The pilot project of Green School Village organization – Restoration of Crafts House was implemented in the autumn of 2006 with the financial support of Programme Youth of the European Union. The topic of the international youth exchange was Construction with Natural Materials. The team chose to carry out the project in the old, hard to reach and depopulated village of Kostilkovo located in the East Rhodopi Mountains near the Bulgarian-Greek border. The practical goal of the exchange was to demonstrate various traditional techniques of earth building for the restoration of a 19th century house planned to host different trainings, seminars, traditional crafts and contemporary arts.
Partners of Green School Village in the youth exchange implementation were PHZ Zajezka from Slovakia, the Czech organization PermaLot and the German organization JUP!.
Guests and volunteers from the four partner organizations from Bulgaria, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Portugal, Spain and Belgium spent together more than 14 days of sun and rain in Kostilkovo and the surroundings in September 2006. With the help of local craftsmen, they reconstructed the wooden structure of the Crafts House, laid tiles, raised stone chimneys, built a new stone wall and a wooden fence. The construction process involved only eco-impregnants and natural building materials like stone, wood, soils and straw. Following one of the guiding principles in green building construction, the application of secondary and recycled materials ultimately reduced the need of new materials.
The participants enjoyed also a lot of games and workshops, investigating clay as a creative medium, learning acrobatics and making woodcarving spoons and jewelery.