The prototype proposes a domestic space alternative by the addition of “pavilions” around an intermediate space, the “patio”, which receives the expansions of the rooms around it, without needing the partitioning by walls.
Is a new concept in self-sustaining modular house, based on the concept of “Spaces kit” and “intermediate scale of prefabrication” creating a domestic space through the use of modules that are neither the whole house or a constructive component, not a room but a housing set (a group of compatible uses).
In this way, it is developed the possibility of “design for choice”, allowed by the “spaces kit”. The users may have a previous list of available rooms and decide by themself how to place them and assemble the house, as if it were a game, placing the openings to outside and the higher volumes where best suited.
It is a flexible system that allows the production of adaptable, attractive and flexible houses, through fixed housing modules combined with an “elastic” element (the technological central patio), without leaving to be a prefabricated system. That system may be appropriate for situations that require new solutions, as temporary or emergency house (for example for temporary workers), house in places without infrastructure, energy self-sufficient residential complexes, student houses, etc.
The “patio” unit is the main flexible element of the prototype, where the functions of every room attached to it expand, developing an inside/outside relationship and making a gradient on the comfort conditions possible.
In this “patio” (conceived as a technological device) it is possible to recreate the pleasing conditions of a Mediterranean space by modulating light and shade, humidity, temperature and even smell and sound. A new interpretation of traditional materials such as ceramics and timber, used both in the exterior cladding and the structure system of the modules, combined with the application of next generation components improving the energy performance of the house, make this objective possible.
On one hand the use of upgraded traditional materials embedded in the envelope increases thermal lag without additional weight. Besides we develop a complex canopy system for the “patio” producing shading while generating photovoltaic energy.
PATIO 2.12 recovers the virtues of Mediterranean lifestyle proposing a new contemporary interpretation of home spaces and traditional building technologies. As in andalusian traditional houses, the “patio” is also the centre and heart of the home, housing several functions and developing an inside/outside relationship which makes a gradient on the comfort conditions possible.
The prototype gives priority to energy saving instead of energy production, proposing a compendium of passive systems. Bioclimatic strategies of the prototype, concerning the Mediterranean tradition, are based on the “patio” role as a thermal regulator performing in different ways for winter or summer periods.
Prefabrication and industrialization
The prototype develops a concept of house prefabrication based on the addition of prefabricated finished spaces to a variable space, “the patio”. The housing module is conceived as an intermediate prefabricated element (or space) whose size is suitable for road transport. This way, the system demands intense construction work in factory but also saves assembly time achieving lower costs for the house and better quality on the final product. Two lines of research are proposed for the future development of this system of prefabrication:
- Complete prefabrication of residential low-rise buildings, by stacking the prefabricated housing modules.
- Use of prefabricated housing modules to recycle obsolete residential structures, a field of applications which would have great development in the future.
The building technology developed in PATO 2.12 assures a fast assembly process, saving building time on site, and therefore achieving lower costs for the house and better quality on the final product.
The housing module building system is a structural shell which, because of its size and weight, could be completely prefabricated and placed already finished on site. It does not need foundations and will have only punctual supports to be coupled during assembly time. The patio floor is independent from the housing modules and it is connected to the ground by a support system similar to theirs. This way it gets elevated, ventilated and insulated.
The pergola structure in the patio is supported by the housing modules, which have special anchorage elements all around them for connection, regardless of the final house setting.
The prototype gets the best possible architectural integration of the photovoltaic solar energy with the formal design of house. Photovoltaic panels are integrated both on the housing modules and the pergola, with an appropriate inclination to obtain the best solar collection.
Because of the absence of foundations and use of small supports right on the ground, the system allows the ground to stay undisturbed after removing the prototype; therefore, it is a construction without landscape footprint or any waste after the possible house disassembly.
Housing modules could also be used as an addition to other buildings, for example in the recycling process of obsolete residential structures. In this case it would be placed directly on the floors of the existing structure.
The prototype also explores the possibility of the grey water recycling for the house uses. That way it has external vegetation which could be watered with this system, and even participate on the filtration process on this grey water.