Eco-Building

Old Sep 10th 2017, 1:01 pm
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Default Eco-Building

Is it a big thing in Spain yet ? Use of hempcrete etc ?
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Old Sep 12th 2017, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Eco-Building

What is hempcrete? Any relation to concrete?
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 7:34 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

I looked into various aspects of this at one time, though nearly ten years ago so the situation might have changed somewhat, but after in depth working out of things like carbon footprint, I found a number of reasons not to take it particularly any further. Mainly it was the lack of the right materials in the area, lack of expertise in using them or knowing about them at all, plus after working it out, realising the cost was prohibitive and the footprint would be a lot larger having to get stuff from afar than using normal traditional local material and skills.
The balance tipped away from trying to be as eco as possible in all things to doing what we could when we could.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

One other thing I forgot, hempcrete, though good in some ways, is poor in others. For example, figures state that it is only about 5% as strong as normal concrete and when trying to build with it, still needs some load bearing structure to account for its weakness. Hence extra complication and needing some form of other material to take the weight of the building. It may be good as an insulator but there are other insulators, in fact numerous types of ones eco and otherwise, that may be just as good if not better, especially as you need to build something in any case to compensate for its construction weakness.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

The building regs in Spain are now pretty severe so it is possible that you would not get a building licence for that sort of material. For example, you would never get a licence for a timber frame house.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 8:40 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by Fred James
The building regs in Spain are now pretty severe so it is possible that you would not get a building licence for that sort of material. For example, you would never get a licence for a timber frame house.
Nonsense. Where did you hear that "you would never get a licence for a timber frame house"? The country is full of them and you'll find that they are becoming more popular.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Here in Andalucia, there were some companies selling timber houses and they were all closed down as what they were selling was deemed illegal. These, to be fair were fully timber construction, perhaps I should remove "frame" from my post as there are bound to be some houses built involving timber - in fact our roof is totally supported by timber beams.

It may be different elsewhere, but the point still stands, only certain types of building will get a building license. Any local architect will advise you what is possible in your area. Also all new builds must have 10 year insurance and the insurance company will have rules about construction techniques.

When we built our house, samples of the concrete and steel had to be tested at each stage of the construction and each stage had to be approved by independent structural engineers before they would issue the certification to be able to get insured. If you build it yourself, it is not mandatory to have the insurance, but you will not be able to sell it for 10 years and that is entered as a clause in the escritura.

Last edited by Fred James; Sep 13th 2017 at 11:10 am.
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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:15 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

My town does not allow timber houses any where within the boundaries.

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Old Sep 13th 2017, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by Fred James
Here in Andalucia, there were some companies selling timber houses and they were all closed down as what they were selling was deemed illegal. These, to be fair were fully timber construction, perhaps I should remove "frame" from my post as there are bound to be some houses built involving timber - in fact our roof is totally supported by timber beams.

It may be different elsewhere, but the point still stands, only certain types of building will get a building license. Any local architect will advise you what is possible in your area. Also all new builds must have 10 year insurance and the insurance company will have rules about construction techniques.

When we built our house, samples of the concrete and steel had to be tested at each stage of the construction and each stage had to be approved by independent structural engineers before they would issue the certification to be able to get insured. If you build it yourself, it is not mandatory to have the insurance, but you will not be able to sell it for 10 years and that is entered as a clause in the escritura.

Of course every area has different building regulations but don't forget that Spain is not just Andalucía. It's easy enough to find out and many towns actually have a geoportal with all data available. Our urbanisation allows all types of buildings as long as you meet certain requirements. Wood is now very popular and if you just enter casa de madera in google, you'll see how many companies are around. Even companies like Honka now have Spanish websites Casas Nórdicas de madera inspiradas por la naturaleza - Honka España
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Old Sep 14th 2017, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Termites love wooden houses and would welcome many wooden houses in Andalucia.
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by Rotor
Termites love wooden houses and would welcome many wooden houses in Andalucia.
You'll actually find that most people have a roof with timber structure. Like other building materials, there are various options and certain types of wood are not even interesting for termites, or you treat it that way.
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

I haven't seen any timber houses anywhere around here, and as far as I know, it's not legal (except for non-living spaces such as storage and garages, etc).

Besides, at least here, timber is pretty expensive, so brick and mortar is generally cheaper.

Yes, roof supports are often timber, but new builds usually use steel reinforced concrete beams nowadays. They are pretty inexpensive and much longer lasting.

Aside from that, I'm reminded of my recent trip to the US where almost everything is timber-frame. One of the things that I always notice immediately is the cheap "feel" of the construction. Walls are thin and hollow, more outside noise inside the house, etc. And the heating/air conditioning seems to run endlessly. Of course, their energy costs are a mere fraction of ours...
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by Moses2013
You'll actually find that most people have a roof with timber structure. Like other building materials, there are various options and certain types of wood are not even interesting for termites, or you treat it that way.
I live in a town house and all of the comments have made me realise that the only wood in it (apart from furniture) is the doors and door frames.

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Old Sep 15th 2017, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by amideislas
I haven't seen any timber houses anywhere around here, and as far as I know, it's not legal (except for non-living spaces such as storage and garages, etc).

Besides, at least here, timber is pretty expensive, so brick and mortar is generally cheaper.

Yes, roof supports are often timber, but new builds usually use steel reinforced concrete beams nowadays. They are pretty inexpensive and much longer lasting.

Aside from that, I'm reminded of my recent trip to the US where almost everything is timber-frame. One of the things that I always notice immediately is the cheap "feel" of the construction. Walls are thin and hollow, more outside noise inside the house, etc. And the heating/air conditioning seems to run endlessly. Of course, their energy costs are a mere fraction of ours...
The problem again is that people only see what they know and when they here wood, think of the US etc. Even in Mallorca you'll find a combination of wood and other materials but you don't see it. A lot of the more modern villas you see have a wooden structure This is a company that does this kind of stuff http://www.arquima.net/?lang=en
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Old Sep 15th 2017, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Eco-Building

Originally Posted by Moses2013
You'll actually find that most people have a roof with timber structure. Like other building materials, there are various options and certain types of wood are not even interesting for termites, or you treat it that way.
The little critters usually find their way in within 10 years, especially in the campo from what I've seen, hence I would not use wood for structural work again.
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