Photo: Orca Yapı Sistemleri
In Turkish, the word for a slum is gecekondu, meaning "settled overnight." A prefabricated house doesn't go up quite that quickly, but mass production can make homes--of both the conventional and ecofriendly type--available to more people at varying income levels.
The Turkish construction company Orca Yapı Sistemleri claims to have designed the country's first green modular home. While prefab construction isn't inherently ecofriendly, these houses perform well on energy efficiency and other measures.
By building with walls made of insulated materials, the company says it can make its homes four to eight times more efficient than similar, traditionally built models. A demonstration unit currently on display outside of Istanbul has solar panels for heating water and generating electricity. "Normally a house of this size would be covered in panels, but the unit is so efficient and there is so little energy loss that we have done it with 12 panels," Orca Yapı owner Gonca Gül told the Turkish Daily News.
The main structural component is steel, which is readily and completely recyclable, and durable in earthquakes, a strong selling point in Turkey, where a 1999 quake in Kocaeli, about 90 kilometers east of Istanbul and the home base of Orca Yapı, killed at least 17,000 people. Many of the deaths were caused by the collapse of buildings with reinforced concrete frames. Via: "Sustainable Prefabs from Orca Yapı," Turkish Daily News
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