Photos: Casa Aqua via TuVerde.
Even if green architecture is usually 'good architecture' that can be applied to any construction, it seems the household projects that carry some sort of certification are usually aimed at the high income segment. Perhaps because people with lower income have other problems to worry about. But that's probably going to change, and the Aqua home prototype in Brazil is a step in that direction.Built for the Ambiental Expo exhibition in late April, Casa Aqua is a prototype for a low-cost, sustainable, adaptable home aimed at people with medium income (they say with low income, but it's probably middle-low) that we spotted at TuVerde.
Its goals are to promote sustainable construction and solutions for all types of income, and to offer a model that can be adapted to different people's needs and local climate conditions.
The 2010 prototype, designed by Rodrigo Mindlin Loeb, was aimed for a warm place with medium rain levels, and thus has rainwater collection system and green curtains for temperature control. It's built with dry construction techniques with materials such as dirt and concrete 'uncooked' bricks, tiles from recycled cellulose, and plaques from a composite of recycled tetra packs and toothpaste tubes.
It also features solar panels and solar water heating, and water saving equipment in the bathroom.
Why is this aimed at medium-low income? According to the architects, a 40 sq. meters (430 sq. feet) Aqua home can cost about 45 thousand Reals (about 26 thousand US dollars).
Considering that green homes can be very beneficial for people with low income (who needs to save money in energy and water bills more than them?), prototypes like this seem like a step in the right direction.