Minimalist eco-home built from mining waste
Brazilian architectural studio Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados (GPA&A) in partnership with steel industry company Gerdau has recently completed a minimalist home built using mining waste. Dubbed Sustentable House, the 45-sq-m (484-sq-ft) dwelling is part of a unique pilot program dedicated to creating sustainable concepts that are linked to the mining industry.
“The pilot project is part of the environmental education equipment of the Gerdau Germinar Program which presents to the public new sustainability concepts applied to mining activity and the concept of circular economy in housing – one of Gerdau's social investment territories,” says Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados.
The Sustentable (Spanish for "sustainable") House is built using upcycled mining waste building materials that have been developed by Gerdau in collaboration with the Mining Engineering Department of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). The teams have successfully created production processes that transform mining waste into building materials such as bricks, floors and mortar made from iron ore tailings.
“For the development of this technology and the execution of the work of the House, about 30 people have focused on solving this challenge that unites sustainability, education and quality housing,” says Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados.
The final design of the Sustentable House features a simple yet modern floor plan, complete with open spaces, floor-to-ceiling glass wall, master bedroom, second twin bedroom, central bathroom, laundry and modern kitchen with adjoining living area that opens out onto the surrounding gardens. The interior design boasts a strong industrial edge, with exposed brickwork and industrial exposed cabling throughout.
The floor plan and location of windows throughout the home allows for optimum air flow, while the exterior facade and brickwork provides substantial shade across the day. Furthermore, the home has been built to incorporate solar and wind power systems, solar water heating, rainwater collection, biodigesters and composting tanks.
The Sustentable House will be used as a case study at the Gerdau Germinar Bio center, acting as an educational tool and example of how the mining industry can contribute to sustainable technologies and eco-construction.