BIOCONSTRUCTION IN YOUR OWN HOUSE

We build healthy and sustainable homes

WHAT IS BIOCONSTRUCTION?

Its more academic definition says: “the biology of construction (bioconstruction) studies the holistic relationships of the human being with its built and residential environment”. By holistic we understand the biological, medical, psychological, sociological, technical and artistic relationships. The bioconstruction seeks harmony between civilization and the built environment, seeks a balance between culture-technique-biology, seeks adaptation of the technical environment to the human in the field of housing.
In other words, have an architectural culture compatible with Nature.
From the year 1950, materials that intervene in a serious way in the biological system are introduced into housing construction. Due to this, more and more environmental and domestic diseases are produced. In the 70s an architectural movement arose in Germany that studied the first causes of these environmental diseases and established the bases of a respectful construction with man … The bioconstruction.

WHY IS BIOCONSTRUCTION IMPORTANT?

Everyone spends 90% of their life in closed environments. It is these environments that constantly influence our biological system. Below I list some of the benefits of bioconstruction:

  •  Build homes that respect and improve our health, with health being the axis of bioconstruction.
  • Sustainable construction: in bioconstruction “people are cared for today, without destroying resources and the world for those who come tomorrow”. Both the construction and the use of housing tend to be respectful of the environment and as integrated as possible in nature.
  • Great economic savings. Taking into account the whole life of the house and its interactions, the economic savings are substantial by:

⇒ Cost of design and construction comparable to a conventional housing of medium quality.

⇒The energy efficiency is very high, requiring very little energy in its daily use.

⇒The cost of maintaining this dwelling is very low, since materials, structures and simple mechanisms are used, far from electronics, very experienced materials and with very long lifespans.

⇒It is difficult to assess but it is good to take into account the cost savings that the people who inhabit it “do not get sick”.

MATERIALS FOR BIOCONSTRUCTION

Currently the materials used in bioconstruction are in great evolution and are constantly new developments that are offered by new products mostly of plant origin, which are used for insulation, paint, structural ….
Now we comment on characteristics and utilities of the three most common materials in the history of construction.

Mud
Mud is a material used for centuries in the construction of houses on all continents, has the advantages that it is common, close and has some very good properties for housing:
• It is a great humidity regulator
• In thicknesses of more than 30 cm it greatly attenuates the electromagnetic radiation inside.
• Increases indoor air quality by adsorbing volatile organic particles
• It can be used in plasters, a constructive element in the form of adove bricks or mud wall, cooked in innumerable elements: tiles, floor and wall coverings, dividing or structural bricks ….
• It is recyclable, when it ends it returns to nature.
• It takes very little energy in transport because it is always close and the application does not need cooking.

Wood
Material also used by man since the beginning of time. Its qualities of lightness, resistance, insulation and easily workable have made it be in virtually all houses.
Wood is a renewable resource and it is important that it comes from forests that are closest to the place of construction and farms that guarantee the sustainability of these forests.
The most common uses of wood are:

  • Structural, most homes in North America have a wooden structure.
  • Coatings: in floors, walls or ceilings, it provides an unique warmth and comfort.
  • It has great insulation capacity, but it does not have thermal inertia.
  • Doors, windows and furniture.

You have to take special care in the products that are applied to its treatment. Since they can seriously affect health. In Bioconstrucción, innocuous biocides are used for the health of people and natural oils for their finishing treatment.
Stone
Used historically as a bearing and structural element today it is also used as a decorative element or coating. It is necessary to take into account its origin and not all the stones are suitable for bioconstruction, since some of them, like granites, give off the dangerous radon gas in their decomposition.
It has a large thermal inertia, which can be used as a heat accumulator in walls and regulator of the interior temperature.
Although it is not a renewable raw material, it is very abundant and the energy necessary for its manufacture is scarce, therefore they have a low carbon footprint.
It’s used in:

  • Housing foundations.
  • Realization of walls, either dry or with lime mortars. Its use in walls as a thermoregulator is booming.
  • Floor and wall coverings.

Also mention as essential materials in bioconstruction lime, natural cork, natural plaster and straw.

BIOCONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN OF HEALTHY HOUSES

As we have already said, the bioconstruction respects the biological processes of the human being, being the origin and a fundamental pillar of this the health of the people inside the buildings. To have a global idea of ​​how bioconstruction understands the design of a healthy home, we expose the 25 basic rules of bioconstruction:

Building materials and soundproofing:

1-Use of natural, unadulterated materials

2-Use of odorless materials, or of pleasant smell and that do not emit toxic subtanses

3-Low radioactive materials

4-Acoustically protect the human

Indoor environment:

5-Natural regulation of humidity through hygroscopic materials

6-Rapid dissipation of moisture in new construction

7-Balance between thermal insulation and heat accumulation

8-Optimum surface and environmental temperature

9-Air renewal by natural means

10-Use of radiant heat

11-Minimize the alteration of natural radiation

12-Absence of electromagnetic fields and expansive radio waves.

13-Air reduction of fungi, dust, bacteria and allergens

Environment, Energy and Water:

14-Minimization of energy spindle and that it comes from renewable sources

15-Raw materials used are from the region or as close as possible and that do not come from abusive exploitations of scarce or dangerous raw materials.

16-Preventing problems in the environment

17-Achieve optimal water quality

Interior design:

18-Respect to the dimensions proportions and harmonious forms.

19-Natural lighting conditions and colorful lighting.

20-Use of knowledge of physiognomy and ergonomics in the decoration and equipment of the interior space

Site:

21-Absence of natural or artificial disturbances in the site

22-Housing away from sources of pollution or noise.

23-Decentralized and landscaped urbanizations

24-Housing and environment closely related to nature, worthy and compatible of a family life

25-Absence of negative social consequences

This post is also available in: Spanish