ECOLOGICAL AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION – WHILST OFFERING THE MOST COMFORT
Nowadays, thanks to the latest construction technology, the definition of a luxorious living style and and being environmentally aware are not a contradiction any more. These past years, the technological advances in the construction industry have opened up many new opportunities to build energy consciously, healthy and sustainable, without having to forego any comfort. GAIA-LIVING is bringing this technology to Majorca.
GOOD · HEALTHY · ECOLOGICAL
GAIA-LIVING wants to provide economical and energy-efficient living.
GAIA-LIVING wants that ecological lifestyle is no longer an inaccessible luxury.
GAIA-LIVING wants everyone to be able to build environmentally friendly.
GAIA-LIVING wants a revolution in the Mallorcan construction sector.
WHO ARE WE?
My name is Bernd and I have been visiting Majorca regularly for more than 30 years. Soon I had realized that I would be living on this beautiful island with its wonderful people. My family and I have been living on Majorca for four years now and we have been able to enjoy the beautiful nature and our majorcan friends – a dream has come true. But… while living here one starts to notice the problems the islands is suffering of, as for example the steadily increasing rent and building prices, the increasing water and energy costs, the water shortage during summer, more and more concrete buildings, the lack of living space, more and more smog. This evolution is not good, not for Majorca and even less for its residents.
I knew that Frank, my best friend of more than 50 years, is very close to nature and environmentally conscious. Him and his wife Elisabeth, an architect, invest in sustainable and environmentally friendly projects as plastics recycling and development projects in Ghana. I have invited Frank and Elisabeth to Majorca and explained to them and showed them the different problems. Then and there the idea was born of building sustainable, energetically efficient and healthy houses. But how to combine nature and building for the good of the residents and the environment?
In the Greek Mythology, GAIA is the mother of all gods and the goddess of the earth and all nature, where all life finds its origin. We create a simbiosis betewwn GAIA, the source of nature, and modern life.
REAL ESTATE BOOM
In all the years of real estate boom, the main objective of many developers has only been their financial gain, without being mindful of quality, sustainability, the environment or the well-being of the building’s residents. The World Health Organization WHO has been talking about illnesses and health problems, which appear because of the materials utilized in construction, such as asthma, allergies, hyperactivity, respiratory diseases, fatigue, eye disease or even cancer. According to scientific studies, the air in indoor spaces is up to five times more harmful than in the open. In Spain, almost 12% of children suffer from athma, which can mostly be linked to toxic exposure inside buildings, especially since in general we spend almost 80% of our lives inside, in schools, at work or at home. GAIA-LIVING puts the residents health first, for all relevant factors for their health, such as temperature, humidity, noise pollution, chemical particles, air quality, lighting, energy consumption and general comfort have been studied and analyzed by us.
WE BREAK NEW GROUNDS –
FOR YOUR HEALTH
GAIA-LIVING is our vision, to reconcile sustainable, energy efficient building, taking into account the necessities of the residents, the environment and the future demand. We are convinced, that our vision is good for Majorca and its inhabitants. More Information you can find on A180.es – our first GAIA-LIVING Project
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A HEALTHY BUILDING?
A healthy building not only takes care of the residents health, but also influences their comfort and general wellbeing.
- It imparts well-being and health.
- It neither causes illnesses nor deteriorates already existing ones.
- It has much natural light.
- Temperature, humidity and the acoustic conditions have been adapted to stay within the comfort index.
- There are no physical, chemical or organic pollutant emissions.
- The building materials neither irradiate neither electromagnetical waves nor radioactivity, nor do they absorb them
For its buildings, GAIA-LIVING only uses mostly natural materials like wood. Because of its many advantages for the health of the residents, wood is the number one material for a healthy building.
- Wood is a natural material, that does not provoque allergies or adverse reactions.
- It does not irradiate radioactivity and does not cause physical or psychological changes.
- Its porous sructure prevents the storing of Radon, organic compounds and microscopical toxic particles which are discharged by building with common materials, which could cause respiratory diseases.
- Because of its thermal properties, it naturally regulates the humidity during summer and winter season.
- Wood contains antibacterial substances, which reduces the probability of obtaining certain diseases.
- Wood absorbs humidity, exudes it again and binds carbon, so as to naturally regulate the balance of the humidity in the air, which reduces the probability of contracting asthma and creates a cozy athmosphere inside.
- According to a study of «Wood and Human Health» from the University of British Columbia, wood helps to better the psychological health, the ability to concentrate and relieves stress.
Wood fulfils the technical requirements of mondern building physics, it is more secure in value, solid and meets the highest requirements of quality, profitability and ecological sustainability, and is therfore clearly superior to the conventional way of building. Building without construction chemistry will have a positive impact on the residents health in the long run.
GAIA-LIVING emphasises on environmentally friendly building, the use of renewable energy and the highest possible reduction of CO2 emissions. Climate change is a fact – 97% of world scientists confirm this. This may be the biggest socioeconomic challenge humanity faces. The construcion of buildings and their use represent almost 40% of the energy consumption of the European Union.
The construction of a 100 sqm apartment produce almost approximately 70 tons of CO2 emissions. Wood reduces the emitted green house gasses by 40%, in comparison to the traditinoal way of building.
After centuries of use, wood does not leave behind any kind of unrecyclable or non-reusable rubble, but wood that can be reused or recycled for energy production.
As mentioned before, wood is the best and ideal option fur sustainable building, because it protects the environmental resources.
Looking at the life cycle assessment of wood as a construction material, it clearly comes out as a winner in comparison to all others.
A life cycle assessment lists all ecologically relevant processes along the lifespan of a product. Starting with the raw material extraction or felling of the trees, through the product proceeding and the processes related to energy consumption, the product transportation and assembling oof the product, the handling and maintenance, to the recycling at the end of the product´s lifecycle, the data on the environmental influence and the energy consumption. Just the waste of rubble and fragments of concrete alone make almost 5 million tons each year. Wood, on the other hand, will either be reused in a new production process or given a thermical use, thus not producing unusable waste.
Besides wood´s benefits of sustainability, it is also gifted with outstanding insulation and sound-proofing qualities. In coordination with our wood supplier we have been able to perfect the existing wall and roof technology, so as to obtain the optimum insulation results.
The goal of the architectonical arrangement of the patio is for it to work as a temperature regulator. During Summer, it acts as a ventilation system, providing the inside of the apartments with fresh air. During Winter it catches the sun and supports the natural heating of the apartments.
The insulation value, the constructive design in order to avoid heat in the bridging, state-of-the-art glazing systems, mobile sun protection devices and the high airtightness of the building´s structure mean, that no artificial heating is needed. The heating costs make up almost half (47%) of the yearly energy consumption of Spanish households.
This has been confirmed by a comprehensive study by the Sociedad Orgánica, Barcelona – the leading energy specialists in Spain.
GAIA-LIVING utilises the latest solar technology for the energy supply, which reduces the need for external energy to a minimum, depending on the kind of building.
Dual-flow ventilation systems with heat recovery, highly energy efficient geothermical air-water heating pumps, which recover used water and the use of further water saving technologies are all essential elements of an energy efficient building. The optimum usage of these technologies can save up to 80% of all ancillary and consumption costs.
Keeping in mind, that the power cost has risen by 85% in the last 15 years and that it will keep rising, energy efficiency is an essential element when looking for a new real estate.
Wood is a renewable resource with a positive impact on the environment. Trees transform CO2 into water and oxygen and wood, used as a building material, stores CO2 for many years. Each cubic metre of wood used in building, on average reduces CO2 emissions to the athmosphere by 1,1 tons, which is why the utilization of wood actively contributes to the reduction of the greenhouse effect.
The wood supply in Europe has steadily grown by almost 4 million hectare in the last 10 years. According to a study of the UN/ECE Timber Committee, the yearly growth increases by approximately 640 million cubic meters. Of this, only about 380 million cubic meters are used in general, and just 10% for construction. In Spain, the quantity of trees needed for the construction of one whole house, grows again every 60 seconds. No other construction material compares to this level of sustainability. The construcion with wood preserves the environmental resources like no other construction material.
The wood used by GAIA-LIVING stems from forests that have been awarded the PEFC symbol. This symbol garantees that the wood stems from sustainable forestry.
All building elements are being pre-manufactured in highly technological industrial companies, with the latest machine technology. This way we can ensure exact measurements and quality, which could not be reached with the conventional building way. The production halls are kept at a consistent level of humidity and temperature, which enables the manufacturer to work the wood independently of weather conditions, which in turn leads to a consistently high product quality.
The supporting structure is made of CLT (Cross Laminated Timber). For this product, high quality and oven-dried spruce and pine wood is layered in a cross pattern, glued together with a special polyurethane glue and pressed together at high pressure, with 90 degrees – completely free of formaldehyde.
Sound is transported through mechanical vibrations and pressure waves. The objective of the sound insulation is to absorb the outside noise through breaking up these vibrations and waves. Building with wood means that the construction units are made up of several layers. This forces the soundwaves to pass through many layers of resistance, thus absorbing them significantly. The traditional, singlelayer construction with concrete can only be noise protected through the building of a thick concrete wall, whereas the construction with wood, through the use of units wiith independent layers and wood insulation inbetween, can provide the same level of insulation with half the materials.
Further economical and ecological benefits of wood are:
- the construction time is reduced by between 50 and 80%, which means a significant reduction in manpower and the use of machines
- the buildings receive a classification of energy efficiency A, the most efficient classification
- Our climate-wall-technologie and the utilised insulation materials reduce the consumption costs by at least 60% and the resident saves a significant amount of money over time
- Almost total independence of price increases for energy costs like electricity and water
- Wood is reusable and has a longer durability than concrete
Each cubic metre used in construction keeps 1 ton of CO2 inside and away from the athmosphere. In comparison, the concrete industry is the industry that produces the most CO2, with figures up to 8% of all emissions worldwide, even more than automobile traffic.