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Our goal is not only to create a housing prototype; we seek to create a home. With our proposal, we want to create a space that is both safe and cozy yet open and inviting. We seek to promote not only health of body, but also wellness of mind and spirit.

Our design is based on two distinct volumes. Activities that are more public in nature, such as the kitchen and living room, are separated from the more private parts of the house. The entrance to the house connects the three main parts: the kitchen and living room, the bedrooms and the garden. The entrance is directly connected to the garden, creating a continuous space. The garden is the hierarchical space of the house, as both other volumes are located around it. The doors and openings open to the garden so that the interior spaces of the house have a direct relation to the garden.

The kitchen and living room volume is clad in wood and has a high roof and large openings. This volume has large doors that allow the space to be completely open to the garden. The bedrooms are made from concrete and have large windows that look directly at a private garden. The walls of the corridor can open to the garden, allowing a completely open space when the inhabitants desire. Basically, the governing idea behind our design is the option of having a space that is completely open or completely closed to the outside, at the whim of the inhabitant.

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Concept

 

One of the most important aspects to promote a healthy lifestyle was the design of a well- ventilated space. Based on this notion, we designed the house to have large windows and openings. All spaces are oriented to allow efficient natural ventilation, with little interruption from internal walls. The inhabitant has the possibility to completely open the spaces to the outside. We designed the spaces to surround the large garden and to be completely open to it. We took the liberty to create not only the garden, but also a more private green space next to the bedrooms. This way, the inhabitant has access to green spaces from every corner of the house. Another important aspect is the accessibility to water. We incorporated a system to recapture rainwater for use in the house and for irrigation.

  • Conceptually, we started with a L-shaped house, based in two distinct volumes: one for more public activities like cooking and the living room and the other for private activities like the bathroom and rooms.
  • Considering the wind direction of Haiti’s climate, we altered the volume so it was possible to naturally ventilate all the spaces all year long.
  • When the wind is flowing northerly, the rooms ventilate from the permeable façade and windows, moving from a high-density area to one with lesser density through the house. The next diagram shows how the wind flows through the house when it’s ventilating from the west. The far west volume in the house is a pitched roof higher than the rest of the house so it also captures the wind from the west.
  • Finally, the house could be built both in a west east or a north south orientation and still be naturally ventilated, giving the client a more broader opportunity for mass housing production or adaptability to different site conditions within St. Marc.

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Health

 

We approach the health issues of the project with the design of well-ventilated spaces. When dealing with tuberculosis, ventilation is very important to fade away the virus. We decided to raise the house in pilotis to help keep clean the interior and provide finished flooring which is important in terms of indoor quality and health. Also, providing better living conditions for PLWHA (Persons Living with HIV and AIDS) and/or living with tuberculosis combined with proper ventilation is enough to mitigate the propagation of the virus and help them sustain a better life.

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Construction

 

There are two different construction methods used in the project. The kitchen and living room volume is constructed using wooden framework and walls. Wood columns serve as the load bearing elements, while the walls are made from wood panels. The bedrooms are constructed from concrete masonry and concrete columns provide the structural support. Since the spaces were intended to be as open as possible, both volumes have large doors, windows and openings. Also, the project incorporates prefabricated items to provide better construction quality and less construction time on site.

 

Materials Cost per Unit Total Cost
40 bags of Cement (1 bag = 42.5kg) $7.50 $300
76 m³ of Sand $16.67 $1266.92
112 units of Crushed gravel $25 $2800
1584 CMU (int. walls) – 10x40x20 cm $0.47 per unit $744.48
71 5/8 Rebar (Ridged) –9-12m bar $26 per 9-12m bar $1846
102 Metal Sheets (for roofing) $1.88 $191.76
35 m² of Windows – Rotating Panels $134.50 per m² $4707.50
18 Sheets of Plywood ¾” $42.50 $765
1680 Units of Wood 1”x4”x16” $8 per unit $13440
2 Bathroom sinks (fixture and installation) $437.50 $875
2 Toilet (fixture and plumbing incorporation) $375 $750
Refrigerator $487 – 875 $680
Kitchen Sink $100 – 112.50 $112.50
Oven $700 $700
Incorporation of electricity – 3 rooms $125 per room $375
Labor – Miscellaneous 10% $2955.42
Labor – Transportation and Handling 7% $2068.80
Labor – Supervision & Execution 10-20% $4433.13
Labor – Architect Costs 5-7% $2068.80
Labor – including electricians and plumbers 15-25% $5910.84
TOTAL COST OF CONSTRUCTION $46991.15

 

Competition submission for: Kay e Sante nan Ayiti: Housing and Health in Haiti.

Designed by Vicente Gascó, Jesús Aponte, and Carlos Vigo.