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Tuesday 17 Mar 2009

Radiators are out, body heat is in

MiLoft by RMJM
MiLoft by RMJM MiLoft by RMJM MiLoft by RMJM MiLoft by RMJM MiLoft by RMJM MiLoft by RMJM
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RMJM create loft design free from artificial heating 

RMJM have revealed a new affordable housing concept which is designed to be devoid of the need for artificial heating. The MiLoft concept aims to provide stylish, affordable and eco-friendly housing which needs only body-heat to maintain a liveable temperature within. The design also includes rooftop vegetable gardens.

MiLoft was launched at this year's MIPIM property market and is targeted at homeowners who wish to experience loft style living, without the ability to buy a penthouse. The design is in response to the urgent need for more affordable housing as people lose their homes due to foreclosure and unemployment.

'Zero carbon technology' and sustainable materials will be used to reduce running costs and energy use. ‘Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery’ (MVHR) technology, designed by Max Fordham Consulting Engineers, combined with an exceptionally high level of air tightness, will harness and reused heat generated within the home – such as body heat and heat from household appliances - to maintain indoor air temperature at a constant level. MVHR negates the need for a traditional heating system in most urban areas, although it will need to be supplemented in more extreme climate conditions.

In the summer, the dual aspect, double height loft-style and open plan living space will provide natural ventilation in high temperatures, reducing the requirement for air conditioning for hot climates. Rain water is collected from the roof and redistributed for toilet flushing.

The units will be available in a variety of layouts with one, two, three or four bedroom apartments and can be combined in a variety of configurations to create six storey apartment buildings which will suit most urban locations.

In addition to meeting US government targets for sustainability, the new housing model has a low construction cost, starting at $80,000 per unit, and the modular design, with shallow foundations requiring little groundwork, means that the buildings can take only five months to build. Made from responsibly sourced timber with steel stiffeners, the units are designed to fit on the back of a truck for easy transportation from the factory direct to the site.

The MiLoft concept is already attracting interest from politicians and housing executives in the UK and RMJM is now preparing to make the model available in other urban centers which face affordable housing supply issues including Russia, India and the US.

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