultivated timber logs, walls made of adobe, wattle-and-daub walls, cob walls, timber beam construction with clay filling, timber shingles roof, clay render, etc. Natural building materials were used: stone, wood, unroasted earth clay and straw. There was tested building construction of timber logs with small diameter, so called “Ritlovitsi”, which are got from sanitary cleansing of the forest.

Some of the general advantages of the unroasted clay as a building material are distinguished:

  • Naturally maintenance of optimal RH in the rooms between 40% and 70%. Earth is capable of absorbing and releasing air humidity faster and in greater degree than any other material. (for example 30 times more than brick masonry)
  • Conservation of warmth because of the high thermal inertia of the walls.
  • Economy of energy and reduction of the pollution of the environment. Building with earth consumes approx. 1%-2% of the energy needed for production and transportation of the bricks or reinforced concrete.
  • Earth can be recycled many times without harmful emissions and with minimal energy cost.
  • Transportation costs are economized.
  • Material suitable for self-build. Generally the construction methods with earth are low-tech and can be performed from unprofessional.
  • Earth conserves the timber elements, which are in contact with it. This is because of the low humidity from 0.4% to 6% and the high capillarity of the material.
  • Protects against high frequency electromagnetic radiation.

Old heating systems like masonry stove (Djamal) and air under floor heating (Hypocaust) are used.

Knowledge transfer and exchange of experience in the field of traditional building technics used in Bulgaria and Norway was performed in the process of research and design.

In combination with the Museum of the Bear, Museum of Dragonfly and Museum of Owls, which are situated near, and recently finished informational alley in the area “Iglikina Poliana”, the children’s eco park provides excellent opportunities for student’s green school and contributes for extension stay of the visitors of the park when the weather conditions prevent outdoor lessons, providing suitable conditions for activities in a cozy atmosphere.