—This paper aims to show the environmental benefits from using vegetable materials, such as timber and straw, in alternative to conventional industrialized materials, such as brick, concrete and steel in building construction. Vegetable materials can present significant economic and environmental advantages, as they represent an abundant and renewable resource with very low embodied energy. To illustrate these benefits it is used as case study a traditional house dwelling from Carrasqueira, a Sado river coastal village in the south of Portugal. This dwelling, made with thatched straw and a timber structure in both walls and roofs, is compared with two dwellings of the same area and plan configuration: one using a traditional stone external wall aiming to characterize the most representative portuguese traditional constructive system for vernacular housing; and the other one using the conventional exterior wall solution in hollow brick with post and beam concrete structure aiming to characterize the contemporary constructive system commonly used in housing buildings construction in Portugal.
—Environmental assessment, building materials, thatched straw, clay brick, stone.
P. Mendonça is with Lab2PT Research Centre, School of Architecture, University of Minho, Azurém Campus, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal (e-mail: email@example.com).
F. Amorim is with School of Architecture, University of Minho, Azurém Campus, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: P. Mendonça and F. Amorim, "Environmental Benefits from the Use of Vegetable Materials in Building Construction: Case Study in the South of Portugal," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 431-435, 2016.