The construction of a house has never looked so simple and fun. French startup Catharhome has developed an ecological and economical wooden brick named Brikawood.
Situated in the Pyrenees, Catharhome has specialised in innovative products for wood construction for 30 years. Brikawood are wooden bricks which can be built like a Lego, without glue neither nails nor screws. This is the idea of engineer Alain Romero and it has taken him three years of research to develop it with the help of Patricia Dutreux. They have invested 330 000 Euros in this project.
The principle with these bricks is to produce timber frame walls for any type of architecture and thus enter the chain of sustainable development. They have been designed so as to limit the handling and the energy consumption.
Comprising four wood elements, two side plates that provide structure and two spacers for its structural coherence, it is designed to allow their engagement to maintain between each other and thus give the wall a structural coherence. You need a rubber hammer to mount the bricks and a drill to secure the sill plate on the slab and the wall cap to close the walls and after blowing and conditioning the insulation (wood chips).
Brikawood developed three different models by its widths each with a feature in the structure: the basic brick width 500mm, the half-brick basic 250mm width, the corner brick width of 500 mm and 750 mm (incoming angle and outgoing angle).
According to the promoters, this brick is also economically viable. “A square meter costs between 920 to 1000 Euros against 1600 Euros at least for a traditional wood frame,” says Patricia Dutreux.
Various tests were carried out with freezing rain simulations from zero to less 20 degrees and they proved satisfactory compared to houses with stacked beam poles. Brikawood can also withstand earthquakes of 8.5 on the Richter scale.