Ecuadorian architects Luis Velasco Roldan and Ángel Hevia Antuña have joined forces to develop a 50 sq m (538 sq ft) green-roofed home called the Nelson Homero ESPE Prototype II. The aim was to create an energy-efficient housing prototype that combines natural materials with traditional building methods, which could be dismantled and moved to different locations for energy efficiency testing in different climates.
The lightweight home was developed with the department of Energy Efficiency and Mechanics at the University of Las Fuerzas Armadas. It's reported to be easy to dismantle and can be transported to different locations, without leaving too much of an impact on the surrounding environment.
It's built on top of a series of concrete and steel columns, which slightly raises the house above the ground. The lower slab is filled with volcanic pumice to provide superior insulation and thermal inertia, while palm rachis is used to insulate the home's walls. The rest of the structure is constructed using natural materials and locally-sourced wood varieties such as Eucalyptus and Ecuador Laurel.
A pre-existing tree bursts its way through the center of the home in its current location. Its green roof was made with double asphalt and seals the home in a watertight shell. The roof is also said to help reduce the surface temperature of the home, keeping the interior cooler during the warmer months, while also preventing heat loss during the winter months.
A sophisticated power management and temperature control system has also been included, which monitors the home's interior climate and provides better research for strategies to maintain energy efficiency.
The interior of the home features slimline and built-in furniture, saving on space and materials. The open plan living room adjoins a European wall kitchen and dining area. This main area of the house features a large floor to ceiling glass sliding wall, which opens out completely, extending the living area into the natural outdoor landscape.
A good measure of storage space has been included along the walls, in the kitchen and underneath the sofa lounges. The home's layout wraps around in such a way that there is little need for doors between the rooms, but privacy is maintained in the sleeping areas, bathroom and study.
The double bedroom comprises a built-in queen-sized bed with an elevated loft area above. The cute little loft features a glass ceiling and offers an ideal spot for relaxing, reading a book or star gazing. The loft can also be transformed into a second sleeping zone with the addition of a mattress.
A fully-equipped bathroom is located in the center of the home, also boasting lots of storage space. The second entrance to the home leads into a study area, complete with a built-in desk and room for two people.
The smart home features an automated power management system that's linked to a series of motorized shutters throughout the home, which provides shade from the sun when the solar gain is high, while also allowing sufficient natural light to enter the home. The system also prevents heat loss when it is cooler and is designed to maintain a constant internal temperature of 20-21° C (68-70° F), even when outside temperatures drop to 12° C (53° F).
The entire home will be dismantled, packed, transported and reassembled in a number of different locations to test its energy efficiency in diverse weather conditions and climates.
The overall goal of the Nelson Homero ESPE Prototype II home is to reduce residential energy requirements by 50 to 70 percent, compared to conventional buildings. We've contacted the creators for specific information regarding the home's power source and to back up their claims regarding the home's "superior" energy efficiency, but have yet to receive a reply.
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