All Your Ecobase Are Belong To Us

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Ecobase is another "green" building system out of Europe complete with its green pitch: "Your house is also a lifestyle choice, your statement to the other. It expresses how and in what kind of environment you want to live. To live in EcoBase means to make a natural choice. To exist like a part of nature's cycle and state to the other that you are not indifferent to the environmental problems." Little green tips pop up on every page of the website.

But it is made of logs. No mention of where they come from or whether they are sustainably harvested, and then they are treated with "antiseptics" and a fire retardant additive. The roof appears to be a sandwich panel of steel and polystyrene. Parts of the exterior are clad in Alucobond, a composite sandwich of aluminum and plastic which is non-recylable. UPDATE: information from the designers has been added.2008-01-28_163316-TreeHugger-livingroom.jpg

Then they make some wild claims that make me want to run out and buy a wood house:

Healthy room climate
Wood has pernicious influence on many bacteria and viruses. That’s why habitation in EcoBase saves you from maladies and allergy. You can live in EcoBase and forget about medicine bills.

Invigoration
Thanks to the unique breathable feature of wood, it helps to balance temperature and humidity. The air is always fresh and humidity is kept at an optimal level. You will need only 5-6 hour of sleep to feel yourself rested and recreated.

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it comes as a kit including:
* logs for the walls
* roof timbers
* sandwich panels for roof
* wooden batten and insulator
* low-E windows and doors
* alucobond exterior covering
* all necessary details for assembling (glue, wedges, screws, ...)
+ Engineering instruction

for 600-650 euros per square metre, or starting at 82 bucks per square foot, which isn't bad. But it is a stretch to call it green when it is full of fire retardant treated wood, and clad in alucobond. The health claims are also silly. Nice renderings though.

Is it real? It appears come from an industrial design firm called Rinnovo, based in Moldova, that does "3d rendering, product styling and form generation." I have emailed them to find out if it is in production and will update when they respond.

::Ecobase
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UPDATE: Alex Gherciu of Rinnovo has responded to our questions and concerns:

TH: Is it real? Our company made the design for the EcoBase houses and now we are putting it into mass production. We are working with a company that has 10 years experience of log house construction. (www.woodhouse.md). The project is in production and we hope to see first EcoBase house standing in late March-April.

Is the timber sustainably harvested?
I was thinking that if you start project like this one it's self-evident that timber is going to be FSC certified no matter if it is from Russia, Canada, Ukraine or Finland. But anyway I will surely put it on our site to avoid misunderstandings.

What about the fire retardants and antiseptics? we use fire retardant and antiseptic additive from Russian manufacturer "Rogneda" . I can ensure you that all solutions are made on basis of ecologically safe materials and do not cause damage to nature, animals or human beings. We have official eco-certificates.

Roof Panels
:I can agree that is not exactly natural material, but in the process of manufacturing waste is reduced significantly and all materials are used very efficiently. (It actually looks interesting, from SC panel Systems in Russia)

and the alucobond?
Alcan says "ALUCOBOND is fully recyclable, i.e. both the core material and the aluminium cover sheets are recycled and can be used in the production of new material."

Alex concluded: "Finally, because we are working with a very experienced builder, our team has had the opportunity to live in a log house for a couple of months. I can confirm that you feel much healthier, and migraines and allergies just vanish!"

Thanks for the clarifications, Alex, much appreciated!

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