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What is bioconstruction?

The term "Bioconstruction" is being used more and more in the construction industry. Once we heard from a company in Spain who build "concrete meat lockers" and claimed that their products were a Bioconstruction. If you are considering building or buying, and you want a Bioconstruction, your new home should fit into the basic guidelines as follows:

  • Integration into the environment

  • Meeting sustainable codes

  • Use of natural, healthy materials

  • Self-sufficiency in energy and optimisation of resources.

  • Treatment and recovery of waste.

  • Geobiology

  • Costs

The above is the overview and general consensus of agreement of what "Eco-construction" means in respect of a new-build. From a pedants standpoint the term "Bio-construction" refers to the natural build-up of mineral solids underwater, such as reefs, and is in fact a borrowed word used to persuade others that a product is ecologically superior to another. I suppose it could be argued that as reefs are made from particles including lime and so is concrete, then it is Bioconstructed, (it probably takes just as long anyway!) So you can see how misleading the term is and how it can be adapted then adopted to suit.

Bioconstruction obviously can't be achieved by one operation in construction and as Bioconstruction does not have any set codes, standards or regulating bodies in Spain or Portugal it therefore can't be classed as a method of construction.

(See UK Sustainable Codes in Construction)

Timber Frame construction is accepted globally as a major component of Bio-construction, as it allows a building to breathe but is of little use if the rest of the operations required to complete the project do not meet the criteria. Therefore it is necessary to have an agreed programme, method and material agreement prior to construction.

Iberian traditional methods of construction using concrete and steel can never be considered as anything other than an outdated and particularly undesirable method in this day and age.

Bioconstruction calls for natural, healthy, replenish-able, primary materials, allowing respiration of buildings and preventing unwanted unhealthy interiors. Timber Frame Construction meets all these provisions - Concrete fails on all these provisions.

Our aversion to quarry products is well known and we have posted various facts and figures concerning its undesirability in our world, but leave you with this one: Every year the amount of concrete manufactured equals 1 cubic metre for every person on earth and China uses 40% of the total manufactured, and production is due to increase dramatically as the newly developing countries demand more.