Skip to content

Cork or cardboard houses, more ecological and durable

Green architecture is in fashion, and so are innovative designs , which seek a balance between comfort, relatively affordable prices and sustainable materials.

In this post we are going to focus on cork and cardboard, two construction materials with great potential in ecological architecture, in combination with wood, in addition to seeing two modular proposals.

You may also be interested in: Ideas to recycle cork stoppers
  1. Cork and cardboard, sustainable materials
  2. Ingenious cardboard house
  3. The EcoCubo, a mobile cork house
  4. Conclusions

Cork and cardboard, sustainable materials

Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak and its characteristics refer to its durability, fire resistance, elasticity, insulation and impermeability. Its use in construction takes advantage, above all, of its insulating capacity, as it is one of the best thermal insulators, in addition to doing it at an acoustic level.

Cardboard is another highly versatile material , much stronger than it may seem for use in construction. Through the use of recycled paper or cardboard, very durable projects have been carried out, in addition to having a beautiful aesthetic, as the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has shown or, without going any further, the project that we will see in the next section.

In general, the sustainability of materials depends on very different factors. In fact, it is not enough to say that we are using cork, wood or cardboard as the main raw material to convey the idea of ​​sustainability. Not all those materials are, logically.

In order to be ecological materials , they must meet a series of characteristics, such as not having undergone a treatment that distorts or spoils them in this sense, have the corresponding ecological certification and, for example, have a low carbon footprint, both with regard to to its production and when transporting it.

This is basic, but in reality we should take into account the different aspects of the life cycle of products, from when the raw material is obtained until it is made and runs through the distribution chain.

Only in this way could we assess the real environmental impact of the products. In this case, the construction materials of these houses, which have many ballots to obtain good marks in such exhaustive examinations. But let’s look at both proposals .

Ingenious cardboard house

The Wikklhouse, from the Dutch studio Fiction Factory, is a cardboard house that, as can be seen in the photos, does not look like it. Its durability, around 100 years, is also hard to believe. Perhaps because we are not used to these construction materials, and the mere fact of being atypical explains our strangeness.

Be that as it may, there is nothing like seeing the result that this project offers, a mini modular house entirely built with cardboard and wood. It is assembled with modules of 5 square meters and does not need a foundation. That is, it is a portable home, as long as you are willing to move a load of 500 kilos with a trailer.

That is to say, obviously, we are not talking about a tent in the shape of a house, but a house designed for temporary use, but in the medium term. Both for its installation in a natural environment, wild type , or in a garden or plot of its own, where to install it as a main or complementary house, depending on the different needs.

Its price is prohibitive, since without counting transport and placement in a single day, the cost already reaches 25,000 euros. In addition, for now it is only for sale in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark.

The EcoCubo, a mobile cork house

The EcoCubo is an ecological refuge in terms of materials and also as a concept. Its creators, the Portuguese architects António Fernandes and Filipe Macedo de Brito, propose a micro house made with local ecological materials (cork oaks are very abundant in Portugal and Spain, including the Mediterranean area more extensively), taking into account in addition to the advantages that it has as an insulator.

Along with cork, they use wood, but the main material is that, seeking with the use of both to create a natural environment that does not establish a separation between being inside the house and outside. Likewise, cork is used as a coating so that the same passage of time is tanning the house, causing it to melt with nature, like something alive.

Inside, with a capacity for two people, it is possible to arrange the space in different ways, so customization is sought. Its creators affirm that each EcoCube is unique and, on the other hand, it is very flexible in terms of uses that can be given to it, location and distribution.


Finally, the EcoCubo is conceived as a key element for promoting ecotourism in unconventional or accessible places. In this sense, it opens up new possibilities for rural tourism by expanding the space susceptible to residence without the environment being heavily damaged at the landscape level or assuming a massification.

Well thought out, the cardboard house could also be used for this purpose. Beyond being houses, they are understood as a broader concept of sustainability, either to serve a lifestyle or as a business related to the ecotourism sector.

The buts, as always, there are them, although in this post we value project masters for their activist side, and in this aspect they are interesting. Lastly, the price hurts. Although the EcoCubo is much cheaper (about 10,000 euros) they are still expensive alternatives if one takes into account that they are not conceived as a first residence.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cork or cardboard houses, more ecological and durable , we recommend that you enter our category of Crafts with recycled material .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.