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Modular Sustainable Homes, Milan, Italy

Wednesday 28 Mar 2012

Ultra self-sufficient housing

All images courtesy of A++ 
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Collaboration utilises field specialisms to create ultimate eco-friendly homes 

A++ have been developing a new innovative housing model with Seasif SUN-TECH (and its associates Luxferov and Nuovo Corso) that explores sustainability and self-sufficiency. The collaboration aims to take all the parties involved and use their expertise to design residential units that have exceptional self-sufficiency levels that will live up to the current and ever-increasing demand for sustainable living.

Through the work with the engineers, a unique system for construction has been developed. Lightweight and extremely strong, the structural beams will be made of composite of fibreglass, Kevlar and resin. Aluminium is used on the exterior facades to support porcelain slabs and to maintain a gap between the wall and insulation for air flow. The insulation uses either rockwool or basal fibre (the decision being made based on the climate of the build) in order to maintain temperature levels and reduce humidity in the house.

The roof serves not only as a protective element of the building but utilises its exposure to sunlight. The entire roof is composed of photovoltaic solar panels, with the aim of providing all of the electrical and thermal energy the house requires to heat and cool the spaces inside. The solar panels are mounted onto the porcelain slabs, which have precast holes filled with a coolant liquid. This liquid then uses the porcelain slabs to exchange the thermal energy from the photovoltaic cells, keeping them cooler and increasing productivity. Excess is taken to an indirect heat exchanger for use in heating water to be used by the occupants or in the process of heating and cooling the house via a heat pump.

The house is set to be given a LEED Platinum certification and the housing package will come with all the structure, finishes, air-water heat pumps, electric boiler, forced air exchange with heat recover, photovoltaic systems, electrics, plumbing and sanitary systems. Although this may seem expensive the architects state that the financial benefits of living in a property that is so sustainable will allow the occupants to immediately recover the extra costs on the original purchase of the house.

Matthew Goodwill

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0.27(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
A++ srl

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