The use of a sustainable material in every part of a building could alter the very nature of construction for a more sustainable future.
Springwise has followed the construction industry’s attempts to become more sustainable, from re-using waste products to create building materials to designing energy efficient buildings. Buildings naturally ought to last many years after their construction, and so in an increasingly eco-conscious world, considering environmental impacts is vital. With this in mind, UK architects have now devised a way to create fully biodegradable and recyclable buildings.
Studio Bark have constructed a garden building made entirely of cork. Aptly named the Cork Studio, the prototype can be fully recycled, reused, or composted. The drive to create such a structure came from frustration at the architecture industry’s dependency on single-use materials. This means that temporary or short-life structures, such as garden buildings, often end up in landfill. This is not only bad for the environment but also not economical for the architects themselves. In using reusable materials, architects could save money and time on purchasing new building resources. Alternatively, the entire building could be recycled or left to decompose after use. Reducing the amount of materials sent to landfill means that we reduce the amount of hazardous materials that enter our soil and water across the planet via such rubbish tips.
The architects chose cork to work with after extensive experiments involving water, fire, and degradation resistance tests. Cork is strong and durable, making it ideal as a building material. They can also harvest the wood in a sustainable manner directly from the bark of the cork oak tree.