Building with plants instead of concrete


Bamboo walls, willow domes: not only furnishing elements, plants are becoming more and more building materials, instead of concrete and synthetic materials.
A seminar was dedicated to the topic within the Eima Digital Preview program. Guest Mirko Maraldo, lecturer in the Department of Agri-food Sciences and Technologies at the Statale di Bologna, who gave a lecture on “Building with natural materials”.
During the meeting, which took place on the Eima Digital Preview digital platform, images of buildings built with plant materials and inhabited for several years in absolute comfort were projected.
"The most interesting experience is perhaps that of the Convent House - explained Maraldi - built in Ecuador after the 2006 earthquake and designed by two Italian architects. More recently, after the Aquila earthquake, Eva, self-built Eco Village was born. , in Pescomaggiore. In both cases the straw was chosen precisely because it can absorb the vibrations of an earthquake without damage and, at the same time, maintain a high degree of isolation from the surrounding environment ".
A meeting was then dedicated to the use of straw as a building material (“Building with straw”) organized by BioHabitat, the foundation created in 2016 to promote the culture of greenery and the multifunctional role of the agricultural enterprise. As part of EDP, the foundation has organized several in-depth meetings and workshops on these issues. Another plant product considered an excellent building material is bamboo, which in Italy they have only been discovering for a few years, while in many foreign countries this is nothing new.
"The product must be subjected to some treatments that make it resistant to attacks of various kinds - explained Maraldi - but it represents a solution that reduces the impact on the environment and guarantees the solidity of the structure".
A design choice, as well as motivated by the desire for contact with nature, is the one proposed by Tullio Zenone during the seminar "Building with the willow".
"The idea was born to give my daughter a gazebo in which she could play with her friends - he explained - and being a nurseryman I thought of using my raw material, that is the plants. I estimated that the willow was the most versatile because it takes root very quickly and guarantees excellent insulation conditions: under a dome built with willow, in summer there are even three degrees below the outside temperature, without using any air conditioner ".
Thus Zanone's domes arrived at the Salone del Mobile in Milan and are now being built for very different spaces: from the gardens of private homes to playgrounds for children to a large amusement park, such as Gardaland. This latter structure has now been installed for five years.
All the seminars that take place within the Eima Digital Preview can be reviewed in the Eima TV space, located in the platform's Agora.

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