Casa de Madera: A model for ecological construction
Thanks to their sustainability, efficiency and, not least, their low cost, prefabricated houses are extremely popular. So architect Pablo Serrano (DOM Arquitectura) chose prefabricated construction for his "Casa de Madera" project. For Serrano, this is a pioneering project as prefabricated construction is still not very widespread in Spain. The resulting modern apartment loft on the slopes of San Cugat (Barcelona) is a model for energy-efficient and ecological construction in the prefabricated house style. Warm wood is the main building material and was selected thanks to its outstanding thermal properties. Serrano used spruce for the façade and pine for the interior; all wood originated from the Catalonian Pyrenees. The materials used were sourced from the immediate surroundings to reduce transport routes. Furthermore, all raw materials can be recycled. A minimum amount of construction waste was generated and as few resources as possible were consumed in order to minimise the building's ecological footprint.
The orientation and final positioning were also carefully planned. The aim was to gain maximum benefit from the prevailing environmental conditions, to intervene as little as possible in the natural environment and so minimise energy consumption, and also optimise the thermal properties. In winter, the sun warms the long south-facing side of the house with the large windows. In the hot summer, the surrounding trees provide the necessary shade. At the same time, the installation of the windows enables a natural cross ventilation. The fireplace that separates the living room from the study provides additional warmth. In short: in summer, the rooms are pleasantly warm and ventilated and, in winter, warm and cosy. A thermal solar system on the roof also produces hot water. The furniture was also selected on the basis of its sustainability. The pieces selected are enduring and timeless, for example, the Scola washbasin by Duravit, a design from the 1960s. Due to the dominance of wood, the elegant bathroom communicates a warm feeling in the modern prefabricated house.