Drywalls have in the past often been criticised for being “cheap”, nondurable or flimsy, and bad for your health. So we tried to find another solution to divide up the different apartments and rooms for yök Casa + Cultura. Most of the ideas we came up with however, were too experimental, meaning costing too much money or/and time. So we went back to studying drywalls available in Spain and found Knauf.
Knauf’s panels for room partitions and suspended ceilings have been rated A+ regarding VOC emissions in interior spaces. The panels are made of 100% recycled cardboard and natural plaster, of which a part comes from pre-consumer recycling.
Moreover, this technique allows us to put the new walls on top of the mosaic floor without damaging it. In the future, walls can simply be removed without damaging the original Catalan Modernisme features. No wet material like cement, sand or glue is needed. Another advantage for us is that the material is made in Spain, which reduces the transportation impact, and has obtained the UNE-EN ISO 14006 Eco-design certificate by Aenor.
The panels are set up using standard metal guides that can easily be recycled in the future. The panels itself can also be fully recycled, separating the plaster from the cardboard. This however, is hardly being done in Spain at the moment because it is currently cheaper to dispose of the panels as landfill, than to bring them back to the factory. Let's hope that by the time our walls need to be recycled, the company has a take-back program for its material in place!
Instead of mineral wool, we opted for natural sheep wool for insulation. In the end, using drywalls and sheep wool results in much less volume of material than most other materials, and hence in less transportation and packaging. The walls fit all our criteria regarding health (VOC-free), safety (fire-proof), environment (local production and non-toxic), comfort (sound-proof) and cost (easy installation).