Bio-architecture or bioclimatic architecture favors the use of materials and techniques that allow energy savings and that do not pollute or damage human health. In fact, bio-architecture is a concept linked to the awareness that technological processes have a limit and the environment cannot be exploited indefinitely, since the resources of the territory are not inexhaustible.
Green architecture was born in Germany towards the end of the seventies, after the world energy crisis of 1973. The vast world of building production, and not only, begins to take into consideration some precautions, used since the past and gone into disuse, as solutions for ventilation, shading, cooling, thermal insulation, reduction of heat loss, natural lighting, etc.
Bio-architecture aims to design in a sustainable way, experimenting with new systems, such as the use of solar energy in homes, and using materials that tend to limit the environmental impact, such as wood, stone, plaster, or otherwise natural products rather than of chemical origin.
During the design of a bioclimatic building, some considerations must be taken into account:
- Energy saving must be non-renewable, reducing the release of pollutants into the environment and greenhouse gas emissions. All this can happen with the insulation of the walls: in this way the building can acquire heat during the winter through external windows, while in the summer it must have natural air conditioning thanks to the insulation of the building itself;
- We must try to save drinking water, creating a double water network: one fed by the city aqueduct, and one fed by rainwater, which is collected and purified;
- Improve the comfort inside the rooms by reducing pollution;
- Recyclable materials, which require little energy during production, and ecological during processing, are preferable; it is therefore necessary to opt for those alternative and biocompatible building materials, before choosing materials that are easily available on the market.
By bioclimatic architecture and bio-architecture we mean the architectural design methods that try to minimize the energy waste of the environment through the use of specific and particular technologies that favor human comfort.
The bioclimatic principles are the same construction methods that were used in the past, when the few energy and technological resources that were available were used. All this changed during the period of industrialization, when more modern methods began to be used; but all these changes lead to the construction of buildings of very poor quality, in order to satisfy all housing requirements, with consequent problems of conservation and maintenance of the same, thus leading to the damage of environmental pollution.
Today the problems to be considered for new buildings are linked to energy saving, to the savings in building maintenance costs, to the minimization of polluting resources, to the good levels of comfort required for a better quality of living, to the increase of renewable sources.
The principles of bioclimatic architecture
Building following the principles of bioclimatic architecture means:
- use green building
- create an ideal climatic environment inside the building
- reduce indoor pollution
- control the use of drinking water and avoid its waste
- check the air quality
- use technologies that exploit renewable energy and low environmental impact.
Building according to green building techniques means building using ancient construction methods, using at the same time modern techniques, using natural materials, building buildings that allow thermal insulation and heat conduction, which can therefore "breathe" while retaining heat but avoiding humidity.
To promote a good microclimate inside an environment, heating techniques must be used that allow a regular degree of irradiation and low convection of heat; temperatures must be kept high on radiant surfaces and low in the environment to ensure an acceptable level of humidity.
To reduce the consumption of drinking water, various systems can be used:
- the use and accumulation of rainwater in special containers and deposits, which will then be purified for use in the home;
- the creation of paths such as small streams and lakes, where it is possible to obtain a humidified environment in a natural way thanks to the evaporation of the water itself.
To control the air quality, attention must be paid to the methods of air distribution, considering particular and specific systems, to the ventilation of large spaces, to the thermo-hygrometric well-being of the building.
To make the most of solar radiation it is necessary to design the buildings in such a way as to ensure a good orientation, with balconies and windows oriented mainly towards the south to accumulate heat, using techniques that involve passive use of solar energy.
Another fundamental point is the use of renewable energy, that is: use of solar thermal energy, to produce domestic hot water, solar photovoltaic energy, to produce electricity and wind energy, which is transformed into mechanical energy through wind turbines.