Anna Perramon: Eco-Friendly Materials and Sustainable Construction Systems | Room by Room #50

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Anna Perramon, a Spanish architect from Barcelona with over 7 years of BIM experience.

The podcast discussion revolves around sustainable construction, prefabrication, eco-friendly materials, and bioclimatic designs. It covers the selection of eco-friendly materials with low embodied energy and the importance of designing buildings with passive design principles.

Additionally, the podcast explores the use of renewable energy sources and modular and prefabricated construction methods. Finally, it addresses considerations for retrofitting existing buildings.

Meet Anna Perramon

Anna Perramon is a Spanish architect based in Barcelona with over 7 years of experience in BIM (Building Information Modeling). She specializes in sustainable construction, prefabrication, the use of eco-friendly materials, and bioclimatic designs.

As the Director of Arch Natur, she has collaborated with local firms in Byron Bay, Australia, since 2020. Some of the firms she has worked with include Zaher Architects, Tom Young Architects, Ben de Nardi Architect, Oceanarc Byron Bay, and SHE Architects.

Before moving to Australia, Anna spent 4 years in Barcelona, where she focused on designing prefabricated timber houses and engaging in energy-efficient architecture.

During her course in Bali, she gained skills in bamboo construction at Green Village. Additionally, she contributed to an NGO in Thailand, where she participated in building a school using natural resources.

About the episode

In the podcast, one of the key topics Anna covers is eco-friendly materials. She highlighted several examples, including timber, rammed earth, and hempcrete. These materials are considered environmentally friendly because they are renewable, have lower embodied energy, and can be sourced locally.

Anna also emphasizes the importance of sustainable construction systems, particularly in relation to energy efficiency. She mentioned the passive house standards, which focus on elements such as high insulation, air tightness, and passive solar design. These features help minimize energy usage in buildings.

According to her, sustainable construction goes beyond just the choice of materials. Anna highlights the significance of designing houses that can be easily deconstructed and recycled or reused. She also mentions the benefits of modular and prefabricated construction methods, which can significantly reduce waste during the building process.

The conversation also underscores the significance of educating clients about the long-term benefits and cost savings of sustainable options, as well as the role of regulations in supporting and promoting sustainable practices in the construction industry.

Here are key ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials and sustainable construction systems based on the podcast:


When selecting materials for sustainable construction, it is important to consider several factors. First, opt for materials with low embodied energy. This means choosing materials like timber, rammed earth, and hempcrete that require minimal processing and have a smaller carbon footprint.

Additionally, prioritize natural and breathable materials that allow for moisture dissipation, reducing the risk of mold and promoting indoor air quality. Lastly, look for materials with recycled content and consider their potential for reuse at the end of their life cycle, contributing to a circular economy and minimizing waste.


Incorporating sustainable design principles is crucial for minimizing energy needs and maximizing the efficiency of a building. Passive design strategies should be implemented, which include proper orientation to maximize natural light and heat gain, as well as insulation to reduce heat loss.

Shading elements, such as overhangs or strategically placed trees, can prevent excessive heat gain during summer months. 

Renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, should be integrated to support active systems like lighting, heating, and cooling. Additionally, choosing modular and prefabricated construction methods can significantly reduce waste in the building process.

Furthermore, designing buildings with the concept of disassembly in mind, rather than creating permanent structures, allows for easier recycling and repurposing of materials in the future.

In conclusion

Becoming more eco-friendly in construction requires consideration of materials and design principles from the start of a project. Key factors include minimizing embodied energy through resource efficiency, prioritizing natural and reusable materials, optimizing passive design, and powering homes with renewables.

Attention to local sourcing, modular construction techniques, and designing for disassembly can enhance sustainability. Retrofitting existing homes focuses on upgrades like increased insulation and efficient appliances.

Educating clients on long-term impacts and addressing regulatory challenges are important to overcoming barriers to innovative eco-friendly building. With an open-minded, collaborative approach, architects, engineers, tradespeople and homeowners can work together to develop more sustainable construction standards. 

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