Ceramic tiles support healthy indoor climate

Place to be: ecological building with design

Hand on heart: in the past, an eco-house was quickly associated with hippie flair. But those days are over. Today the motto is: ecological building with design. For example, in the case of Andrea Hörndler and Hannes Wizany from Austria. They report on their experiences in their blog "Place to be". And also about their conclusion that ceramic tiles from Agrob Buchtal not only look good, but also make a direct contribution to ecological building and, with the innovative Hytect surface, also ensure a healthy indoor climate..

"I think that once you start thinking about your personal consumer behaviour, it's hard to close your eyes. It starts with little things like cosmetics or food and extends to building a house. That's why we also started by asking ourselves how we actually want to live, what do we really need and how can we realize it in a sustainable manner”, Andrea Hörndler explains the beginnings of her housing project. After about two years of intensive searching, they found the perfect plot of land near Linz: in nature and yet not too far from the city. Their declared goal: an ecological residential building no more than 100 square metres in size which skilfully combines their demands with regard to sustainability and design.

Imposing architecture on stilts
On the steep hillside plot, the "eco-house", built on stilts and largely of wood, catches the eye by its imposing architecture alone. In order to avoid sealing the ground, Hörndler and Wizany deliberately decided against building a basement. A support structure made of recycled steel carries the house and makes it look like a floating “living box”. The wood used comes from sustainable Austrian forestry, the insulation is made of straw which is blown in after the wheat harvest, and in the interior, building panels made of straw, clay slabs and clay plaster provide a climate-regulating effect.

"Access to information on the subject of ecological building or sustainable alternatives in the building industry in general is extremely arduous”, Hörndler sums up. "We have therefore tried to document everything as well as possible and provide insights into our house via our blog." For example, the fact that ceramic tiles not only look good but also directly contribute to ecological building is one of the experiences which the two home builders are happy to share with their followers.

Sustainable floor and wall tiles
"Of course, we were guided by the design when choosing the tiles, which is also how we came across the District series of Agrob Buchtal. But we also didn't want to give up our claim to sustainability. From our point of view, it is very difficult to design a bathroom ecologically - if only because it is not possible to do without waterproofing”, says Hörndler. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, meet the ecological criteria, because they are made from natural raw materials with clay as the main component and, in the sum of their properties, are one of the most sustainable floor and wall coverings at all. Almost all tiles of the brand Agrob Buchtal are also provided with the innovative Hytect surface and offer a special additional benefit: they have an antibacterial effect without chemicals, neutralize unpleasant odours as well as air pollutants and are extremely easy to clean.

Ceramic tiles which can do more
The effect of Hytect is based on the principle of photocatalysis. For this purpose, titanium dioxide is durably baked into the glaze of the ceramic tiles as a "catalyst" which, when exposed to light, effects a reaction between light, oxygen and air humidity. In this way, active oxygen is formed, which on the one hand eliminates unpleasant odours and air pollutants, such as, for example, formaldehyde, tobacco and kitchen fumes or the typical smell in WC rooms. On the other hand, the active oxygen decomposes micro-organisms such as bacteria, mould, algae, moss or germs without chemical substances and inhibits their growth.

The ceramic tiles provided with Hytect coating are also hydrophilic, i.e. water-friendly, and therefore particularly easy to clean. Instead of forming drops, the water spreads evenly as a thin, flat film on the tile. The advantage: dirt is washed down by the water film and can then be easily removed. Hytect thus significantly reduces the use of cleaning agents and protects the environment.

Furthermore, the photocatalytic effect of Hytect does not wear off, but is activated again and again by light alone. Normal room lighting is sufficient for this purpose.

Trendy metro tiles
The District series of Agrob Buchtal convinced Andrea Hörndler and Wizany with its glossy glaze, which is cleverly accentuated by the bevelled edges on all sides. The collection is inspired by the typical tile claddings of the metro stations in big cities like Paris or London. It was used in the format of 10 x 25 centimetres on the walls in the bathroom and WC and in the format of 5 x 10 centimetres in the kitchen. Grey floor tiles from the Agrob Buchtal range create a harmonious overall picture in this combination. And of course they also have the innovative Hytect surface for healthy indoor air and better living quality.

Werner Ziegelmeier (Head of Public Relations)
Phone: +49 (0)9435 391-3379
Mobile: +49 (0)160 90527159
Fax: +49 (0)9435 391-303379




© Lumina Creative Agency

Motif 1

This photo impressively proves that ecology and design are not contradictory and can be mutually beneficial. Supports made of recycled steel make the house appear light and almost floating. In addition, less floor space is sealed and more valuable rainwater can seep into the ground.
© Lumina Creative Agency

Motif 2

The house was built largely of wood from sustainable Austrian forestry. The offices can be reached via the terrace in front of the building and an external staircase. They are deliberately not connected to the living spaces in any way - in the sense of a deliberate separation of "work" and "life".
© ourplacetobe

Motif 3

A self-regulating living climate is particularly close to the hearts of the residents. Clay walls can do this perfectly and convey a homely feeling of space. Plants not only look good, but also ensure that the "air is clean" day and night.
© ourplacetobe

Motif 4

In the bathroom, ceramic tiles (District series, 10 x 25 centimetre format) from the Agrob Buchtal brand neutralise unpleasant odours and air pollutants. This is made possible by the innovative Hytect finish, which is permanently fired in the factory and also has an antibacterial effect without chemicals.
© ourplacetobe

Motif 5

In the WC, the clear line was maintained in terms of design and materials: lots of wood, a little greenery, constructive refinements such as the space-saving door and ceramic tiles from the District series with Hytect finish, whose special advantages are also, and especially, fully effective in the quiet little room.
© ourplacetobe

Motif 6

Andrea Hörndler and Hannes Wizany attached importance to building materials that are sustainable and long-lasting, in both senses of the word, namely ecological and visual. The ceramic tiles used from Agrob Buchtal fulfil this requirement in an exemplary manner thanks to natural components such as clay and a timelessly neutral choice of colour.
© ourplacetobe

Motif 7

The District series (here: format 5 x 10 cm) from Agrob Buchtal also makes a literally "shining impression" in the kitchen: bevelled edges and the typical glaze create attractive reflections and plays of light - once in metro stations around the world, today in modern homes. Thanks to the innovative Hytect finish, the tiles are extremely easy to clean, have an antibacterial effect and improve indoor air quality.
© ourplacetobe

Motif 8

Consistently ecological and design-oriented - this is the motto of Andrea Hörndler and Hannes Wizany, who realized their ideas of a perfect home near Linz (Upper Austria). Their blog "Place to be" explains how they went about it and which tips they have for future home builders.