During this session, we have focused our research on sustainable materials which we could be used to create a low impact development consisting of several houses. One of the main objectives is to find a light-coloured palette to create a comfortable environment inside the building.
Another point of discussion was to put a flat-packed kitchen or bespoke version. Probably by creating a customized kitchen we could find a suitable solution for the interior design that we are looking for. Through talking about materials for the interiors, we have considered using clay plaster, which can provide a good control of humidity as well as a broad range of colours for this material. One the best points of this material is its low toxicity.
Wood is one of the materials that we are considering most, but what could be better? Plywood is made with layers of wood glued together. It is really durable and easy to reuse but consumes a lot of energy in its creation process. Birch, which a natural wood really white and soft, is also sustainable but maybe not as durable? OSB is another wood option. This is a low footprint, low cost and non-toxic wood made with shavings glued together but costs a lot of energy, is non-reusable, hard to recycle and does not have a long lifespan.
We also have considered lime based materials because they are vapour permeable and allow buildings to breathe. This reduces the risk of trapped moisture and consequent damage to the building fabric. Porous and open textured materials such as lime plasters, help to stabilize the internal humidity of a building by absorbing and releasing moisture. This makes for a more comfortable environment and reduces surface condensation and mould growth.
Another option is to use a CLT Timber and let it be uncovered so we can avoid spending more money and materials.
Cork is one of our options for the flooring. This material provides a warm environment and can be waterproofed with some products. It is easy to use, can be installed in interiors and can be found in the whole of Europe, so its cost for transporting is not going to be too high. It is 100% natural, removable and easy to be replenished. It has been claimed as a non-toxic material.
Another option for the flooring is terrazzo, a material made with granite which is resistant, durable, and easily reusable.
For the flooring, we could use limecrete for the foundation slab. Though limecrete is half the strength of concrete, it could work for small domestic development. It can be used in any area of the house. For the kitchen and bathroom, it can be waterproofed. Another point of discussion is to use concrete instead.
Written by: Paula Fernández Cavadas, BA Interior Architecture