The concept of permaculture in the world was conceived in the mid-70s by Australian environmentalists Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Initially, it emerged as a method of permanent agriculture that passed to the conceptual and territorial expansion of the notion of “permanent culture” by the world. Today it has become a design system connected to the creation of ecological, socially just and economically viable human settlements for the construction of a way of seeing the cyclical and sustainable world (guided by specific ethical techniques and precepts).

The idea of a regenerative system that works with the environment (and not against it) has expanded from Australia and into the world. It raised discussions and practices on the regeneration of systems in different areas for different contexts, in the desire to find possible solutions to a reality that is at its apex of wear (with clear tendency to collapse the current system, if humanity does not find a significant change in the way you sustain your actions).

To accompany the transformations that permaculture has undergone over the years, Holmgren wrote in 2002 the book Permaculture: Principles and Paths Beyond Sustainability – a more in-depth look at how project actions could be structured, based on ecological principles that extend to various socio-spatial, cultural, productive and environmental issues. In his book, he brought 12 basic concepts for these actions to have sufficient structure, to actually become a systemic and ecological design in different layers (thus not reducing the initial scope of the term).

The bioconstruction emerges as a possible way to work the three ethical bases of permaculture (care for people, care for the land and fair sharing). By creating a union between vernacular architecture and new sustainable technologies, bioconstruction enables the development of aesthetic, environmentally sustainable techniques that value the use of materials and local labor.

Figure 1 – 12 basic permaculture principles


“The concept of bioconstruction encompasses various techniques of global vernacular architecture, some of them with hundreds of years of history and experience, having as a characteristic the preference for local materials, such as land, reducing expenses with manufacturing and transportation and building homes with Reduced cost and offering excellent thermal comfort. ”

(SOARES, 1998)

As permacultural thinking suggests, for a truly ecological movement it is necessary that we observe the environment and its patterns in a systemic way and create spaces that are environmentally, economically and socially healthy. The bioconstruction as a possible way of composition of the physical space has the same logic: its premise is the ecological concern of conception until occupation. It combines millenary techniques with technological innovation, guaranteeing sustainability not only of the construction process, but also of the post-occupation period.

The biobuilt project has as its starting point the local evaluation of the work – focusing both on environmental resources and on the water course, available construction materials, topography and other diverse elements as well as on human resources.

The term that is also known as bioarquitetura has been used in Germany since the 70s and has a transdisciplinary approach to architecture that integrates it in a mimetic way. Resigning the notion of construction, bioconstruction seeks to work with local nature, not against it.

“Bioconstruction is defined as the construction that draws strategies that aim to reduce environmental impact or positive impact, through sustainable initiatives, making use (preferably) of natural and / or local materials. and utilization, the maximum use of available resources with the minimum impact.”

(IPOEMA, 2017, web).

Despite the use of the term bioconstrucción or bioarchitecture is relatively recent, it is necessary to highlight that nothing differs from the notion of traditional architecture in what refers to the production of healthy spaces that provide the user with environmental comfort and uses enhancing the use of natural external agents (which consequently reduce the internal consumption of artificial internal resources, always considering as main focus the perspective of those who are going to take the built space as a habitat).

Bioarchitecture as a proposal does not aim to create a new professional, but the permanent discussion of an architecture integrated to the life cycle – focusing, in this way, on practical solutions that are based on the resilience capacity of the world and human relationships for the development of technologies (and constructive forms that will help in the regenerative process of the planet).