Chile is a country under constant threat from natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides, which is why team Casa FENIX came up with a post-catastrophe home for this year's Solar Decathlon. The solar-powered modular shelter is not only suitable for the different latitudes and climates of the country, but it can eventually be upgraded into a fully-functional permanent home over time. Most importantly, the home is affordable and can be acquired through a variety of governmental programs that offer subsidies for those affected by natural disasters.
This particular project is based on the idea of evolution, which is why it starts out as a simple “survival module” in order to provide shelter and safety for people displaced by a natural disaster. After that, residents can add a module that includes a bathroom and kitchen, followed by other “living modules” that turn the structure into a fully-functional home. The final module is the “Sun Space,” which implements a passive solar design to regulate the indoor climate. What starts out as basic shelter with 150 sq ft of space can eventually transform into a permanent home with nearly 690 sq ft.
Team Casa FENIX is a bi-national team composed of students and faculty members from the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM), Valparaíso, Chile and from the Instituts Universitaire de Technologie (IUT), Université de La Rochelle, France. The Chilean team are in charge of all the conceptual work such as architecture and urban design, while the French team handle the practical applications such as construction and technology application. While this approach increases the complexity, it also reduces the amount of carbon emissions that would be created shipping the design back and forth between the two countries.
+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage
Images by Liz Eve for Inhabitat