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What is an ecological house?

An ecological house respects the environment in terms of design, construction and operation.

 

This housing efficiently manages resources such as water and energy, reducing waste and pollution. To achieve an ecological house, we must use natural materials, and clean energy sources and integrate the house effectively into the environment.

 

In recent years, true ecological awareness has been felt and more and more architects are working in the direction of ecological architecture.

What are the materials and equipment for an ecological house?

What materials are sustainable?

An ecological house is made of natural and local materials. Materials can be classified into three types:

  • Structural: Most of the time, ecological houses have a wooden frame because it is a very good thermal insulator, easy to maintain and ecological. Steel can also be used as it is a recyclable and environmentally friendly material. The raw earth brick offers very good hygrometric regulation.
  • Finishing works: whether painting, wall or floor covering, preference should be given to the most natural materials possible, wooden floors, hemp concrete, oil-free paints, windows with reinforced glazing or triple insulation, etc.
  • Insulators: hemp or straw, are materials used for insulation. For example, hemp is an ecological plant that, together with lime, forms a concrete with which the wooden frames are filled, providing excellent thermal resistance. Straw is an abundant and very cheap resource that is also a very good insulator.

Choosing natural materials is not everything, it is important to be sure of their origin, their manufacturing conditions, transport (preferably local), the carbon impact of production, etc…

 

In fact, an ecological material must be environmentally friendly throughout its life cycle, from production to disposal or recycling. These materials must meet sustainable development criteria (be healthy, have sustainable technical qualities and performance, have a low or neutral environmental and energy impact, etc.).

Equipment

As for the equipment of an ecological house, these must be well chosen in order to maximize and optimize energy savings.

  • Heating: to heat an ecological house, the installation of a wood stove (preferably pellet) or an air-water heat pump will provide constant heat in the house, in an ecological way and reduce the bill. A green roof can also be an original solution to isolate your home. The Canadian well can help with ventilation and heat management in the house. The outside air circulates through a buried duct to be blown into the house, taking advantage of the inertia of the earth.
  • Ventilation: an efficient ventilation system is necessary to avoid problems related to humidity and to renew the air. First of all, natural ventilation should be encouraged, taking care to position the ventilation system in such a way that it prevents drafts and circulates the air evenly. On the other hand, in summer, to avoid the use of air conditioning, we recommend our articles on tips to cool your home without air conditioning.
  • Electricity: the installation of solar panels will allow you to produce your electricity more sustainably. Favouring less expensive and more durable A+ rated home equipment +A rated so necessary.
  • Water: it is also possible to save water, thanks to a rainwater recovery system, the installation of regulation nozzles in the taps or a double flow evacuation.

 

Main characteristics of ecological houses

  • A bioclimatic architecture: the house knows how to take advantage of the conditions of its location and its surroundings, such as the climate or its geographical location, its exposure to reduce its energy needs (heating, air conditioning, lighting).
  • Efficient insulation: the exposure, the location of the openings, the use of the relief of the land, and the use of materials of biological origin, are elements that favour good thermal insulation to reduce energy needs.
  • Natural ventilation: systems such as those mentioned above are solutions to guarantee good ventilation in your home to regulate its temperature.
  • Equipment and systems to limit the consumption of energy and resources, such as those mentioned above (electricity production, rainwater recovery) limit the carbon footprint of construction by limiting imports, using natural and local materials with low environmental impact.
  • Positive biodiversity: the ecological house will promote biodiversity by offering, for example, a habitat for animal and plant species.

 

Having an ecological house does not stop at construction, but becomes a way of life. Indeed, once the house is built, basic principles must be applied such as favouring LED lighting, saving resources, recycling, using rainwater for cleaning, favouring category A+ appliances, etc.

 

Pacheco Architects with sustainability

We are an architecture studio based in Murcia and Alicante where we have spent more than 25 years developing projects in which sustainability and respect for the environment acquire a fundamental presence.

 

We always use natural and environmentally friendly materials. In addition, our designs are completely efficient, since they make the most of natural resources for lighting, ventilation and home maintenance.

 

 

On our YouTube channel, you can find some of our latest projects.

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