Architects Luis Velasco Roldan and Ángel Hevia Antuña of Ecuador have designed a small, 538 sq ft (50 sq m) house called Nelson Homero ESPE Prototype II. The main aim for now is to perfect a prototype for a house, which is built using traditional methods and natural materials. The home can also be dismantled easily and moved elsewhere at need without a huge impact on the surrounding area. They will also be testing the prototype for energy efficiency in different climates.
The home is constructed atop of a series of concrete and steel columns, which work to elevate it off the ground a little. Volcanic pumice was used to fill the bottom slab, since this material provides great insulation and thermal inertia. To insulate the walls of the house they used palm rachis. The house itself is constructed out of natural materials and Eucalyptus and Ecuador Laurel wood, which is sourced locally.
At the site of the prototype, a tree was incorporated into the center of the home. The house also features a green roof and is made of a double asphalt layer, which provides a watertight shell. The roof also works to reduce the surface temperature of the house, meaning it keeps the interior temperatures comfortable in all seasons.
The house also comes with an automated power management system, which is connected to motorized shutters to provide shade in summer, and sunlight and solar heat gain in winter. The system is also able to maintain a constant internal temperature of 68-70° F (20-21° C), even when outdoor temperatures drop to 53° F (12° C).
The interior of the home features a kitchen, a dining/living area, a double bedroom, a study, and a fully equipped bathroom. There is a loft over the bedroom, which can be used as a second sleeping area. A large glass door opens from the living room, which makes the house appear more spacious and brings the inhabitants closer to nature.
The prototype home will be dismantled and transported to different locations in order to test its energy efficiency in different climates. Once the prototype is perfected, the home will presumably be available for purchase.