Green building

Green building or low impact building is a set of techniques and materials which objectives are a reduction of environmental impacts. Are taken into account the level of embodied energy, the lack of pollution and green house gas produced during extraction, recycling or in the use of materials, the level of energy necessary to produce comfort in your habitat.

Green building philosophy in Permaculture does not limit itself to the construction of an habitat but tends to integrate this habitat inside the ecosystem and involve beneficial interactions from and to the ecosystem. The house will be the central node of logistic , redistribute the waste (considered value added resources for food production if properly managed), capture the rain water which can be redistributed by gravity, need to be protected from or take advantage of the heat, the cold, the winds, the rain, the various pollution if any, etc. Usually a house and its close satellites are the center of energy where most of nutrients transit and where are located most of the  functions of processing and storage. The location of the house will rarely correspond to the best initial view or esthetic integration but to various factors like water contention, slope, protection, circulation . The landscape esthetic surrounding the house  will follow naturally over time with the creation of a highly domesticated garden in zone 1, the closest to the house.

Green building depends on the context where you live and one technique which can be found quasi everywhere is Adobe building. It is based on clay, a material found in most parts of the world.

There are various techniques of construction using clay. Each technique has pro and cons.

Super-Adobe which consists in filling endless bags is fast and flexible and allow an “organic” architecture (curves, domes, waves, …)

Simple Adobe technique consists in making bricks and use them, together with a clay and sand mortar for building walls.

Adobe makes it easy to include glass (frame-less windows) and allow precision together with the use of classical building technique. Adobe bricks can be prepared in advance either by using clay/sand mixed with water or using a press.

Another technique often used in Bahia is cob consisting in adding clay mortar on a framework made of wood. When done with precision the end result may be beautiful.

Reducing embodied energy is as well recycling local byproducts like rubbles or broken tiles.

Low impact development is as well using renewable energies and resources like water recycling and water solar heating.

Our training covers mainly following techniques

– Adobe bricks making
– Wall construction in Adobe
– Finish using sustainable materials including clay and sand
– Painting using sustainable materials
– Creating mosaics
– Working with wood (mortise, ankles, …)
– Ferro-cement (technique to build water tank structure using 10 times less cement than classical construction)
– Brown and gray water recycling, solar heating system, solar oven, rain water management, …

– and more…

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