Make a small house "on the street" rather than in an enclosed condominium. Potentiate the contact with the floor and extend it to the roof. Design an economically and environmentally correct building, consistent with the real needs of who will inhabit it. The site is located in Curitiba, PR, in Hauer, a late industrialization district with a recent tendency to residential densification. Among the justifications for the choice of location are the surroundings with the Green Line, an important road axis, as well as the relative ease of access to downtown. Also considered was proximity to an important public transport junction. There was a desire for a house facing the street, contrary to the tendency of the search for condominiums.
The designing process took place just like the tailor's craft, where the measurements are precise, nothing in excess or missing. A house with minimal program was expected to make the building feasible financially, but also to free up outside space, be easy to maintain and avoid the sense of waste. In this way, the land of 240m² received a small construction, with enough 119.20m². In the aspect of the formal characteristics, it is a work contemporaneous to the time of its drawing, not belonging to any dated style. Current construction techniques were applied, eliminating unnecessary ornamentation. The frontal composition includes expanded and perforated metal plates as semi- transparencies that integrate visually the house to the street, also being in sight the solar panels as important elements of the facade. Large curtain walls are located in shaded areas while smaller oppenings with double glazing counteract the direct incidence of the sun. The easy and inviting access to the terrace make it very popular.
The former owners had preserved on their property only 0.25m² of permeable landscaped area where a lemon tree resisted bravely. At the end of the project, the total garden area resulted in 128 m², more than the area of the house itself.
It is important to point out that the word sustainability, although it has become popular in the last decades in the field of civil construction, is primarily practicing responsible project design and the execution of buildings, and many good buildings by architects of the past already contemplated all the current meaning conferred on this term so widespread today. A project must already be born considering all the solutions that give the building the expected efficiency of a so-called sustainable work, instead of waiting for an irresponsible project to have paleadic tools and later mitigation devices. In this sense, the strategies of energy efficiency and environmental comfort were thought from the initial conception of the project. The garden-terrace provides better thermal insulation, protecting from the direct action of the sun on the slab and also serving as a plant cultivation area, in addition to its contemplative aspect. Another important function is to reduce the speed of rainwater, cushioning the rain load prior sending it to the public micro-drainage, as well as the ease of access to the roofing systems facilitates the maintenance of the house.
Natural ventilation is guaranteed in all internal spaces, being amplified by the positioning of large openings in the direction of prevailing winds. The zenithal openings in the bathrooms also aid the "chimney effect" when the doors of these rooms are open. A tear of zenithal illumination brings moderate natural light to the corridor. Rainwater is reused by collecting it in the roof gutter, from where it is led to a cistern and then distributed to the taps scattered around the site. The eight photovoltaic solar panels, each with a capacity of 270w, are connected to the grid (grid-tie), and are able to provide more energy than the house consumes, generating credits for the owners. The project was among the ten finalists of the residential category in the 5th edition of the Saint-Gobain Prize for Architecture - Sustainable Habitat.
Foundations in mechanically excavated piles were designed to overcome the difficulty of a fragile soil with very superficial water table, ranging from 7 meters in the dry seasons and 2 meters in the rainy seasons. The option for structural masonry occurred because the system resulted in cleaner, cheaper and easy-to-execute work even by unskilled labor, eliminating expenses with pillar formwork and lashing straps. The system also provides easier error inspection, since a map with the exact position of each type of block is elaborated in the design process. The slab of the mixed type was executed with EPS, giving a better thermal performance to the house. The BIM technology was applied in the design stage and also during the construction, helping the execution and allowing greater control and precision in the construction site.