At Elemental we share and combine a deep interest, enthusiasm and understanding in and of traditional buildings and building methods, in natural building methods and materials and in contemporary design being informed by these. Working with these methods on new-buildings, extensions and also refurbishing old buildings we aim to design and create beautiful buildings for our clients that are healthy, warm and welcoming to live in, that are truly low impact and in harmony with nature and their surroundings, that are of their time and place while linking back into our rich heritage of vernacular buildings.
'The house should not keep us isolated from the outside world. It should select and filter, keeping out and expelling what is [not beneficial], and welcoming in and storing what is good. This is possible through the selection of the right location, appropriate materials and shape of construction, and the right technical installations.'
Most of us are aware of the impact the food we eat has on our health and on the environment and are trying to consume healthy, local, often organic, low impact, fair trade products whenever possible. Lots of us also make informed choices when buying clothing, cosmetics, cleaning products etc., but when it comes to buildings most of us are not aware of the effects these and the materials used in them can have on our well-being and health. These days we spend most of our time either in our own homes or in other indoor spaces. Buildings could be considered as our third skin. Unlike most of our clothing, buildings have the potential to last a very long time, and it can be difficult to change them once built. Therefore it is good to be aware of possible impacts that building methods and materials impose on both our health and well-being and the wider environment. At elemental we are dedicated to working with our clients to explore and find the most appropriate ways of building for their project - whether refurbishment, extension or a new-build - to achieve low impact and healthy buildings.
In the following pages we want to share our understanding and explore how traditional and natural building methods can create beautiful, healthy, sustainable, warm and welcoming buildings fit for our lifestyles, whether through refurbishment, extension or new-build.
More coming soon...
Homes that can last a thousand years, but if decommissioned completely disappear back into the earth from which they came, leaving little or no trace. This is how our homes were built for thousands of years, and some are still in existence today to bear testimony to this ancient and beautifully holistic method of construction. We continue to explore this ethos, enabling the creation of beautiful contemporary architecture for modern living, resulting in buildings that embody the time tested principles of full sustainability and healthy living. It is an age old way, almost lost in just the last 50 years. We believe that this is the time for a natural building renaissance!
The architects own house - built in 1470 and added to in 1500 - still surviving as a healthy, natural dwelling after 500 years. True sustainability to learn from!
Dr. Anton Schneider – Pioneer for healthy building practice and research and founder of the Institute of Building Biology + Sustainability or IBN (Institut für Baubiologie + Nachhaltigkeit) in Clay and Lime Renders, Plasters and Paints by Katy Bryce and Adam Weismann