Ecology in architecture
The use of abundantly available cheap materials and construction models often runs counter to the intelligent use of resources. It takes both: the development of concepts that lead to intelligent and viable solutions, also helping to raise the awareness of those who stand to benefit from these solutions. In addition to ecological architectural designs, we focus on the economic and social aspects of housing development. Only taking account of all these aspects can lead to lasting changes.
A building should preferably not consume energy, but instead produces an energy surplus (so-called ‚positive energy house’). Energy efficiency is not only about the energy consumed in the building, but also the energy that has been used in materials to construct the building.
It is common practice to use materials whose production consumes a lot of energy to build houses that are supposed to be very energy efficient once occupied. For instance, the manufacturing of cement or the firing of roof tiles (this is also true for those that ensure high degrees of insulation) requires extreme amounts of energy and results in massive CO2 emissions.
Also materials containing asbestos are admittedly cost-effective but will also cause major liabilities. Natural building materials are easier to process even after decades. Renewable materials need less energy to be manufactured. They don’t produce waste and therefore have no negative effect on the energy balance. So wherever it’s possible we only apply renewable resources and equipment.
Environmentally harmful materials also have impact on people’s physical and emotional well-being. That’s why we do not use materials such as PVC, solvent-based paints and lacquers or herbicide agents.
We would rather choose the best than the easiest way.
Anything is possible, but not everything is necessary. Due to the availability of petroleum and other fossil fuels in recent decades, there was barely effort made to develop energy-efficient technology or research further in renewable resources such as geothermal energy. Our goal is to find new solutions that are ecologically and technically meaningful.