Tourism of the Future – Basque Rural Tourism
Astei, in Basque, is a place of oaks, an oak wood. So Mertxe Begiristain (owner) had to emphasize that name in her rural tourism project, Ea Astei, not by chance also involved in the timber business. Her husband, Peio Gorroño is the managing director of the company Egoin, a leading producer of biodegradable panels for construction, both fire-retardant and energy efficient. The main house is a 15th century building, where he now lives with his wife, and they have three more rustic houses called Etxeaundi , Sabai and Garaixe.
But the talent invested in Egoin gave them both the key to what will be the future of rural tourism in the 21st century: the Casa Vita project. A space that combines nature, low power consumption and modular, sustainable architecture. Water heating is carried out with 49 solar panels installed on the flat roof.. A geothermal probe provides the first phase of heat output. And a Canadian well over 50 meters deep tempers the air inlet to the house to between 17-19 degrees Celsius, even though the outdoor temperatures may be below zero or above 40 degrees. And yet, the true technological innovation lies in the invisible: the tightness of the impermeable construction at a level of 0.43 throughout the house, making it deserving of the Swiss German label Passivhaus Minergie. The architectural project of Iñaki Aspiazu has also contributed largely to the project and approval of Casa Vita.