A group of British architects say it’s time to re-think the environmental impact of construction – so they’ve built a house almost entirely from cork.
From the walls to the roof, it’s made from expanded cork blocks, combined with engineered timber, resting on removable steel foundations.
All the cork comes from cork oak forests in Portugal and is supplied by Amorim – the world’s No 1 cork producer.
No additives or chemicals
The 1,268 solid cork blocks used in the house were made by heating and compressing cork granules, without the use of additives or chemicals.
The blocks were then shaped to fit tightly together, eliminating the need for glues or cement during construction. Cork is so light that most of the house could be assembled manually, without the need for machinery.
Slowing down climate change
Cork is 100% natural, sustainable and recyclable, which resulted in the house being carbon-negative at completion – the cork had absorbed more carbon dioxide than was emitted during the construction process.
Cork House caught the eye of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), who gave architects Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton the Stephen Lawrence award 2019 for experimental architectural talent.
“A unique fusion”
Marco Goldschmied, the founder of the Stephen Lawrence Prize said: “Cork House is a unique fusion of ancient construction methods and cutting-edge technical research to produce a highly innovative, low carbon solution with a wide variety of applications from mass housing to emergency shelters.”