Getting a smaller sustainable house to work harder is no easy task but this eco-friendly home in Mexico City has achieved just that
A retired couple from Mexico City were looking for a smaller and more sustainable house, but they did not want to get rid of all of their possessions. They were also worried about the shortage of water in Mexico City. This small structure acts like an inverted umbrella with 80% of the area gathering rain water while providing them with the space they needed.
The project foresees the opportunity to use reinterpretation as a consistent creative tool. By mimicking orientation strategy and a very simple functional diagram, the new construction relinks to the notion of history and accustomed-living behaviour patterns.
Open space allows direct sunlight to enter from the south side. The east and west side are offset, so only the north side is at property line. The concept involved moving from a 2,754 sq ft construction to a 1,937 sq ft one.
The local weather helped to define various key features: Mexico City's climate plays a very important roll, since 70% of the days per year can be used for outdoor living. The main living-dining area can completely open onto the deck terrace making the relatively small indoor space larger.
The deck floor transforms itself into the façade, this is the patio elevation that can be enjoyed at all times. All rain water is picked up by the roof and main terrace, it then passes through two main carbon activated filters and becomes drinking water, so there is almost no dependency on the grid for water.
By using a performance-based design procedure, an energy cost of $15 per month (electricity consumption and natural gas) has been acheived. The architects worked with Green Building Studio and Sefaira Metrics to achieve considerable energy savings.
Credits. Design Architect: Paul Cremoux W. Project Team: Structural Engineering: Arch. Ricardo Camacho MEP Engineering, Sustainability Consultant and vertical garden: Ing. José Antonio Lino Mina, DIA. General Contractor: ARCO Arquitectura Contemporánea and PAUL CREMOUX studio. Photos by: PCW. Status: Built.