Bioconstruction – Natural building – Brazil

 

We build extraordinary bioconstruction houses

Eco Caminhos has built one of the most modern and advanced bioconstruction houses in South America. We used low tech ancient natural building techniques and combined this with modern technology. Our bioconstruction houses preserve the planet, while providing its users with a lot of comfort. Natural houses breath better than conventional buildings and, in our view, look much better than square houses.

At Eco Caminhos, we want people to experience natural rustic bioconstruction housing in the mountains, while still having the comfort of any modern designed house. This starts with a design that brings nature inside your living room, bedroom, bathroom, and/or kitchen: Looking out of the second floor window it feels like you are surrounded by grass fields, while in fact you are seeing the green roof.

Many of the techniques we employ have never been used before in this environment and new ways of working with nature rather than against it are being created even as projects are underway. The project’s Eco Lodges are built using natural materials such as local stone, cob (a mixture of clay, sand and grass) and bamboo, all responsibly sourced from the Eco Caminhos property. The hazardous chemicals often used in construction are avoided by using other techniques or biologically friendly, natural materials such as lime. Unlike the timber framed buildings that are generally used in Brazil, these constructions require no deforestation or destruction of habitat.

 

A glance at our bioconstruction projects

 

The engineering

Our first priority is to provide an excellent user experience, combining the influx of light with optimal climate regulation for comfortable living. The centrality of windows in the design of our first house created a number of challenges. Friburgo has cold winters and warm summers. Cob turned out to be the ideal natural building material for the bedrooms and toilets: Thick earth walls and the green roof accumulate heat during the day and keep a cool indoor climate; at night the walls give off heat. For the living room and kitchen we decided on double glass, a solar driven floor heating/cooling system, and a fireplace for the peaks in winter and for extra comfort if needed.

The second priority is attention to detail in finishes. We aim to combine eco-friendly and rustic with clean finishes. In our first bioconstruction project, we used recycled train tracks for the wooden structures of the living room and for all the windows and door frames. For the closets and kitchen cupboards we also used recycled wood. The rustic wood with the clean finishes turned out to be an eye-catcher.

To optimize energy usage and increase comfort, we installed a domotica system, automating lighting, heating, watering of the green roof, ventilation, and shading.

 

Need bioconstruction consultancy or want us to build your house?

Areas in which we offer consultancy:

    • Bioconstruction / Natural Building / Bioarchitecture
    • Greenroof
    • Renewable energy
    • Natural waste water filter
    • Thermal insulation
    • Climate control of buildings
    • Domotica
    • Project Management

You can contact us and we will reply to you as soon as possible. We can also help you to set up a construction team to build your house anywhere on the planet. We recommend you to come and have a look in Cardinot, Nova Friburgo, where plenty of land is available. You could participate in the Eco Caminhos proposal and we could build your house for you. Please take in mind that we take bioconstruction very seriously and that we believe that building a house can only become a success if all parties enjoy doing it. Bioconstruction is time consuming and requires a highly qualified and motivated team; we will not get involved in any fast and cheap natural building construction projects.

 

The wall of fame

Manager and initiator of the project is Bart Bijen. The architects of the project are Pedro Pizarro Villalobos and Jerome Paumen (studioPAS). The construction project leaders of the first house were Roger Bijen, David Gonzales, Marcio Cardinot and Edson Cardinot. The building team was assisted by a large number of Brazilian and international volunteers who came to learn about bioconstruction.