When we were children and even today if we look at our children, we built our own wooden huts to play. Not surprisingly, it was simple to build and quickly accessible in any space that had a certain amount of trees. Today we see how large these wooden huts have become and are commonly used in natural environments, such as camps or camps for children where environmentalism prevails over anything else.
Ecology has become strong in Europe’s most advanced societies and this can be seen in new buildings and sustainable architecture. The construction of a family-friendly ecological house, built with recycled and / or recyclable materials, represents an economic investment, no doubt, but also a waste of time. It is time to study which are the most advantageous options, which are best integrated into the project and which formulas are most aligned with the philosophy that is to be defended. And it is that whoever decides to build a green house does so out of personal convictions.
So, what basic sustainable materials can we recommend to complete an eco-housing project? Here we go, step by step, discovering applications and uses:
For external cladding, wood or technological composite is a good example of the trends in this area. It is a material that combines recycled wood fibers, recycled paper and / or resins. The panels are sold in a dozen different textures and in half a dozen colors. They resist risks well, have an extraordinarily low water absorption level (only 0.75%) and their panels are perfect sun protectors for ultraviolet rays.
For walls. A recommended material is fiber cement, which is made with a binder, be it a limestone silicate with the addition of organic fibers, such as cellulose, or an inorganic hydraulic.
There are several types of ecological stucco made with earth and lime instead of cement that give good results and are more natural. Fiber cement is resistant to fire and, better, moisture. For conservation purists, it means that fiber cement, even organic, is a material that many greenhouse enthusiasts tend to dismiss as 100% ecological due to the high energy consumption of their manufacturing process.
For the surface of floors. Two of the most recommended sustainable materials are cork and bamboo, because they are basic constituents that grow in poor soils and with minimal water use, and because they require little or no industrial processing to be manufactured. Both are 100% recyclable materials.
Linoleum. A material that can be added to the construction of floors is linoleum, which is made from flax seeds and other plant materials. The most desirable added pigments to give different tones and finishes are biodegradable.
Another basic material for floors is recovered wood that can be adapted to improve the visible parts only with sanding and application of a natural and odorless sealant.
Interior lining, wall and floor. There is a lot to choose from. There are, for example, recycled tiles or others of entirely biological composition; You can also find recycled rubbers and rugs with reused fabrics. In this sense, the most surprising of the latest trends are the carpets obtained from recycling used jeans. There is also a widely used solution for walls, recycled wallpaper made with natural paints based on hemp, linen or kenaf. Another component that can be evaluated for the same purpose is the recycled plastic obtained from a bibase with soy oil to which it is sprayed.
Cork is another practical solution for lining interior walls. In addition to offering a natural aesthetic, you have excellent acoustic characteristics.
For paintings Of any green house, the most important thing is to make sure that they do not contain VOCs, volatile organic compounds or, what is the same, hydrocarbons in a gaseous state. Desirable inks would therefore be those that do not contain toxic components. An accepted substitute is turpentine, extracted directly from pine trees.
For water pipes. The ideal material is copper. Copper is a material with great antibacterial power that is said to have been used by the Romans in their domestic works 2,000 years ago for its quality and durability.
Roofs. There is a formula to make roofs viable with the help of local vegetation. It is about planting on the roof, obtaining the benefits of thermal insulation and indirectly natural nesting sites for the avifauna of the environment. In climates where a green roof is not viable, there are other options, such as tile and slate applications or even recycled sheet metal roofs.
For structures. Steel props involve significant energy consumption in their production, a viable option is the use of steel structures, yes, but recovered and adapted to the specific functions of a new location. The same can be said for reclaimed wood roof beams and rough finishes with sealants to ensure they are not colonized by wood-eating insects. Even if it is not recovered, the use of wood for building structures will always be more respectful of the environment than the use of concrete or steel.
Sustainable architecture is an adventure, a personal story that begins by deciding how we want to do our part in terms of environmental protection, without straying from a basic idea of comfort. A great plan.