Sustainable building: Cork's house offers an environmentally friendly alternative to wood

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With his new project for sustainable building, the "Cork House", architect Matthew Barnett Howland proposes an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete, steel and wood. The bio-renewable material readily fits into complex modern residential construction. For the Cork-built skill house, the architect receives a nomination for the Stirling Prize.

Sustainable Buildings: The finished house is built entirely from natural materials

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Architect Matthew Barnett Holland, in a collaboration with his colleagues Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, has inspired himself for his project of the stone structures of the Mayan Temple in Guatemala. His finished house consists of more than 1,000 engaging cork blocks. In contrast to traditional construction, where the connections between the brick and mortar are closed, the cork blocks are interconnected by an innovative click system. For the complicated roof, a lightweight metal and wood construction is first made and then corked. Materials such as plaster, concrete or cement were not used at all.

Sustainable Buildings: The Benefits of Cork

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Cork is a natural material that is obtained from the bark of the cork tree. A cork oak tree is cut every 9 years. After the so-called corks, raw material is transported to factories, where they are further processed into cork blocks, parquet, plywood or wine corks.

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The material offers many advantages: It is rockier than concrete, metal and like most wood species and can be cut for the place. This corkscrew binds about three times more carbon as wood. Cork blocks can significantly improve the carbon balance of the buildings.

With the backdrop of a sustainable building, the cork house is planted in such a way that it readily decomposes when needed. Those cork blocks can then be recycled and reused.

Sustainable Buildings: The "Korkhaus" enthralls with an open living concept

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Behind the plain facade, a purist interior is hidden. The rooms are small, so they can be ventilated, cooled and heated faster. Nevertheless, it is lacking in the cork house and no comfort. A kitchen line with built-in appliances and a narrow kitchen island with dining area for four offers that allow you to clear the evening when cooking with friends. The kitchen is seamlessly located in a residential area, where a comfortable sofa bed offers the highest seating and reclining comfort. A small oak wall shelf provides space for books, home accessories and even a table lamp.

The color scheme is neutral, neither the fabric nor the materials are treated with paint or paint. The natural charm of wood, cork and wool make up the country house charm of the interior.

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Cork has excellent damping properties and is used as a normal to highly flammable. However, those Korkwände offered the best prerequisites, energy efficient heating. A fireplace can even heat the room even in the cold winter months.

Small energy-efficient housing from Cork: Is that the future of housing?

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When looking at the cork house, it begs the question whether perhaps small energy-efficient skills from recyclable materials are the future of housing. The space-saving house would be a good alternative for families who want to build a budget holiday home, as well as for singles who want a city villa. It is also a practical alternative to multi-generational houses and can serve as a guesthouse on the land.

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Sustainable Building Cork Trees Material Tips

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Sustainable Building Project View Above

A project by Matthew Barnett Howland

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