Located in Hai Duong, Vietnam, this solar-powered home designed by H&P Architects and completed in 2020 is made of steel, bamboo and locally sourced brick. The 75-square-meter model, known as HOUSE (Human’s Optional USE), is designed for use in vulnerable, low-income areas and regions prone to flooding. The HOUSE has a unique installation in the form of a rooftop rainwater sprinkler. These multifunctional structures can be grouped together to create different patterns of neighborhoods or even serve as education, healthcare or community spaces.

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According to the architects, the innovative sprinkler system is used to clean and cool the home’s roof during hot days. The water cools the roof as it evaporates, keeping the summer heat from absorbing into the roof. Otherwise, indoor temperatures would soar and lead to higher air conditioning and energy costs. This water comes from a rainwater harvesting system that reuses rain in order to save domestic water.

Related: Porous brick walls keep this bold Vietnamese home naturally cool

tree-lined path to a white home
person sitting at round dining table

Structurally, the home has a lifted, reinforced steel frame with a pitched roof and 3-meter-long beamed tubes that fit together through joints. With this design, the home can easily accommodate more floors if necessary, and the lifted frame is suitable for flood-prone areas. The roof is made of pieces of thick bamboo beams positioned for optimal reinforcement.

wood bench under a netted upper floor
people lounging in netted floor

The HOUSE features simple, organic materials with corrugated iron and painted steel on the exterior and bricks and natural wood on the interior. On the top floor, a netted section provides a fun, recreational space for lounging. Multiple doors and windows open on each side to promote cross breezes and passive cooling, especially necessary in the hot, humid Vietnamese climate.

upper floor with brick walls and netted flooring
window open to reveal sunset over trees

In addition to the rainwater sprinkler system, the large roof also holds solar panels that produce twice as much energy needed to power electrical equipment within the household. Residual energy can be stored within the system or traded.

+ H&P Architects

Images via H&P Architects

tall plants and palm trees near two-story white home at sunset