Bio-Construction is the respect of nature while promoting health and wellness when building. It is based on sustainability and the use of materials local to the region in which we build our structures; in turn we generate a structure that is healthy; which promotes joy, harmony and well being for all those living in it and around it.
Actually in Vrinda Bhumi has 11 constructions built with natural techniques (cob, adobe and super adobe). The biggest one of them is being built right now, a 2 stages cultural center with more than 10 rooms, 1 community hall and 2 bathrooms.
By utilizing local materials we also have the opportunity to be in harmony with the environment instead of wasting energy. Bio-Construction enables us to become self-sufficient by self-constructing with the natural materials and the ability to make and repair our structures. Building our own structures is natural in our being, and we have the capacity to do so.
Cob and Adobe are very similar. They are both made from the same materials: clay, sand and straw. The only difference between them is how they are stacked together to build a wall.
Cob is sculpted while still wet right into the shape of the wall. It is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity, and has almost zero cost. Cob walls are usually thick and give the buildings a lot of character. The thick walls also serve as thermal mass, making the house warm in winter and cool in summer. The internal temperature is cool during a hot day and warm overnights. Surprisingly, the material is totally stable in humid and rainy weather, and as long as the structure is properly cared for the Cob does not deteriorate.
Adobe is dried into individual bricks, then stacked and attached with the same material that the bricks are made from. To make adobe you need water, dirt, and stabilizing natural fibers such as straw or small twigs. The raw ingredients are then kneaded with the feet or with a hoe to make the mixture. Once the mixture is completed, it is placed in a wooden mold to make the raw brick. The raw brick is then allowed to bake in the sun and is flipped on all of its sides to dry. The adobe brick is now complete.
Adobe is an excellent natural building material. Adobe constructions are extremely durable and resistant to erosion from the elements. It is extremely good in hot climates due to its thermal mass, allowing constructions to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors when the outside temperature is hot.
It is recommended to build with adobe during dry season as contact with the rain will dissolve the clay. However, after the adobe brick has cured the construction is extremely durable and resistant to the elements.
Super adobe is a slight variation of adobe. Super adobe bricks are made by adding a mixture of water and dirt into polypropylene bags. The bag helps to shape the brick as it hardens and dries. Once the bricks are dry the bags may be removed or left on the bricks.
We tend to employ a vernacular form of architecture, meaning a category of architecture that uses materials that reflect the needs of the environment and respect local traditions.
There are many advantages of using super adobe in construction including low cost, ease of use, strength, seismic resistance, and thermal comfort.
Have fun building!