Material Awareness: Choosing Healthy Material for Your Next Home or Hotel Stay

As sustainability becomes the norm in the global building industry, the use of sustainable materials has increased.

However, with the growing trend for wellness architecture, leading architecture firms in this field are also prioritizing healthy materials that harm neither the environment nor the occupants.

The Algarve is still catching up with green building phenomenon in general but can leap frog its way to using toxin-free material due to the access to these material. Consider cork, which CORE relies on for several of our local projects. Portugal is the world’s largest exporter of cork and is a natural, renewable and sustainable construction raw material. Cork has many properties that make it suitable for construction, for example insulation, wear-resistance and durability. Cork caulking also is 100 percent organic.

For Villa GK, CORE chose this material as facade insulation for a non-toxic environment. The insulation plates were cork granules pressed into plates in a steam press at 360 ° C. Pure mechanical production – without binders or synthetic resins.

Another non-toxic healthy material CORE relies on in Portugal and the UK is wood that is grown from responsibly sourced forests. In a recently completed renovation project of a beach-facing house located in one of the most prestigious resorts in the Algarve (Villa AH), a key focus was on locally produced non-toxic  material. The use of local material further added to an authentic look to the structure, integrating with the surrounding environment and creating a unique atmosphere for the occupants.

Rustic natural stone and wood for the flooring, wood for furniture and interiors, un-manicured concrete stairs, micro-cement, uneven plaster and crittal windows, as well as rustic metal stands all contributed to the character of this house.

Project Vilamoura Studio

As a boutique sustainabilty and wellness architecture firm, CORE attaches great importance to locally-sourced as well as ecological or sustainable building materials that are toxin-free, a balance that is not always easy to achieve but always worth the investment in the long term.

Whether you’re building or renovating a new home or multi-use property, or considering which hotel to stay in, be mindful of the construction material used. Green building materials that are environmentally friendly, that have sustainable supplies and are ready available from many sources are always preferable to the environment and to your holistic health. No one should be exposed to the health risks and toxins associated with rooms toxic drywall or formaldehyde flooring.

Interested in finding out more about other sustainable and healthy construction material? Feel free to email me at

Anabela CEO of CORE Architects
Anabela Macieira
Core Architects — CEO and Founder