ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN COMPETITION

FOR PASSIVE HOUSE IN BULGARIA

Mara Popan Dipl. Arch., Roxana Mosoiu Dipl. Arch.

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Building-Metric-Sheet-49.xls

Eco housing doesn’t mean just building eco, with innovative materials, but think eco and help the nature regenerate itself and stay that way for years to come. That’s why we have tried linking the building with the nature, as much as possible.
The proposed building, is hidden from the main street area, beside a large planted space. We came up with this idea, came from the barrier that real forests make between a polluted space, the street and a residential area, for example. In this case, our house is protected from all bad exterior influences. We have been using this “ barrier” concept as well, at the visible entrance, the vestibule being filled with plants that oxygenate the air, before entering the living area itself.
The family residence we propose, is not just made of materials and systems that are part of the durable development. Its shape comes from the closed cycle that the energy makes when entering the house: from nature-to the building and back to nature. That is why it seems being composed of 1 element surrounded by a of wooden “ribbon” made of shingle, as in the traditional houses. This element, as well as a design one, accentuates some important elements inside the plan, like the entrance and the vertical circulation and an important part of the living room, as well as the bedrooms. The ribbon is interrupted by lower volumes, that work as a link between its loops. This almost continuing moving, makes the house a part of the natural habitat, it makes it one of its vital elements. We have also brought elements from the local architecture, in the reinterpretation of the traditional porch, from the entrance area.
The building is placed in alignment with the existing buildings in the area, following the alignment and the legal withdraw specified in the theme: five meters in front and back and three meters on the lateral sides. The withdrawn is benefic, making sure that the “green barrier” works at its best. The building has a car place, also provided, which stands before the green barrier, so, the building is polluted-safe.
The ground floor is, as usual, dedicated to the public area, being made from a big living room 21.60 sm, a generous staircase , a kitchen of 7.70 sm, opened to the dining room which is 11.150 sm, a small bathroom, with 3.15 sm and a technical room that includes the ventilation system and the additional heat source. The first floor has 3 rooms, a master bedroom (23 sm) with a dressing room, two other small bedrooms, for children or for guests(10.80 sm and 11.65 sm) and one large bathroom(5.95 sm). Each room is provided with natural lightning and natural ventilation as the air moves freely all around the house, that are essential for a better living . The whole house has 170.00 used square meters, fitting in the theme’s requests. It is enough to gather all the necessary functions of a family’s day to day living.

On the outside, the house, inspires a complicated structure and partition but in reality it is not that complicated, its plan being very compact, easy to use, to heat and to maintain a constant temperature inside all over the year.
The structure is a mixed one, the ground floor is built with reinforced concrete pillars and beams, while the upper level is a combination between the same system and timber of the roof, used to bring a natural element to the house. The two used roofing systems, the terraced and the slope ones, also contribute to the proposed green concept. The sloped roof works very well with the solar panels placed on the South side, while the terraces are used as “ green roofs”, who help cooling the area immediately below, avoiding the direct sunlight incidence on the covering.
This house has a benefic orientation, having it’s “vital parts” towards South, towards the Sun. To South there are orientated the 12 solar panels with vacuum tubes, that provide the well heating of the entire building. Six photovoltaic panels will be used for producing enough electrical energy for the family use. Also, we didn’t think any important glass surface that should be oriented to this cardinal point, as we have most living areas, like bedrooms, towards it. As it’s known, the most important part of the Sun light gathers on the Southern part and that would make improper living spaces.
For the building itself, we thought making use of reused materials gathered from demolished buildings in the Lozen area. Bricks from these houses, are reused in building the structure as well as the timber. The finishing on the walls will be made of natural clay plaster. The stone that has also been recovered, is used to make the living room’s exterior terrace. As a possible termo-insulating method we propose being used 8 cm cork panels, which is a new and improved ecological system. The cork being a natural material derived from the tree having the same name, has in its chemical composition 58% suberina , macromolecular polymer with 90% porosity( the gas in the polymer has no C02) and moisture content is 6-10%. It has a high density as well, over 198 kg/mc, which makes it very suited for insulating buildings in general, especially a family house. Being so natural, it doesn’t have any bad effects on the living, in time.
As a heating system inside the house, we don’t see a better option than floor heating, this system being proved over the years as better and more ecological than the individual radiators placed in each room of the house. So, a web of channels will be passing each room, bringing the heat from the solar panels with vacuumed tubes, placed strategically on the Southern slope of the roof. All these technical elements will have the command panel and the tanks in a special room, within the house.
The water coming from the precipitations is also stored in tanks, for being reused in watering the garden and maintaining the whole household. We also proposed to reuse domestic water(grey water)with proper filtering and storage.
The area around the house hasn’t been left aside, but is contributing itself at the whole eco system of the construction. We propose a simple garden design, not to obstruct the house, that includes a green “barrier” formed of high trees and small vegetation, a barrier that keeps the polluting factors away, as much as possible. The rest of the garden, develops itself around the family house, creating alveoli, including a playground, a place for barbeque with a seated area and lots of plants to bring more oxygen to the living place.