Authors: PALOMA HERNAIZ / JAIME OLIVER
Location: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
The house, located in Palma de Mallorca, looks for the maximum energy efficiency adapting itself to the program, solar orientation, views and slope of the terrain. The program is grouped in four boxes. Each box is placed carefully on the ground and rotate on its axis with precision to find the best views and orientation.
The house has been designed according to Passivhaus standards to achieve the maximum energy efficiency. Thanks to this design cooling is not necessary, which is typically an issue in the hot days of Mallorca’s summer, and the heating demand is only 11kWh/m2a. The energy to heat the hot water is obtained from the solar thermal installation. The pitched roofs have a system for collecting rainwater for irrigation and consumption making the house completely autonomous in terms of water.
The house was finished in 2016 and monitoring its performance has been key to value the results beyond the happiness and satisfaction of the clients. As of today, the clients have not turn on the heat at all reporting an interior temperature (measured daily twice –day and night) for the winter between 21ºC to 24ºC, with exterior temperatures between 5º to 15º.
A simple and austere palette of materials is used in the project, white lime mortar, pine wood carpentry and a protagonist material: a handcrafted hydraulic tile locally made in Mallorca. Using two colors, beige and pale green, four types of tiles where used to create a distinctive pattern in each of the main spaces.
The clients are a recently retired couple looking for a house with three bedrooms, for the sporadic visits of their children and grandchildren, that could shrink into a one-bedroom house when they are on their own so they don’t have to worry about cleaning or climatizing the guest area. The project optimizes the program grouping it in four boxes –kitchen, living-dinning, main bedroom and guest bedrooms- which can be used together or independently. Each box is placed carefully on the ground and rotates on its axis to find the best views and orientation for their use.
Besides the basic concern of the clients for providing shelter to their family, it was the future of their family’s planet at large. ¿can we have a house self-sufficient on energy and water? A radical sustainable approach on building was a must.
The house is designed under strict Passivhaus standards and it has reported, since its completion in 2016, ZERO heating consumption (100% passive) and ZERO water expense (100% rainwater). The satisfaction of the couple monitoring the results is priceless.
Besides all active and passive systems used to achieve this efficiency (too long to explain here), we could say that learning from traditional knowledge, solar studies and local techniques are still the main force in the efficiency of this house.
The project has been made with a tight construction budget and a very low cost of energy maintenance. It is a home that promotes environmental and sustainability values and transmits them from grandparents to grandchildren.