What is Natural Building?
Updated: Jul 5, 2019
Modern-day construction causes massive amounts of waste during the building process. While most of us know the benefits of incorporating sustainable processes, like solar power into our daily living, natural building is another way of reducing the environmental impact on society during and after construction.
But what is natural building?
In short, natural building means being dedicated to using natural, recycled and environmentally friendly building materials and processes. It means incorporating natural elements into the design and styling of your home and using recycled materials and innovative architectural designs to bring your dream to life, naturally.
We’re passionate about turning our client’s visions to life, using natural building materials wherever possible. Here’s a look at some ways you can make your new home look and feel as natural as possible, with our Gisborne project as a stunning example.
Utilising a material like timber is a great way to add a natural feel to your home and complement the outdoor environment. Timber is one of the few truly natural building materials in existence and the cyclical process involved in the growing of timber forests means it will continue to remain available for many years to come.
As a material within your home, timber is non-toxic and safe to handle and touch. It will age naturally and give you the feeling of being close to nature even when you’re inside. Timber was used extensively throughout the Gisborne project to add a natural feeling. The floorboards throughout the home are Spotted Gum hardwood timber and this timber is also used as a stunning feature ceiling and wall covering in the living room.
The large 12-seater dining room table was constructed from 60cm thick recycled Messmate timber. It weighs a hefty 500kg and took a team of eight people to bring it into the home during construction! This table was custom-designed by a company called Timber Revival.
Stone and Rock
Stone can add a feeling of elegance to your home, while still paying homage to the outside world. Stone is also very durable, meaning it is perfect to use as benchtops, splashbacks and hearths or cladding around fireplaces. As long as you don’t use harsh abrasive chemicals on them stone will be long-lasting and easy to maintain.
In this Gisborne home, rock was incorporated as an eye-catching feature in the entry of the home. This stunning wall was the perfect way to bring a natural element in to the home.
Masonry is an ancient building material and includes brick and stone. Brick and stone can be used for foundations, floors, walls, walkways, and landscaping. In recent years, it’s become very popular to use recycled bricks throughout the home. This look can be period style or even contemporary.
Various kinds are earth are used to construct many different types of homes. Rammed earth, which has been used since ancient times, is a technique whereby clay and sand are compressed into place between flat panels called formwork. This is done layer by layer to create a flat vertical surface.
Adding different coloured materials or elements such as feature stones in some layers can be a great way to create special effects in rammed earth walls. Rammed earth can also be used as cladding on the outside of your home, as well as indoor walls.
Reclaimed materials help reduce building waste. We use reclaimed materials as much as we can, which involves salvaging unused from past projects and using them in the next project.
Doors, windows, piping, insulation and structural timber beams, are just a few of the materials we recycle across our projects. By using reclaimed waste in the building process, it serves as a means of reducing our environmental impact on society.
Having an outdoor living area that allows you to soak up the views of your back garden and the wider environment is the perfect way to connect with nature at its source. It’s arguably also the best way to enjoy and appreciate your local environment, especially when you live in such a lush region like the Macedon Ranges.
See how the stunning Widdis Way, Gisborne project uses outdoor living spaces to capitalise on its incredible natural surroundings here.
If you’re interested in building your very own natural home, get in touch with the team at L. O’Grady Constructions today to find out how we can help.