Several hot topics come together under the heading of ecological building : healthy living , energy efficiency and, last but not least, climate protection. For many years now, the world has been debating global warming and finite resources that we will have used up sooner or, so the quiet hope, later. Again and again we catch ourselves fearing that our small actions to protect the environment, while calming our conscience somewhat, are not seriously contributing to changing the situation. For some time now, however, business and politics have also understood that a turnaround is needed. Environmental and health awareness have arrived in our everyday lives. And no longer exclusively with organic food on our plates – sustainable concepts are increasingly becoming part of our homes ! That should be the case, after all, we spend more than half of our lives at home.
the essentials in brief
- Ecological building is a holistic concept that includes the manufacturing, usage and disposal costs of the individual products in the building process.
- Natural building materials offer a pollutant-free alternative to conventional competitors and sometimes prevent allergies and diseases.
- Another advantage of the eco-house is its energy-efficient construction, which uses the latest technologies and regenerative energy sources.
Holistic seal of quality: What makes an eco-house
In contrast to the passive house, the term eco-house is not legally defined. As a result, many construction companies are only too happy to advertise with this name. However, builders and companies often have very different ideas about what makes a house an eco-house. Because a pretty wooden house is not per se an ecologically built house. Behind the term there is much more the idea of a holistic concept that ranges from the purchase of land to the use of natural building materials and the use of efficient energy systems to interior design and waste disposal. There is even an interdisciplinary science – building biology. She explores how we can create eco-friendly buildings that are pollution-free and, on top of that, provide a healthy environment for their occupants.
Complete package: build ecologically from the plot to the interior design
If you want to build ecologically, you should plan the construction process thoroughly and subject the building materials to a thorough examination of their ecological properties. Of course, no client has to do this alone – appropriately specialized building biologists and energy consultants offer their support for this. And expert advice pays off. Because in an early stage of the construction phase, all ecological parameters can still be optimized without great expense. On the other hand, building owners have to dig deeper into their pockets for subsequent change requests.
Land acquisition and building architecture
First of all, you should acquire a plot of land that is as unpolluted as possible from negative environmental influences, such as contamination from contaminated sites or smog, and which is also well connected to the infrastructure. If they had to redesign this landscape strongly, it is not suitable for ecological building. In order not to waste space, you should also insist on a favorable ratio of floor space to usable area in the building architecture.
natural building materials
If the dream house is to be an eco house, the use of ecological building materials is essential. But what actually characterizes them? In order to answer this question, you should also look at the building materials thoroughly through the lens of a holistic approach. It is important that they have a favorable CO2 balance during production, are made from renewable raw materials and do not pollute the environment.
When evaluating, also include the effort involved in transport, installation, use, subsequent demolition and disposal. Wood, clay and straw in particular are ideal for healthy construction, provided they have not been treated with toxic chemicals (e.g. paint or wood preservatives). The big advantage of these alternative, low-emission natural building materials: Compared to their conventional competitors, they also have very good insulating properties.
So that there is also an ecological concept behind the façade, it is also important to use non-toxic building materials for the interior design. You can purchase natural paints and plasters as well as natural floor coverings. With sensibly planned windows you avoid thick air and ensure sufficient sunshine in your four eco walls. They not only create a real feel-good atmosphere, but also a healthy indoor climate that prevents the development of mold, allergies and indoor pollutants that are harmful to health.
It almost goes without saying that an eco-house should work as energy-efficiently as possible. You can influence this when aligning the building and arranging the heated areas. For heating and power supply, you should rely on regenerative energy sources in the eco-house. Solar technology is one of the most common options here. Various heating systems are now available as supplements. A heat pump that draws heat from the immediate environment, eg from the earth, the air or the groundwater, is increasingly enjoying the good reputation of being an ecological alternative. Another option is combined heat and power plants. These are particularly advantageous for larger residential units or public facilities, as they drive a generator to generate electricity in addition to producing heat.
Eco is worth it:
Why an eco house is worth the effort
Ecological and thus holistic building means making the entire life cycle of the house sustainable. From the use of gray water to green roofs , there are numerous options that you will encounter on your way to the eco-dream house. Various certificates are used for orientation within the providers. Don’t let yourself be fobbed off with ecological cosmetics that hide polluted building materials behind their natural-looking mask. The financial outlay for a real eco-house is partially absorbed by the government through numerous subsidies. One thing is certain: Eco is worth the effort!
As a future eco-house owner, do you want to proudly check all these points? You can find more detailed information in the articles that we have linked in this overview text.