Residential complex SAYAB
(Awarded as the most ecological residential complex in the Americas, by the “Fundación América Sostenible”)
1. Architectural solution
The project objective is to identify a new type of housing stratum 4 in Colombia (social housing in Spain) able to meet all the expectations and needs of disadvantaged people.
The area has a high buildability so the compactness of the solution is ensured by the municipal legislation itself. On the other hand, one of the objectives of the project is to create a green spaces area bigger than the initial solar surface.
The complex consists of 4 blocks of homes and stores, a parking occupying the entire surface of the area, and all sorts of common social and recreational areas (including two pools). The four blocks are slightly different and with different housing typologies, in order to provide the maximum amount of housing types to customers.
In principle have screened 345 housing units of two basic types: single-storey dwellings (with an approximate floor area of 70 m2) and two-storey apartments (with an approximate floor area of 100 m2).
To maximize the allowable building area, and minimize the impact of the price of the land in housing construction has been concentrated in 4 blocks, facing east-west. Each of these blocks is formed, in turn, by the union of two linear blocks, separated by an enclosed courtyard. This ensures that direct sunlight can not penetrate into the housing, and therefore do not overheat by greenhouse.
Each block has two vertical communication areas, and the access to different houses is through perimeter galleries around the central covered courtyard.
The blocks have a very simple architectural structure, in order to minimize costs and maximize efficiency of the process of prefabrication of components. Despite this supposed simplicity, there are no two identical houses in the housing complex, as all the facades are different from each other, and therefore, all homes have different balconies. To emphasize this difference, and differentiate it from the simplicity of the blocks, the balconies are painted with different colors.
The blocks are perforated in several places of the facade, as “sky-courts” at different heights which provide transparency. Furthermore, these courts generate a set of cool microclimates in the building, and enhance the neighborhood and cohabitation relationships. The interior of the building generates and maintains a large bag of fresh air, that flow through the homes, cooling them by its path.
The complex has 4 types of green areas, in different locations: the exterior of the blocks, the inner courtyard of the blocks, the perimeter yards between the houses, and the roofs of the blocks.
The houses are flexible and allow different architectural structures, to meet the particular needs of each prospective occupant.
(((Note: Luis De Garrido has done this project with great detail and has provided completed information to the construction company, however, due to poor qualifications of the technical team and sales manager of the construction company, together with the internal executive control dispersion of the company, changes were made in the construction phase of the planned buildings, unauthorized by Luis De Garrido, that significantly devalue both the original objectives, as the ecological characteristics of complex residential))).
Despite what stated in the previous paragraph, the resort has been awarded the gold medal, as more ecological residential complex of 2011, the «Fundación America Sostenible»
2. Ecological Analysis
The conceptual design of Sayab, despite the changes in its construction, has the highest ecological level that has been achieved so far in the construction of social housing, due to the following reasons:
- Resource Optimization
1.1. Natural Resources. The resources are maximized such as the sun, the breeze, the earth (to cool the building), rainwater (stored in underground tanks and used for watering the gardens), … .. On the other hand, water saving devices on faucets, showers and flushing toilets, have been installed.
1.2. Man-made resources. The materials used are maximized, reducing potential waste through proper project, effective management, and above all, because each component of the building has been constructed in different factories.
1.3. Recovered, reused and recycled resources.
All the building materials may be recoverable, including all elements of the structure. Thus, they can be easily repaired and reused in building mime, or elsewhere. On the other hand, has promoted the use of recycled and recyclable materials.
- Reduction of energy consumption
The building is constructed with minimal energy consumption. The materials used were manufactured with a minimum amount of energy, as all components are factory, with absolute control. Moreover, the building is constructed with few auxiliary resources, being fully industrialized.
Due to its bioclimatic characteristics, the building has a very low energy consumption (it is estimated that houses will consume only 20% conventional houses consumption, with a similar surface). It should be noted that the houses do not need artificial lighting while there is sun, and the lighting of common areas is based LEDs.
The majority of the materials used can be easily recovered. Furthermore, the building has been designed to have an indefinite durability, since all the building components are easily recoverable, repairable and replaceable.
- Use of alternative energy sources
The energy used to cool the air inside patio is architectural-geothermal (air refresher system taking advantage of low temperatures existing underground galleries on the lower floor slab of the building). So there is no energy consumption in cooling.
- Reduction of waste and emissions
The building does not generate any emissions, and does not generate any waste, except organic.
- Improving health and welfare
All materials used are environmentally friendly and healthy and do not have any emissions that may affect human health. Similarly, the building is naturally ventilated, and maximizing natural lighting, creating a healthy environment and provides the best possible quality of life for its occupants.
6. Reduced price of the building and maintenance
The building was designed rationally, eliminating superfluous, unnecessary or free spins, allowing construction to a conventional price, despite the ecological equipment incorporated.
3. Bioclimatic Features
1. Natural cooling
The building is cooled by itself in three ways:
1.1. Avoiding to be heated. The building complex is located near Ecuador, with a tropical climate. This is the reason because all windows have been arranged facing north and south (no windows on the east and west so that no direct sunlight in the mornings and evenings). All overhangs and balconies are located north and south, to protect the windows from direct sunlight. Finally, all facade walls have high thermal insulation.
1.2. Cooling through an architectural system of air cooling, using a set of underground galleries. Air enters under the side overhangs the north and south (against the rain and sun) to a set of labyrinthine galleries inside the building, where it is cooled considerably. Once cooled, the air enters the shaded courtyard, and finally flows though the houses cooling them by its path. On the other hand, due to the high thermal inertia of the building, it is cooled overnight and remains cool during almost the entire day.
1.3. Evacuating the hot air outside the building. Through a set of solar chimneys located on the upper covered courtyard.
- Cool accumulation system
The cool generated during the night in summer (for natural ventilation and outside due to lower temperature) is been accumulated in the floors and interior walls of high thermal inertia. Thus the houses remain cool throughout the day, with no energy consumption. During the day, the houses are not heated, due to the natural cooling systems used.
The roof garden (with about 25 cm. of soil) with high thermal inertia, plus adequate insulation, helps to maintain stable temperatures inside the houses.
- Cool transfer systems
The cool air rises through the central courtyard and into each of the housing through a set of vents located on the front of the central courtyard. The fresh air flows through all the rooms of the perimeter housing through the vents of interior doors. Heated air rises and escapes through the top of the windows of the perimeter walls, and through a set of solar chimneys located on the roof garden.
- Natural ventilation
The ventilation of the building is continuous and natural, through the perimeter walls, allowing adequate ventilation without energy loss. This type of ventilation is possible since all materials are breathable (ceramic, cement-lime mortar, paint silicates), although the set has a completely hydrophobic behavior.
4. Highlights Innovations
— Fully industrialized building system, including the supporting structure, based on precast reinforced concrete.
— The construction system used allows the maximum possible ecological level, since it involves the least possible energy consumption and less waste generation and emissions possible, since their life cycle can be infinite, since all building components can be recovered, repaired and reused.
— Achieving a perfect balance between the need to provide the building with a large thermal mass, and the desire to recover and reuse every one of its components. Therefore, a system based in structural reinforced concrete slabs has been chosen. These plates are joined together by spot welds in metallic elements and twinned embedded in the concrete mass of each architectural element.
— Despite being an isostatic structure, and have very limited ability to absorb moments perfectly embedded in the nodes, it behaves well, due to its special design interlaced. Thus, it can deal with all kinds of vertical, horizontal and random external actions (has a perfect performance against earthquakes).