By Anders Lorenzen
We have heard about carbon negative houses, low-carbon houses, Passivhaus houses, who all, in one way or another, fit into the eco-house category. And now we have the biological house.
According to the developers, located in Middelfart, Denmark, which in English translates to ‘medium speed’, is the world’s first Biological House.
It was developed by the architect firm Een til Een, and was constructed in secrecy and only recently were the doors opened to visitors.
So what is a Biological House?
It is built from upcycled materials, including the Kebony Character cladding, a wood recommended by leading architects due to its beauty. The Biological House is a modern, sustainable and modular housing concept with a specific focus on architecture, materials, indoor air quality and unique design. A ‘biological house’ is typically built with upcycled residual products from the agricultural industry, materials including grass, straw, and seaweed, which would normally be considered waste and burned for energy. These materials will instead be processed into valuable natural building materials, forming the bulk of the raw materials needed for the project and thereby avoiding the environmental impact that burning them would cause.
Sustainability was at the core of the construction, which utilised several innovative technologies. Instead of traditional foundations, which involves a carbon-intensive process and does not allow for the same recyclable functionality, this house sits on screw piles which are normally used for building deep foundations, yet come with minimal noise and vibration. All materials used for the construction are thoroughly tested, approved and available commercially.
Due to the sustainability focus, the Kebony wood was selected for the cladding due to its environmental credentials, as well as for the silver-grey patina which forms on its surface over time. Kebony is developed in Norway and the environmentally friendly process modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with a bio-based liquid. By polymerising the wood’s cell wall, softwoods permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness, and dimensional stability.
The developers believe that that the project sets a precedent for sustainable construction as it can be easily adapted for each customer through the use of the latest digital technology which ensures the build is both quick and accurate. And it is very mobile too, even after the construction it can be easily removed at any point without leaving a trace or causing any damage to the surrounding area and can then be rebuilt in either the same or a different form elsewhere.
The CEO of Een til Een Kim Christofte said:: “It’s been a long project, and we have all certainly learned a great deal over the course of planning and construction. It has been a pleasure to watch the team find so many clever solutions to the problems encountered along the way and we are delighted to finally open the doors to share this unique house with the public.”