Building Eco-Friendly Houses with Interlocking Blocks
small, Building Eco-Friendly Houses with Interlocking Blocks, Izodom, United Arab Emirates, photo: promotional materials, izodom_abu.jpg
DIY houses are in vogue – and now, there’s a model for LEGO lovers. With relatively little effort, it is possible to build a house out of interlocking bricks, which are up to 10 times more energy-efficient than traditional building materials.
A matter of life and death
In the Siberian city of Omsk, temperatures sometimes drop as low as -45°C – thermal insulation is a matter of life and death. A few years back, an entrepreneur wishing to build houses in the area purchased construction materials from a Polish company called Izodom. Ordering materials 4,000km away may sound like poor planning, but Izodom happened to specialise in so-called passive constructions, an ideal solution to the punitive Siberian climate. Passive house design refers to ecologically-friendly energy conservation standards, which minimise heating and cooling needs.
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The Polish materials purchased made all the difference. Not only are the innovative bricks 10 times more energy-efficient than commonly-used materials, their assembly is also five times faster than traditional building, meaning lower labour costs and faster results. The Siberian entrepreneur built 70 houses with only 40 workers, providing quality shelter in a region where it is direly needed.
The miraculous-sounding properties of these LEGO-like bricks are the result of Izodom’s unique technology. It goes without saying that the elements are much larger than the popular toy pieces: a typical hollow Izodom brick measures out at 100cm by 35cm by 25cm. After being assembled into walls, they need to be filled with concrete. The procedure is simple enough for amateur house builders to construct a dwelling on their own.
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As a rule, an Izodom building looks like a traditional house. It doesn’t need to look like a futuristic shelter or a concrete bunker ‒ unless that’s the look people are going for. It’s even possible to build a palace from Izodom elements. And that’s not a figure of speech.
A palace in the desert
In the year 2016, a palace made from Izodom elements was given to the King of Morocco by an Abu Dhabi sheik. The imposing 10,000-square metre building serves as a hunting retreat. The sheik also ordered 2,500 houses from the Polish company, which were built in the Persian Gulf emirate. Their passive design protects their occupants from the sweltering heat of the Arabian desert.
All in all, there are more than 18,000 existing Izodom structures on four continents – and the future looks bright for the Polish firm. They are currently collaborating with the Łódź University of Technology in Poland in order to build an ultra-modern lab of their own, and they’re also working on a zero-energy building in their hometown of Zduńska Wola.
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Written by Marek Kępa, 1 June 2016