Our reply / Jose Luis Folgado-Engineering Director
I am responsible for coordinating and supervising the team of professionals who work in the construction of a Biovivienda. I will be able to address any technical query that you may have.
Jose Luis Folgado
Ingeniero Técnico Industrial
Master en Prevención de Riesgos Laborales
Consejero de Seguridad
Euroingeniero por la FEANI
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What are the basic concepts that I should know in order to understand what a Biovivienda represents?
Nowadays, if we ask a child about “climatic change” we will get a reply without hesitation. The mentality of people has changed and an increased awareness in every sector is a reality, but many concepts tend to get confused and it is important to know what we are referring to when we talk about the Biovivienda.
- Sustainable architecture:Sustainable architecture is one which satisfies current construction needs without endangering the resources of future generations.
- Green building:Green building embraces ecological architecture and bioclimatism.
- Ecological architecture: Ecological architecture can be understood as being one which strives to make efficient use of energy, consuming the minimum amount possible, as well as using alternative clean energy sources such as solar energy using panels.
- Bioclimatism: Bioclimatism is man’s answer (BIOS) to climate change, and addresses aspects and criteria such as location, orientation, wind, sun exposure, vegetation and natural refrigeration.
- Geobiology: It is important to carry out a geobiological study of the land in order to select the best location for the home and its different parts.
Geobiology is the science that studies the energies of the earth and their influence on living beings. It includes both natural radiations (terrestrial) and artificial radiations (electrical, electromagnetic fields…) which produce adverse effects on people’s health, such as cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases, or damage to the central system or the nervous system.
- Home automation: The application of electronics in private homes in order to integrate the everyday automatic and electrical systems under a single control, for greater comfort, saving and safety in our home.
- Sick building: Doctor Antonio Valero Santiago, a specialist in allergies at the Hospital Clínico in Barcelona and the co-director of the 2nd Course on Pathological Allergies in the Workplace indicated (for MedicinaTV.com) that, basically, what has been understood over the last 20 years as Sick Building Syndrome or what is now considered by the WHO as Environmental Intolerance is any cutaneous or respiratory pathology that a person has in his/her workplace due to an alteration in the environmental air. This alteration is conditioned by the regulation of air recycling which accommodates temperature and humidity. Symptoms may include irritation of the skin, irritation of the throat, cough, mucus, nasal congestion.
These concepts are important when understanding what a Biovivienda is, as it is the only formula that addresses the need for real sustained development in the construction sector.
What technical advantages does it develop as opposed to a conventional home?
- Stable microclimate.: In the inside of the Biovivienda the temperature is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It oscillates in a balanced way around the average annual temperature of the area. The thickness of its walls has been studied so that the external heat or cold communicates with the inside with a delay of six months, completing a complete natural cycle. This is why it does not need heating and air conditioning units, although it is equipped with them, as, due to its high insulating capacity, with just a small amount of energy we will achieve a long-lasting variation in temperature to ensure maximum comfort. Strategically located in the centre of the building is a traditional wood stove which, as well as acting as an oven enables the heat to radiate throughout the whole house without any electrical consumption – a more ecological and economical system. Another advantage of these homes is the vertical increase in the air temperature which is minimum at floor level rising up to the ceiling, as opposed to rooms which are conventionally heated.
- Heated walls: The heat that reaches the human body via heated walls and ceilings provides a much cosier feeling than heating the air. When the air is not heated, the dust in the room is not recycled either. The feeling of warmth in a Biovivienda is similar to a hypocaust heating system, which heats walls and ceilings with low temperature water in pipes.
- Interior humidity: There is a relative humidity inside a Biovivienda of between 50 and 75%, so there is no need to condition the air. Dry air reduces the conditions that provoke respiratory problems. Conventional air conditioners do not cool, they extract the heat and with it the humidity which can seriously harm the mucous of the body. Our system avoids all of these health problems.
- Services and infrastructure: Bioviviendas have water, drainage and electricity. Kitchen, bathrooms, telephone, Internet, television, garage, natural light and artificial lighting with solar panels, windows in all the rooms and fresh air, collection of rain water and utilisation of residual water for watering plants.
But as opposed to a conventional home, all of this is protected under a large layer of earth of more than three metres, which also means that there is hardly any need for maintenance except for the front, the rest does not need to be painted or restored.
- Acoustic insulation/sound-proofing/privacy: When the walls have a thickness of between one and two metres, they do not transmit sound, the wave being completely deadened by the thickness. The rest that this provides is incomparable.
- Protection of the landscape: It is surprising just how well the biovivienda integrates into the landscape. The built up area is repopulated with indigenous plants and from an aerial view the buildings literally disappear, with no environmental or landscape impact.
Furthermore, the inhabitants of a village of bioviviendas become full-time wardens of green areas which otherwise would be a village of cement and concrete or a green area without inhabitants and abandoned to its fate.
- Protection of the environment/sustainability: A lot less material is required to make a biovivienda and nothing is wasted. Earth is an easy component to provide as it does not generate any type of waste.
Furthermore it guarantees the absorption of rain water into the ground which would otherwise be channelled by drainage systems and sent to the sea. This way the natural evaporation of the ground is achieved, re-establishing the natural cycle of storms.
- Protection against storms and earthquakes: Due to their strong walls, historically caves have resisted all kinds of disasters, this characteristic guarantees that the Biovivienda is the safest building on the market, able to resist high intensity earthquakes and storms and environmental disasters like no other.
- Protection against fires: In Comparison with other organic materials, such as wood, the Biovivienda is fireproof. In the case of a fire in the area, the fire would literally pass “over” respecting the property which could be inhabited again swiftly and easily. In the case of a fire inside the Biovivienda, it is so resistant that once the fire has been extinguished its structure will not have been damaged. Moreover, its windows have an exclusive bar system which can instantly convert each of them into an emergency exit.
- Protection against burglary: The bioviviendas are equipped with an extremely sophisticated anti-burglary system, armoured doors, windows with bars, movement sensors, smoke barriers, etc...
- Bioclimatic construction: All of the above-mentioned points and the consumption of energy and materials during construction, those which we use in our daily lives, the use of solar systems for lighting and the use of its energy, its negligible CO2 emissions due to its stable microclimate, which eliminates the need for traditional heating and air-conditioning systems, the recycling of almost 80% of water, its respect for the landscape and the healthy influence that the building has on the inhabitant ensure that the biovivienda fulfils all the requirements of a bilclimatic construction.
- Humidity: The relative humidity of the air is higher than in conventional houses, oscillating between 50 and 75 % which is better for our health.
- Lighting: All of the rooms in the biovivienda are exterior and well lit. Furthermore, they have light ducts which transfer light through the roof with a regulador, providing sunlight with an adjustable diffuser eliminating backlighting or reflections produced by direct sunlight. Other significant characteristics of this product: Capable of transmitting light up to 12 metres via a conduit in the interior (99.8% spectral reflectivity).
It does not affect the temperature of the building as it does not transmit heat (magnifying glass effect) or lose heat, Its Raybender™ technology and LITD™ (Light Intercepting Transfer Device) provide the necessary light, even on cloudy days.
How is the building developed?
The construction of a Biovivienda is done in record time, in less than thirty days, which significantly reduces the labour costs, using a highly resistant modular system. There are three models which are ready to be built on any ground.
Can it be built anywhere?
Biovivienda is an international patent which is why the construction of one of our homes can only be carried out by our company or under license or concession. We also offer guarantees for the final product which can be provided because it has only been constructed by us.
Our team has been selected from leading companies in the sector and has been specifically formed in the development of this system.
What type of land is the adapted one for its construction?
- Firstly we will need a plot of land. The land may be:NON CONSTRUCTABLE/ CONSTRUCTABLE.
- The classification of the land will determine its feasibility and final cost. This depends on the local regulations and in the case of Bioviviendas, special treatment may be applied, but it is necessary to deal with each case with the corresponding officials and request these advantages which we will refer to later.
- NON CONSTRUCTABLE::
- It may be non constructable for many reasons and a reclassification of the land must be obtained in order to embark on any project. In many cases this is not a problem, simply, everything that is not classified as constructable is non constructable. But there are exceptions which are irremovable:FLOODABLE. Due to its proximity to a river or gorge.PROTECTED PARK. It is located within natural surroundings which cannot be built on.
- Here there are several options and this is where we can carry out construction work and not anywhere else, unless it is reclassified.
- URBAN. This is ideal – a piece of land where any type of building may be constructed and of course the Biovivienda is no exception.
- RURAL LAND. This land allows the building of one or several Bioviviendas, always in accordance with the constructability coefficient which corresponds to the land and in accordance with the local regulations in force. Here we have a lot to say, because….If we are allowed to build on 100 metres of every 1000 (for example), once we have recovered the land as a green area after covering the structure, have we occupied 100 metres? Each official understands it in their own way and until there are special rules for this type of product we are faced with a legal loophole which must be discussed with those responsible in each case.
- Irrespective of this point, the land must have water and electricity, because, although it has many savings systems, for a Biovivienda to be completely self-sufficient the final cost will be much higher, although it is possible.
It is also important there is a practicable access to the land as all the material must be transported in special lorries which require at least some kind of road in order to do so.
- Once we have the land, we should be aware that we must be near a mobile production plant or transfer one to this location so that the cost of transport does not put up the price of the product.
Please enquire whether there is a development close by which would allow us to undertake the building of your property, or whether there are other interested parties within a radius of action nearby so that we can group the demand together and transfer one of the afore-mentioned mobile plants to the area.
- Now all you have to do is choose the model, the personalisation options and together with our engineering team start up the project in order to present it to the authorities who must grant the building permit and…. in thirty days you can enjoy your Biovivienda.
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