Self sufficient housing competition

International competition finalist 2005


The ecological principles applied through the project dampen the climactic extremes which characterizes Montrealís seasons. Through form and material, the south wall acquires multiple properties. In order to protect dwelling spaces from a direct contact with exterior air conditions, the wall is double skinned. The latterís material composition is of concrete. The combination of form/matter acts simultaneously as air temperature tampon and heat absorber. The walls inner cavity acts as insulation. The walls top slope is favorable to a few ecological interventions. Solar panels are favorably angled to receive an important amount of light, thus providing a percentage of the energetic requirements of the building. The presence of the slope also alloys for water collection. Rain storms and melting snow are absorbed by the present vegetation on the roof. Through its soil the latter filters the gathered waters which are then directed by the slope to a water reservoir located in the upper part of the wall. Heat gathered from the thermal mass offered by the wallís mineral composition is transferred to the reservoir, in turn heating the water, saving a part of the costs of warm water. Protecting dwellings from direct summer south light exposure allows a better control of inside temperatures. Window sizes on the facade are modest in size opening. The latter are protected as well by a protruding concrete frame. The frame depth allows winter sunlight penetration which consequently participates to heating apartments. Modeled on the presented constraints, the wallís tectonic expression is one of material strengh only equaled by the challenging force elements unleash upon its surface.

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