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International Architecture Biennial Award 2020 - Non-Built Project Category

The "House and Apartments IX" project is located in the Villa Verde Condominium, in Pozos of Santa Ana, in a medium-density area in a relatively large lot.

The design aims for low environmental impact with a limited budget; the client requests a house for himself and his family, plus two apartments to rent.

The coverage of the land is 50%, so the runoff is not affected, and gardens are designed along the long facades to regulate the temperature of the breeze through the vegetation's evaporative cooling effect.

The project is divided into two buildings, both showing their long façades to the East and West; separated by a sufficiently wide space to avoid blocking the ventilation from one building to the other, the openings in the East façades are smaller than the West ones to increase the speed of the breeze, all regulated by lattices to optimize comfort in the tropical setting; the narrow and elongated design of the buildings also optimizes the use of natural lighting.

The construction system is modulated wood framing to avoid waste; the joints assembled with structural screws are highly efficient and, at the same time, make the exposed wooden structure look clean, free of connection plates.

The soil replacement for the foundation is only 60 cm, thanks to the lightweight nature of the structure; the concrete foundations and mezzanine help regulate the temperature of the rooms.

The project has two types of roofs, galvanized iron intended to support solar panels and more than 30% are green roofs, which by their nature regulate the temperature of internal spaces, help regulate the general urban temperature and produce oxygen; the galvanized iron cover was designed in a single direction to avoid waste; the water that falls on the galvanized iron roofs slides towards the green roof, which filters it and stores it in a retaining mat. When it fills up, the surplus is conducted by to two downspouts that fill collection tanks, and this water will be used for filling toilets, washing clothes, and irrigation; in addition, a water recovery system is incorporated that treats black and soapy water, in such a way that is reused in dry seasson for irrigation and filling toilets.

The hummid areas of the houses were designed in vertical cores that culminate in three small roofs that allow overhead ventilation and suport solar water heaters, one for the house and one for each apartment.

The Architecture Biennials are catalysts for the importance of architecture in human development, in this case raising awareness about sustainable design and stressing the importance of social, economic, and environmental resources; this, technically and educationally, also represents an opportunity for exposure and training for professionals and students.

The call of a Biennale is crucial because of the interest that the exchange of ideas and advances in the industry creates. The projects that are nominated are innovative and of the highest quality.

Being chosen to be awarded is an honor that drives us to continue proposing the designs that we deliver to our clients with so much enthusiasm.

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