Natural building and permaculture

Natural building and permaculture


System of agricultural and social design principles based on simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The term permaculture was developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978.

The word permaculture originally referred to as “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to stand for “permanent culture”, as it was understood that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy.

Permaculture has many branches that include, ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, and construction. Permaculture also includes integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, and regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

Natural building

A natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, on local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users.

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort or health. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environment. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are onsite handling of energy acquisition, water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse.

Super Adobe

Superadobe is a form of earthbag construction that was developed by Iranian architect Nader Khalili. The technique uses layered long fabric tubes or bags filled with adobe to form a compression structure.

The resulting beehive shaped structures employs corbelled arches, corbelled domes, and vaults to create single and double-curved shells that are strong and aesthetically pleasing. It has received growing interest for the past two decades in the natural building and sustainability movements.

Autonomous or self-sufficient building

An autonomous building is a building designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, gas grid, municipal water systems, sewage treatment systems, storm drains, communication services, and in some cases, public roads.

Autonomous or self-sufficient construction has advantages that include less environmental protection, greater security and lower property costs. Some of the advantages cited satisfy the principles of ecological construction. Off-grid buildings depend very little on civil services and therefore are cheaper to maintain and more secure (if you will), but it requires extra work, clearly the opposite of “buying everything done”.

In your hands…

Having understood the previous definitions, I can only add that, as far as possible, the “human being has the right to know and to be able to build his house with his hands”. Also, “he has the right not to depend on external services for the subsistence”. (Another thing is to decide otherwise).

It may seem impossible a priori, but let me tell you that more and more people want to live differently. For this purpose I am available to contribute my knowledge in construction, construction systems and permaculture so that you can achieve it.