March 5 ‘2022
Why use natural building materials?
Why build and furnish our homes with natural materials and how they help to create an optimal healthy environment and microclimate for people?
We spend 90% of our time indoors. And the harmful effects of the environment – at home, office, school – are just as important for our health as the toxic ingredients in cosmetics, the food we eat, the clothes we wear. Our own homes pose a threat to the growing diseases of the new millennium – asthma, allergies, migraines, cancer, infertility, hyperactivity in children and many others.
This should not be another reason for stress – fear of our home, but a responsibility to be informed and to seek and achieve real alternatives for a better quality of life. Many people still treat research and warnings about the harmful effects of the modern urban environment with contempt and distrust, arguing that hardly anyone would allow dangerous things to be sold in stores. Let us realize that there are many substances and materials banned for the production, use and sale in the world that have been in circulation for many years. With the alarming data on the boom of ‘modern’ diseases (especially among children): allergies, dermatitis, asthma, autism, cancer, we need to start somewhere to reduce the accumulation of unnatural things – food with preservatives and dyes, synthetic clothing, PVC furniture, packaging, toys, air polluted by cars and factories, electromagnetic noise. In combination, these influences are detrimental to our health and the health of our children – the future people of our planet. ‘Health is not everything, but if we do not have health, everything is nothing.’ (Schopenhauer).
Breathable walls are an important element in a healthy home. They are our ‘third skin’ in Bau-Biologie terminology. Our second skin is the clothes we wear. Imagine sealing your skin with a synthetic impermeable dye. Deadly, isn’t it? Why do we do this in our homes? The suffocated wall can not filter and clean the air, favors condensation and mold. A wall made of natural materials helps to create an optimal microclimate in the premises and maintain constant humidity, which is very important for us as biological individuals.
Why build and furnish our homes with natural materials and how does this help preserve our common home – nature?
Construction consumes 40% of the world’s energy and 40% of raw materials / US Department of Energy /. Almost 80% of the building materials of a building are simply discarded after the end of their lives due to the impossibility of recycling. If we consider:
- the estimated consumption of materials (energy, water, etc.);
- expected emissions to air, water, soil;
- expected pollution through physical effects such as noise, vibration, radiation, electromagnetic fields;
- expected generation of waste materials;
We see the important place of natural building materials in the future development of construction and architecture. Adding their potential to the current topic of increasing the energy efficiency of the building stock and their use as a thermal insulation product, combined with the possibility of using local resources and technologies for low carbon footprint production, natural building materials are really a very important part of the chain. on the road to sustainable development.
Straw bale construction, for example, saves energy and reduces carbon emissions for several reasons:
- low carbon production and application technologies
- energy savings from heating (up to 75%) during the life cycle of the building due to the good insulating properties of the straw
- has a negative carbon footprint due to the absorption of CO2 through photosynthesis in the growth of plants and cereals and its storage in the material itself (50g is needed for the growth of a tree, and the cultivation of wheat, hemp, reeds is done annually)
For an average amount of energy invested in a conventional building, 100,000 KWh is indicated. A house built mainly with natural (raw materials) can easily be achieved with 10,000 KWh. This is 1/10 of the energy that is usually invested in a conventional building.
Average energy consumption for straw bale walls per cubic meter. yields about 73 KWh / m3; for comparison, the construction of a building of the same dimensions, built of brick and insulated with mineral or glass wool goes to 5 to 11 times more energy.