Bio-construction, an ecological, healthy and efficient construction

interior of a house based on bio-construction

Nowadays, more and more people are starting to consume organic products to get closer to a healthier life since they are aware of the enormous amount of chemical products, many of which are toxic, contain any food that we can buy in the supermarket.

And it is that we are full of toxic agents in our day to day, either due to food, air pollution or our own home. Yes, our home can also be harmful due to the existence of chemicals used in its construction.

There are so many that even Greenpeace has its toxic campaign at home.

These polluting elements can be found in them Construction materials such as cement (most houses are built with it), they usually contain heavy metals such as chromium, zinc, among others.

Petroleum-derived paints and varnishes themselves emit volatile and toxic elements such as toluene, xylene, ketones, etc.

PVC elements are not spared either since they are highly toxic when they are manufactured and when they are burned.

It is for this reason that Bioconstruction is born, which aim to create healthy and comfortable homes that become our allies.

Bioconstruction as such is nothing new, for our grandparents backwards they already lived in ecological houses, although in most cases the advances and comforts that we can enjoy today were not provided for.

By then, the houses were built in an artisan way with materials provided by nature itself like wood or stone and they managed to give enough shelter to their inhabitants and even despite being built with these materials, many of them have reached us in good condition.

It wasn't until industrial Revolution what led us to the construction of today, that mass of iron and cement.

Green homes

The materials used in one of these houses make it have even more quality.

Many of the products that can be applied in green building have already been used and continue to be used in higher-level projects such as the restoration of palaces and luxury homes.

This of course is so because of its calidad calidad, they are not excessively expensive and they are much more durable so we save money in the long run.

Should we give up a healthy and natural habitat for the sake of a modern home adapted to today's needs?

Of course not. An ecological home can have the same advances as a conventional one and with some advantages, in addition to healthier materials.

facade of a house with natural materials

Advantages are mostly focused on a increased energy savings (for this we apply bioclimatics), which leads to a lower environmental impact of our house and a reduction of maintenance time of the house and, as we said before to a great energy saving, that is noticed by our pocket.

What should we take into account in green building?

To start with a green building project, several factors have to be taken into account, the first of which is the recommendation to hire a professional in this field since it will save us a lot of headaches.

Unfortunately, conventional architects on the subject know little about eco-architecture, so we should look for an expert, these are few, but they exist throughout the national territory and we can find one.

The second factor is the geobiological study of the land where the house will be built.

In this study, the possible geophysical alterations must be detailed, in this way we will be able to avoid or mitigate possible geophysical alterations that may interfere in the future, such as geological faults, radon gas emanations, mobile phone stations, water tables where water currents flow, electromagnetic fields caused by power lines and a long etc.

Once the terrain has been analyzed and the study of the geographical, cultural, and climatological characteristics of the area has been completed, the project is carried out adapting it to the real needs that the future owners have.

The materials

To start the building structure We can choose from several materials such as ceramic blocks and bricks, stone, earth (stabilized earth blocks, adobe, mud) and wood, this can be solid or in panels.

The choice of wood will depend on the design that is made based on the materials that can be found in the area.

Construction materials

In the case of the isolations, very important in bio-construction, natural materials are used in most constructions such as vegetable fibers (hemp, wood, linen, coconut fiber, cotton and straw), cellulose and cork.

Cork is the most used in this sector, although cellulose and wood fiber are making their way, which seems quite stable.

The walls, either interior or exterior, they can be made as lime mortars, natural plasters or clays. Both plasters and mortars are easy to find and apply.

In the case of beams, doors and windows These must be made of wood treated with natural products and of course, with wood from controlled logging. For this, the best thing is that they are from a forest certification such as FSC.

Other natural materials applicable to green building are exterior paints and varnishes. In addition, they must be breathable and that they do not emit toxic gases, since synthetic paints prevent perspiration.

Perspiration in a building is very important since if they do not have adequate perspiration, condensation and humidity problems begin, causing all the adjacent problems.

On the other hand, at the time of electrical installation We must take into account the importance of having a good earth connection, a spike-shaped installation and not placing electrical cables at the head of the beds to avoid the electric field.

The impact of materials used in the construction of buildings

In bio-construction, the natural prevails and therefore a lower environmental impact, this environmental impact does not begin when the building is already built or while the work is being carried out, but this impact is located in all its phases: extraction, transport, handling, commissioning, operation, and end of life and disposal. 

And I am only mentioning the impact of the materials that are produced both on the environment and on people's health (pathologies and occupational diseases).

The aforementioned technological development has made it possible to improve the technical characteristics of the materials, however, it is "paid" with the biological qualities and environmental safety.

That is, with the appearance of new materials for construction, new problems have appeared with them, such as: high environmental costs, high radioactivity, toxicity, lack of perspiration, interference from natural electric and magnetic fields, etc. All this results in an anti-ecological type of construction, not comfortable and unhealthy.

It is for this reason that bioconstruction must grow and do so exponentially, using natural materials as already mentioned above and using some most suitable construction techniques and considering:

  • The impact on the environment during the life cycle.
  • The effects on people's health.
  • The energy balance during its life cycle.
  • Social benefits.

Advantages obtained by building legally (for self-builders)

In Spain for the construction of houses (whatever the size) a project is essential of an architect or other technician with these skills, such as: industrial engineers, public works, etc., depending on the characteristics and size of the work.

Therefore, if you want to be the self-builder of your own home in this country, you should not overlook this important detail.

Likewise, it is convenient to have a technician who you can turn to in case of any doubt and for some other calculation that may escape you as you do not have enough experience.

In all municipalities also it is necessary to request prior permission for all kinds of constructions and taking into account that depending on each municipality the type of permit may vary, who has to give you said permit, the person who has the right to present the project ...

Although it may be complex, if you legalize the self-construction project you can get these series of advantages:

  • Elimination of risk of demolition order due to non-compliance with regulations.
  • Elimination of difficulties in contracting water supply, electricity and wastewater treatment services.
  • Elimination of difficulties in contracting mortgage loans associated with construction or the possibility of obtaining subsidies and recognition in rural accommodation networks and / or aid for agricultural activities and / or aid for energy saving and installation of renewable energies.
  • Better conditions for the eventual sale of the home or construction.

Bala-box project

As additional information, I must mention the Bala-box Project, which consists of the construction of a prototype of a small house using prefabricated blocks of wood and straw.

With this project, It is intended to openly disseminate the benefits of ecological, healthy and efficient construction.

The promoters of this project are Alfonso Zavala, architect, and Luis Velasco, carpenter and builder, interested in Bioconstruction techniques. Paloma Folache, restorer and technician in wall applications, an expert in natural finishes, and Pablo Bernaola, a bio-builder specializing in thermal inertia stoves, complete the team.


The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*

*

  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.