This year’s Solar Decathlon Europe team from King Mongkut’s Unviersity of Technology in Thonburi (KMUTT) has created a home that merges traditional Thai architecture with innovative sustainable systems from the 21st century. KMUTT's Adaptive House takes the traditional Thai terrace house known as “Baan Chaan” and modernizes it to feature modular construction, passive cooling, sun shading devices, and of course solar power.
Designed to be ideally adapted to its environment, the Adaptive House responds to Thailand’s tropical climate through passive environmental controls. Natural ventilation crosses through the home and up through the vaulted ceiling space, while shading devices keep the living spaces comfortable. The courtyards that are designed into the floor plan also helps to bring nature into the daily activities of the home. In Thailand, families traditionally cook outside and the Adaptive House responds to that by opening up the kitchen walls to the courtyard.
Adaptive House is a sustainable and modular solution that incorporates steel intermodal container construction that is easily transportable. These intermodal units can be easily transported by train, ship or truck. The design also deals with issues of density by constructing it so it can flexibly expand with modular components to accommodate any family size. Also, the home was designed to be replicated multiple times to create flexible communities made from regional materials. Thailand is threatened by floods every year and the KMUTT team made sure that their design was so forward-thinking that it could be used to help support flood regions. As the team put it on their website, “the design is the best to live sustainable in floodplain area like in central Thailand, by using Thai traditional wisdom, which is to ‘live sustainability as community’.”
Photos via Liz Eve for Inhabitat