Our House and Bioconstruction

Today we’d like to tell you about our home. When we started building it, we had in mind the idea of a cave where friends and musicians could come to spend time together in an environment connected to nature, enjoying wine, a fire and the sky.

The house is embedded into the hillside, which forms the third wall. It is inspired by Earthship architecture, but oriented towards the mountain range, taking account of our geography.

It is U-shaped, with a green roof, tyres on the sides and a greenhouse at the front.

It is built using bioconstruction techniques, although we have added some contemporary materials as our family has grown. For example, we used to have a dirt floor that worked well until our son Luan started to loosen it after he discovered a hammer.

We built our house thinking about our concept of life and our health. We read a great book by Gernot Minke, in which he states that the best building material is the earth. It has a relative humidity of 26% and he discovered that this keeps our mucous membrane moist, which is important because it is the first filter in the larynx, and serves as a protective barrier.

In addition, these materials allow us to live very comfortably. The earthen construction helps maintain a lower thermal difference. In the winter, the temperature stays fairly warm and, in the summer, it stays relatively cool.
We also have an adobe rocket stove with a built-in thermal mass, so we use less wood and the heat is maintained for much longer.

Our house, like our family, undergoes constant development and change. It has helped us learn that the way we inhabit spaces determines our needs and the way we should build. In this process, over the years, we have had to be flexible, improvise, learn, unlearn, do and undo. Building is always a challenge, especially if it is done with less conventional materials and techniques. What about you? What materials do you like to build with, or to live within? What would you like to know about bioconstruction?
Tell us about your preferences in the comments. We will take them into consideration for the workshop we are going to run together with Estudio Tribal this summer.