05/24 Small house in Ecuador is insulated with pumice stone

Small home with living roof and unique insulation

Small home with living roof and unique insulation © Gori Salvà

One of the problems with modernist architecture is that in many places in the world, it has supplanted traditional methods of building that over generations, have been specifically adapted to local climates, materials and knowledge. Much of this monoculture of modern architecture depends on carbon-intensive, industrial materials, creating forms that are often divorced from the unique cultures and building solutions that have developed in place, over many years. Think concrete boxes and gridded subdivisions, devouring land as far as the eye can see.

Of course, modern architecture can be rehabilitated — or at least made to integrate local realities of climate, building culture and materials that are naturally available. Ecuadorian architects Luis Velasco Roldan and Ángel Hevia Antuña created this small house prototype that takes into consideration the region’s traditional building techniques, using naturally sourced and local materials and passive solar heating…

One of the most interesting aspects of the house is hidden: the architects used pumice stone for insulation. The pumice stone’s air pockets insulate the home, while also acting as a thermal mass to regulate fluctuating temperatures. The home’s innovative use of this material allows it to maintain interior temperatures of 20 to 21°C (68 to 70°F) all year round, even when it got as cold as 12°C (53°F) outside. Pumice was used once more on the insulating green roof above, as a drainage layer.

Read more – http://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/ecuador-small-house-insulated-pumice-stone-luis-velasco-roldan-angel-hevia-antuna.html

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Elaine Walker