Concept | Design: LandmArcch
Collaborator: Vita Giannini
The idea behind this project is to propose a sustainable, modular, residential system that can be transformed into smaller or bigger areas depending on the number of its residents, their economic background and/or the use of the areas themselves. The buildings will use rammed-earth construction, an ecological and easy way of building walls using natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime or gravel.
It is an ancient building method that has seen a revival in recent years as people seek more sustainable building materials and natural building methods. Rammed-earth walls are simple to construct, non-combustible, thermally massive, strong, and durable. Rammed-earth buildings are found in a range of environments that includes the wet regions of northern Europe, semiarid deserts, mountain areas and the tropics. The compressive strength of rammed earth is less than that of concrete, but more than strong enough for use in domestic buildings. Soil is a widely available, low-cost and a sustainable resource, and utilising it in construction has minimal environmental impact. This makes rammed-earth construction highly affordable and viable for low-income builders.
Rammed-earth construction can support any kind of shape, an important reason why this material is set to become one of the leading low budget, sustainable construction methods.
The extensive use of photovoltaic panels and solar windows, the use of gravel roof and green roofs, also imply that this project aims to use up to as much renewable energy sources as possible in order to create an autonomous living organism.
The solar window will generate clean electricity using natural sunlight to power other artificial sources such as fluorescent and LED lighting. This technology uses organic solar arrays composed of a series of ultra-small solar cells measuring less than ¼ the size of a grain of rice each. They are fabricated using environmentally-friendly hydrogen-carbon based materials, and successfully produce electricity. They have the same desirable electrical properties as silicon, yet boasts better capacity to ‘optically absorb’ photons from light to generate electricity. They achieve transparency through the innovative use of conducting polymers; organic solar cells, or organic photovoltaic (OPV). These have received the attention of the solar energy community as a promising low-cost alternative to typical PV (photovoltaic) solar cells used in today’s solar industry to harness the sun’s energy for renewable electricity.
Green roofs are another step for creating an autonomous, ecological living structure since they are well known for their contribution towards a fire resistance, reduction of electromagnetic radiation (from wireless devices and mobile communication), and noise reduction, since they have excellent noise attenuation and energy efficiency. The greater insulation offered by green roofs can reduce the amount of energy needed to moderate the temperature of a building, as roofs are the sight of the greatest heat loss in the winter and the hottest temperatures in the summer. Another great characteristic of green roofs is that they improve the quality of the air, since the plants can capture airborne pollutants and atmospheric deposition. The plants also filter noxious gases and can potentially decrease the amount of CO2 and other pollutants.