Our Place to be

Linz, Austria
DPM Gruppe

Ceramic tiles support healthy indoor climate

Ecological building with design

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.

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Photographer: Lumina Kreativagentur, OurPlaceToBe

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