Building a house from environmentally friendly materials

Today, skyscrapers can be built of wood, a straw bale house can be ordered from a factory and an earth building can be ‘printed’ with a large 3D-printer. All this allows natural materials to be used faster and more conveniently in the building and finishing of ever larger and increasingly diverse buildings.

Tampsavisein WISE building Center for Alternative Technology

Material: rammed earth / Building: The WISE building, Center for Alternative Technology / Architect: Pat Borer & David Lea Architects / Location: Machynlleth, Wales / Photo: © Alice Reed

Private person

We spend 85–90% of our lives indoors, therefore it is crucial to pay attention to the materials that we surround ourselves with. Natural materials can be used to create very modern finishes, and these can also be used on all the more common base surfaces.

Architect

Energy efficiency and environmentally friendly materials need to go hand in hand. We want to you be able to offer natural solutions to your customers. Contact us and we will be glad to introduce to you these modern possibilities.

Developer

An energy-efficient building constructed of environmentally friendly materials and a healthy indoor climate have a very clear added value both for the customer of a new development and for the aftermarket. The time is now, the market is ready, and you have the chance to stand out. Get in touch.

Builder

The informed consumer educates the market with their heightened expectations and desires. We need more builders who would be able to offer environmentally friendly solutions. Bring your team to a training and acquaint yourselves with the materials and the possibilities.

Modern building

The key words of a modern building are energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and sustainability. We spend 85–90% of our lives indoors, therefore it is crucial to pay attention to the materials – building materials, finishing materials, furniture, textiles – that we surround ourselves with.

In recent decades, the energy efficiency of buildings has received increasing attention; we would take a big step towards climate neutrality if the best standards were actually widely applied. The passive house standard (optional) and the requirements for a nearly zero-energy building have been introduced, building codes have become more stringent, but unfortunately, none of the above set requirements for the life cycle of the materials used, offering a half-way solution.

Hempcrete social housing
Material: Hempcrete insulation and wooden facade / Building: Social housing / Architect: North by Northwest / Location: Paris, France / Photo: © Franck Renoir

Energy efficiency and environmentally friendly materials need to go hand in hand. Hopefully, laws and standards will reach this point; in the meantime, it is the joint responsibility of all of us, the customers, designers, and builders, to keep in mind the following when selecting the materials:

  • as little energy as possible should be spent on the production and transport of the materials (primary energy content);
  • as little energy as possible should be spent on the maintenance, use, renewal, or replacement of the materials (operational energy content);
  • during the installation and use cycle of the materials, no compounds harmful to the environment or the indoor climate of the buildings should be released;
  • the materials need to be reusable or their disposal should not harm the environment.
EcoCocon straw panel modern straw bale house construction
Material: Crane lifting EcoCocon straw panel / Photo: ©EcoCocon

We spend 85–90% of our lives indoors, therefore it is crucial to pay attention to the materials that we surround ourselves with. Natural materials can be used to create very modern finishes, and these can also be used on all the more common base surfaces.

Image
For inspiration

Stadium Techcenter

Material: stabiliseeritud tampsavi
Buidling: Stadium Techcenter
Work by: Rammed Earth Works
Location: Santa Clara, California, USA
Photo: © Michael David Rose

Kaasaegne põhumaja uusarendus Werner Schmidt
For inspiration

First straw bale settlement in Switzerland

Material: prefab straw panels
Buidling: apartment houses
Architect: Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH
Location: Nänikon, Switzerland
Photo: © Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH

Hempcrete lime hemp insulation BC architects
For inspiration

Regional house Edeghem

Material: Hempcrete and compressed earth blocks
Buidling: a regional house for the commune of Edeghem inside a warehouse, where kids can learn about nature and ecology.
Architect: BC arhitects bvba
Work: 19 000 compressed eatrh blocks were produced in a 3 wwek workshop, and 312 m2 of hempcrete was installed in a 2 week workshop. Together, more than 150 volunteers worked on and learned with this project.
Location: Edeghem, Belgium
Photo: © Thomas Noceto

Compressed earth block hempcrete BC arhitects
For inspiration

Regional house Edeghem

Material: Hempcrete and compressed earth blocks
Buidling: a regional house for the commune of Edeghem inside a warehouse, where kids can learn about nature and ecology.
Architect: BC arhitects bvba
Work: 19 000 compressed eatrh blocks were produced in a 3 wwek workshop, and 312 m2 of hempcrete was installed in a 2 week workshop. Together, more than 150 volunteers worked on and learned with this project.
Location: Edeghem, Belgium
Photo: © Thomas Noceto

Modern straw bale houses

Modern professional straw building is rapidly moving towards the production of prefabricated panels. This will help speed up building work on the construction site and the building will also become weatherproof more quickly.

The building of apartment buildings, schools, and other public buildings from straw panels has already become very popular in Western European countries. A new overview of European trends will be provided during the European Straw Building Gathering Online Event held from 30 July to 1 August.

Modern straw bale house development Werner Schmidt
EcoCocon straw panel modern straw bale house

Interior finishing with clay and lime plaster

Clay and lime plasters support a healthy indoor climate and are an integral part of a modern building. A wide range of materials and installation and decorative techniques offers the opportunity to achieve unique results.

In addition to good properties and visual aesthetics, the ecological footprint of the production and transport of world-class natural finishing materials produced in Estonia is tens of times smaller than that of common materials.

Lime plaster interior finishing
Clay plaster fine finish interior finishing

Modern rammed earth

Rammed earth technique allows to build beautiful, durable, ecological, and sustainable solutions in modern building, both indoors and outdoors – mainly the walls, but also the floors, furniture, and design elements.

Similar to the trend in other building materials, more innovative companies have started to produce rammed earth panels under factory conditions. There are also more and more examples of modern use of rammed earth in the production of stationary furniture and design elements.

Rammed earth Eestimaaehitus
Modern rammed earth wall

Tadelakt

Tadelakt is still a hugely growing trend and an ideal natural alternative instead of using for example, ceramic tiles in damp rooms to create jointless silky surfaces that can also be curved, if need be.

Tadelakt can also be used as a finishing material in other rooms as well for covering ovens, and as a design and interior design element and is a perfect material for those who prefer a personalised and unique surface finish.

Tadelakt polishing stone Eestimaaehitus
Tadelakt bathroom shower

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Our lists hold more than 600 people who are kept up to date with information about our exciting trainings and events. From time to time, we also send news from abroad and offer overviews of interesting projects.

You are welcome to join!

    Eestimaaehitus clay plaster workshop

    Contact

    Eestimaaehitus MTÜ
    E-mail: tere@eme.ee
    Phone: +372 56 226 066