WHAT IS BIOCONSTRUCTION?
Bioconstruction is a building method that uses techniques that seek to guarantee energy savings, preserving the environment and caring for human health. When constructing buildings they directly apply non-polluting materials to homes to not expel gases into the atmosphere, and as much as possible be natural, renewable and recyclable.
The Four Keys to a Bioconstruction
- Natural Materials:
The materials should be natural and pertain to the local area where construction is taking place, as well as be very little manufactured and polluted with artificial material. If it is necessary to obtain materials that undergo processes of extraction, transport and installation, they should be completely in line with the environmental surroundings and hold the guarantee and support of a Life Cycle Assessment.
By definition, bioconstruction is sustainable, on account of the fact that the intent is to keep a balance between the environmental sector and the economic sector, make the construction viable between the economic and social area, making the construction fair and lastly, between the social and environmental division making a supportable and efficient construction for the nature system that sustains it.
The construction systems and sustainable materials chosen come from renewable resources and close to the construction site, to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuel energy. A bioconstruction project should consider the environment, climate, the area occupants and society as well as the economy. It is more efficient and comfortable, it consumes less resources and creates fair and equal relationship frameworks.
Bioconstruction is collaborative as it creates projects with active participation that balance traditional construction techniques with systems of alternative construction. This makes decision making transversal between the different departments of the construction project, through consensus and collaboration of each team member and not unilateral and vertical. Bioconstruction also looks for fair integration and development for the society and natural environment in which it will be established. It puts aside the exclusive priority for maximizing monetary benefits that may result from said construction.
Understood as the union between the health and comfort of a living space, well-being is another objective to achieve in a bioconstruction. The aim is to balance interior air quality without producing polluting gases of physical, chemical or biological origin. With the use of “hygroscopic surfaces” that absorb water vapour from the inside of buildings and which are, at the same time, comfortable on account of their thermal, light, acoustic and spatial aspects. To achieve well-proportioned spaces it is necessary to develop a study of the ergonomics and the usefulness of the area to apply the measurements of the basic future needs of the inhabitants who will be living or working in the construction.
Aspects to Consider When Building a Bioconstruction
In order to begin a bioconstruction project, it is important to first consider various factors. To start, it is recommended to hire an expert in the corresponding field. Conventional architects may not have in-depth knowledge of bioconstruction, which means it is necessary to seek out a professional with previous experience and learning in the study of eco-architecture. Throughout many countries, it is now possible to find good professionals, although there is still not a large number of specialists in this subject.
Continuing along, a geobiological study of the ground where the building is to be built should be carried out. This analysis details the possible geological and physical abnormalities that may affect future inhabitants of the home. Some of the more common issues that can be found include: geological faults, gas outlets, electromagnetic fields produced by electric wires or mobile phone base stations. Once the ground has been studied, considering the geobiological characteristics, the project is designed and adapted to the actual needs of the future inhabitants of the construction.
Lastly, and related to the structure of the building, a wide variety of possible elements are assessed such as rock, ceramic bricks, soil and mud (adobe and tapial or rammed earth) and wood (solid timber, laminated or light structured). Also, in a bioconstruction structure, it is important to bear in mind the outer insulation and the natural materials that are commonly used such as cork, wood pulp and vegetable fibres (hemp, wood, linen, coconut fibre, hay or cotton); of which, cork is most often used, although in the last few years, cellulose or wood pulp and wood fibre are opening up on the market.
Regarding the materials chosen for windows, doors or beams, natural products that come from controlled felling with the certificate of forest management with the Forest Stewardship Council stamp, which guarantees the evaluation and control of best foresting practices in line with the principles and criteria for the FSC. Likewise, the painting and varnishes both exterior and interior should be natural, breathable, and non-polluting with toxic gases for the environment.
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