What is Natural Building or Green Building? Principles, materials, pros and cons of sustainable architecture.
Nowadays our society seems to have understood that every aspect of its development and growth cannot be seen as detached from the environment that surrounds it.
Natural building: definition and meaning
The term natural building, or green architecture, is used to indicate certain methods of design, construction and management aimed at preserving the environment.
It means therefore to build, renovate or convert a building element in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Natural building is about using clean energy, materials and construction techniques that create a true integration between the building, its inhabitants and the environment that hosts it.
The main principles of green building
consideration of geographical constraints, (taking into account the characteristics of the terrain and landscape so that the building is compatible with the surrounding environment, without having a negative impact on nature or disturbing the balance.
the choice of materials
energy performance (the significant reduction of superfluous needs and energy consumption and the use of clean energy sources that reduce pollution and costs of maintenance.
the health and comfort of the inhabitants (thermal, acoustic, visual and hygrothermal influence the well-being of the people who live there. Also the good quality of water and air and protection from electromagnetic fields, humidity and other factors).
Eco-sustainable building materials
The choice of materials plays a role of primary importance in all construction work of this type. The bio-architect who designs an ecological house knows that natural resources are not inexhaustible and therefore opts for the choice of eco-materials derived from renewable sources and they should be not toxic to humans.
Some of the natural building materials are very traditional, others are the result of innovative technologies and recycling of raw materials. Some examples:
mineralized wood fibre;
paints of natural origin;
Pros and cons of green building
Good air and water quality;
Comfort for users;
Zero impact on the environment;
Incentives and Tax Deductions;
High costs of construction
the network of professionals and the related market is not yet well established everywhere around the world but it is improving.
Want to learn more about Natural building?
What about becoming a volunteer and learning first-hand? Read the volunteer programs below and join eco-construction projects all around the world.
Click on the announcement you are interested in. Check the date of the publication (some opportunities might be already out of date). If the announcement is still valid, look for the Contact Details section 🔍📧 at the end of the volunteer program description. In the Contact Details section, you can find free ways to get in touch with the hosts or volunteer coordinators (website, e-mail, phone numbers, application form, etc.). Send the organization host/coordinator a message and wait for a reply.
Most of these opportunities are free (you receive free food and accommodation in exchange for voluntary work). Volunteering opportunities in developing countries might require a daily/monthly contribution fee for the food and the accommodation. Remember that many areas in the world are still developing and volunteering can’t always be a ‘free’ thing.