What you’re looking at here is a Brikawood home built entirely from interlocking wood “bricks” that connect like oversized legos. The entire house is assembled without any nails, screws, or glue. It was designed by a French company hoping to create an inexpensive “passive” home that would require little to no energy for heating/cooling.
In terms of energy costs, the concept is a huge success, but there are a few problems that need to be worked out before anyone should consider building one.
The amount of wood materials is well more than double what’s found in a traditional home, which will increase the cost. In that sense it’s much closer to a log cabin. Granted the up-front cost is high, it can be argued that energy savings over the lifetime of the home could offset the early financial burden. However, there are a couple more issues.
The walls are filled with sawdust. While this is a nice eco-friendly gimmick, it’s pretty unnecessary. Between mold, insects, and flammability, sawdust insulation is just a bad idea. There are plenty of insulation alternatives like fiberglass that would work just as well as sawdust with none of the disadvantages.
Access to wiring and plumbing is the next major issue. It would be a construction nightmare requiring simultaneous attention from the framers, electricians, and plumbers. Again, that could be acceptable if the overall lifetime benefits justify such a complex construction process. Unfortunately, if there’s a problem with anything inside the walls you’re going to have to disassemble almost everything from the top down. Sure you could use a saw to cut your way in, but even the best patch job is going to poke holes in the energy home’s energy efficiency.
While this seems like a cool idea, it’s just not the right idea for a home. A rustic cabin with no amenities? Sure. A really nice shed or play house for the kids? Go for it, just don’t try to build a mini-mansion out of this stuff.
Do you think there are any other applications for this concept?
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