CHILE – Thermal insulation for sustainable self-construction

Study and construction of a thermal insulation system for sustainable self-construction

Year and location

2015. Nogales, Valparaiso

ATSF Commission

Arnau Llasat, Elisenda Gadea, Adrián Jiménez


Universidad de La Frontera
Red de Construcción con Fardos de Paja


The project consists of certifying a construction system by carrying out tests, structural review and analysis of physical properties based on prefabricated panels.

The ATSF team was in charge of the preparation and installation of samples for a series of tests and physical-mechanical studies of the construction system and the collaboration in its certification.


The general objective of the project is to promote recycling, waste reuse, energy saving and family economy, creating and certifying a new construction and thermal insulation system, to be used in homes that today face a problem in lack of resources.


100 people from resource-poor rural communities in Villa El Peumo, who are in the process of building their homes
100 students from schools in Nogales
15 students of the Agricultural Lyceum Crista Mock


In the commune of Nogales, Chile, there are currently 1617 families whose homes are affected but recoverable (due to the fires of March 13, 2015, where the province of Quillota was affected, among others) although 1600 live in housing units for homeless families.

Recycling and waste management is a priority for the Nogales region, where large amounts of waste are generated without taking advantage of it, many come from industry, large amounts from agricultural waste and paper. This affects the environment because people cremate the waste in the field itself. As for construction, materials are generally expensive, made of synthetic type derived from petroleum, such as polyurethane, polystyrene, polyethylene, among others.

Low-income families do not invest in good thermal insulation and at most use unsustainable systems such as electric stoves, which at the same time increase energy bills. We seek a housing construction with better insulation, which will favour economic and energy savings and, therefore, CO2 emissions will be reduced. The project allows for greater knowledge, valuation and use of reusable and recyclable resources, which the municipality of Nogales has, to generate products that help the self-construction of housing.