There are a number of projects out there claiming to be low maintenance, but how many of them are truly worthy of the label? Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter took a look at the Innovative Maintenance-Free House by Arkitema Architects, developed by the Danish foundation Reldania Byg. The foundation has already built six other MiniCO2 houses in Nyborg in order to demonstrate five extreme ways of reducing the CO2 footprint of residential architecture.
The Innovation Maintenance-Free House by Arkitema Architects promises to last 150 years, with minimal maintenance during the first third of its lifespan. The prefab structure was built completely off-site, deploying innovative construction techniques. It is enveloped in recycled glass and has a sloping roof. The house itself was positioned half a meter off the ground on concrete stilts. The gap between the plywood substructure and the glass allows for natural ventilation of the structure by creating a chimney effect. This technique required no high-tech ventilation systems and is based on passive design. In order to protect windows and doors from the elements, the architect pulled these back from the façade. Four skylights, along with the fenestration from the entrance area and the 10-meter long glass section, are meant to provide optimal amounts of natural light.
According to the architects, even though using wood for building in the Danish climate might seem counterintuitive, they explain their choice by referencing Denmark’s long tradition of building with wood. Connecting longevity with excellent ventilation, the architects focused on the shell in order to build a house resilient to the elements. Time will tell whether this will prove to be a truly maintenance-free solution.
Photos by Jesper Ray