“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill


One of the last things we will do with our renovation is re-clad the house.  When the house was moved 15 years ago the brick was removed and it was re-clad in plastered polystyrene.  There is nothing wrong with it, but many will associate it with the significant issues we have had in NZ with leaky buildings.

The idea of a moss covered house appeals.  Perhaps because I got “The Architecture of Happiness” for Christmas and was reading about wabi-sabi – the Japanese sense of beauty – the love of irregularity rather than symmetry, the impermanent rather than eternal, and simple rather than ornate.

However it is to Spain we go for this innovation.  Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. BarcelonaTech (UPC) have developed and patented a type of biological concrete that supports the natural, accelerated growth of pigmented organisms. The material, which has been designed for the façades of buildings offers environmental, thermal and aesthetic advantages over other similar construction solutions.  Who doesn’t get excited by vertical substrate!  I think the world needs more vertical gardens.


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