Towards a new individual place: A self-sufficient community

Community, privacy and confort

Housing is the reflection of the entire society. Improving the housing, the way of living will change. Change their way of life and you will change the world. Nowadays, if all of the people inhabiting the Planet Earth would consume as well as the Spanish average, three planets will be needed. Three. And there is only one. One. Is possible to change that?

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Barcelona is going through a moment of housing emergency. Housing prices and rents are out of control and are pushing people out of the city. Moreover, tourism grows every year in the city surpassing the 10 million tourists in 2014. The pressure of tourism causes the flat rents for short term, drastically reducing the residential rental offer and therefore increasing its price. 90% of evictions in the city are from families who cannot afford the rent. How can we create new spaces of coexistence for the population where living is a right and not a luxury? The main project is located in the outsiders of Barcelona and has been divided in three separated inputs: community, housing and self-sufficiency.

Manuel lives on the third floor. His birthday was last week and he was given a painting, but he has no drill to hang the painting. So he stays with his friend Julia, who lives on the other side of the city, to lend him the drill […] But let’s go back to the building where he lives. On the second floor lives Marga. Marga has a drill that she hardly uses, but Manuel does not know that because they have only met a couple of times at the hall. In some neighbourhood communities, the hall of the building is the only meeting place between neighbours. We propose to leave the prevailing individualism in the current world; to build citizenship with the good design of these passages turning them into an extension of housing. The act of growing food is not less important. Its role is to give the first step to a good interaction between neighbours. Considering that the composition of current family homes is not uniform, housing must be projected according to this ambiguity. It is for this reason that the authority over housing is open to debate. In this community you can choose if you prefer to live on the ground floor, on a permanent home, a temporary shelter or co-living with 3 more households. But, why a self-sufficient community? Three facts. First, 80% of the investment throughout the lifetime of a residential building is dedicated to maintenance; just 20% is the initial investment (construction itself). On the other hand, 33% of our income is spent on household consumption (rent, electricity, etc.) and 66% of our environmental impact is directly related to housing activities. What is proposed is to reverse the situation. Instead of us working for our home, let our house to work for us. The strategies propose a return to vernacular concepts reduction through passive systems of the energy demand to a minimum -8,20KW/h year m2-; 40% saving in grey water separation; raining water storage; crops on the roof increasing the thermal inertia and also guaranteeing a protection from the unwanted summer sun; and a wooden structure, detachable, recyclable, etc. To sum up, establishing a community that does not impair the environment but restore it.