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Ecohouse V01 – Bronze Prize in architectural design

Design: (MAEB Students): Pilar Aguirre, Giulia Astrachan, Jesús Bueno Anguita, Julianna Carmona, Vincent Charlebois, Chen Yu-Wen, Chiang Yu-Ching, Pablo Corroto Pradillo, Nour El Kamali, Elisabet Fàbrega R. Roda, Kevin Matar, Qiao Liang, Jorge Luis Morales Fernández, Sinéad Nicholson, Michael Salka, Tian Yuanpei, Yu Zhipeng, Zhang Jie, Zu Heran;

Project Direction: Vicente Guallart, Daniel Ibañez and Marziah Zad;
Project Management: Michael Salka; IAAC Fablab
Staff: Mikel Llobera, Ricardo Valbuena, Alaa Al Baroudi;
Consultants: Oscar Aceves, Miquel Rodriguez, Jochen Scheerer, Luis Casado, Gustavo Torralbo, Laura Halminen, Nicu Pribago, Guillem Camprodon, Rodrigo Aguirre, Luis Sola, Gustavo Abreu;
Volunteers: Chelsea Sherman, Seçil Afşar, Pan Youjian, Tristan Copley, Banjaman Scatt, Rutvij Patha, Alejandro Caballero, Demi Pradolin, Judy Mahfouz, Alec Nicholson
Sponsors: Visoren, Tallfusta, Saltoki, Premapreta, Distribució Sostenible, Alter-Entorn, Saneseco, Santa & Cole, Noumena, Mausa, Philips
Photo credits: Adrià Goula, Chelsea Sherman


The Ecohouse V01 Prototype is the collective final project of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s (IAAC) 2018- 2019 Master of Advanced Ecological Buildings program (MAEB). The program is an immersive experience of learning by living in which students engage with the complete seasonal cycle as residents for 11 months at Valldaura Labs, a XIX-century estate renovated to host domestic spaces, a studio and auditorium backed by permaculture facilities, a digital fabrication lab and carpentry workshop in the midst of the 8,000 hectare Collserola Natural Park yet just 10 km from Barcelona’s center. In the program’s 2018 – 2019 inaugural edition, 19 participants from 10 different countries spent 6 weeks designing and 8 weeks fabricating and assembling the Ecohouse V01 Prototype with the support, guidance and technical assistance of sponsors, specialists, consultants and instructors. The Ecohouse V01 Prototype showcases many inclusive, innovative, environmentally aware and self-sufficient solutions, including: an integrative design synthesizing inputs from the diverse building cultures of the international student body; a fully traceable primary structure fabricated of 0km pine harvested from the Valldaura forest (the original location and species of the source trees as well as the sequestered carbon and embodied energy of each element are easily accessed by scanning engraved QR codes); translation of a low-tech, universal shingling system into a morphologically responsive, materially optimized envelope using advanced computation and fabricated of 0km oak harvested from the Valldaura forest; entirely off-grid metabolic utilities comprising 4 photovoltaic panels with a combined capacity of 1200 watts for electrical needs; a water system which captures rain in a 10,000 liter internal storage tank and re-uses grey-water to irrigate a small garden; and a toilet that obviates any septic installations by diverting liquid waste for percolation and composting solid waste with a cultivated biome of microorganisms and worms. Conditioning is passively achieved by stack and cross ventilation in summer or with the use of a wood-burning stove in winter. The ventilated façade further aids conditioning and provides cavity space for recycled cotton insulation, recycled paper and natural rubber membranes as well as all the required equipment, piping, and conduit thereby freeing the interior for comfortable habitation. All of these factors together ensure comprehensive, sustainable performance that can endure for up to 14 days without resupplying water or 4 days without sun. The Ecohouse V01 Prototype is a tiny house proposing many big ideas, first and foremost an ecological relationship of design, construction and lifestyle. The students engaged in the design and production, the future residents and ultimately anyone familiar with the project will thus be educated by an architecture deliberately designed to consciously connect its dwellers with their place of living and greater environment.