MAKAR, an architecture and design firm from Scotland is currently building very sustainable and eco-friendly homes. The homes they design are also constructed by local workmen, while the SIPs used to build them are all-natural and made from locally-source timber. These homes are also energy efficient and have very low carbon footprints.
The homes they offer are prefabs made from so-called Natural Structural Insulated Panels, which MAKAR creates in their own factory. However, these SIPs are different to those we are used to seeing. The commonly available SIPs feature a closed panel system with polyurethane or polystyrene insulation at the core. These materials are derivatives of petrochemicals that are toxic and have a negative impact on the environment once the building has outlived its life span. However, MAKAR created a custom made closed panel system, which is made from timber and uses natural insulation materials, namely cellulose and sheeps’ wool. Care is taken that the insulation is not exposed to moisture during any part of the building process, while the panel can also be pre-plumbed and pre-wired at the factory, which speeds up the construction process considerably.
The company is also experimenting with acetylated timber, while they are even developing their own solid wood panels, which can be held together with dowels. They are calling these Dowellam and they are very similar to cross-laminated timber panels. The difference between the two is that the latter requires lots of expensive equipment to make, while the one MAKAR is developing can be made cheaply by just about anyone.
The homes themselves look very cozy and spacious as is evident from the Di Rollo House pictured in this post, and also come with a green roof and solar panels for energy generation. But it’s the ingenious SIPs that make this home truly an eco-friendly gem.