Natural construction, or bio-construction, rescues ancestral practices of using materials from nature, for the construction of houses together with technical innovations that tend to improve the quality of life of the families that inhabit them.
In bioconstruction, the materials available in the area and the climatic characteristics that serve to define the best construction strategy based on raw earth are considered and used.
In the experience carried out in the city of Frías, in the Choya department, in western Santiagueño, more than 8 construction techniques with earth were put into practice, mainly adobe, in a process that contemplates the best lighting alternatives, protection against sunshine and rain, air conditioning, distribution of spaces and also the styles and personal needs of each inhabiting family.
With respect to the traditional ranch in our area, important differences are proposed in height, amplitude of spaces, ventilation with larger windows, improvements in roof construction techniques and fundamentally in the finishes at the level of fine plaster that provide greater comfort and guarantee the prevention of the appearance of insects in homes.
The possibility that this practice offers us is that of empowerment in the construction of our living space, with techniques and materials in harmony with the environment and that allow a sustainable occupation of the space in the use of available energy. It is estimated that bio-constructions are more economical and efficient than traditional constructions, providing, among others, advantages in the air conditioning of spaces.
In this experience, families of artisans and orchards from the city of Frías, under the coordination of Gabriel Martín, a transhumant bio-builder with more than ten years of experience, began the construction of the house of Patricia and Beto, and their little daughter Elunei.
In a dynamic of learning in action, the elaboration of sourdough was carried out, the cutting of adobes, the walls were raised, the construction of partitions with quincha, the direct molding of walls, the installation of fixed panels and windows, the ornamentation with colored glass bottles and fixed furniture. Mixing for coarse and fine plaster, the preparation of natural paints, the construction of moldings and the waterproofing treatments were also practiced.
Along with these practices, methods for the realization of living ceilings and dry toilets were discussed. The house of Flor, Juan and their daughters Catalina and Paz, a bioconstruction carried out between 2014 and 2015, was also visited to compare and analyze the performance of these constructions over time.
By Pablo Lucas Orellana