Environmentally friendly houses? Projects as collections of good practices

We were introduced to the results of the national student competition for the design of a climate-proof home. So one that is environmentally friendly and constitutes a collection of good practices in times of climate crisis. Second and third place in the competition went to students from the Faculty of Architecture at Wrocław University of Science and Technology.

The “House with Climate” competition was organized by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

In this way, the ministry wants to broaden the knowledge about ecological construction and climate friendliness among students and graduates of faculties involved in architecture and construction.

It is also a form of promoting building based on low carbon footprint materials (mainly wood) and energy efficient, and spreading solutions that respond to the climate crisis and reduce the impact on air pollution.

Designs of single-family houses submitted for the competition had to be environmentally friendly, offer high comfort of use and high health status, rationally minimize the ecological footprint (operational and built-in) and energy demand, thus constituting a set of good practices in terms of time of the climate crisis.

The winners of “Dom z climatem”[Huis met klimaat]go on a study trip abroad related to the subject of the competition and have won material prizes.

A comfortable house in a former state farm

She took second place in the competition Julia Lipińska, a fourth-year architecture student at Wrocław University of Science and Technology. She chose the site of the former State Farm as the site for her project.

– Single-family homes are usually built in suburban or rural areas. It is worth looking for sites in need of revitalization or partially urbanized, as this allows to avoid the deepening of the phenomenon of gentrification and degradation of newly inhabited areas – explains the author.

The building, designed by Julia Lipińska, has a ground floor and a usable attic, which can be divided into two apartments of equal space by changes in the layout of partitions. The student’s design is therefore an open development, allowing flexible use of the building and allowing for adaptations and transformations that may result from changes in the number of residents or their needs.

The author suggested hemp wool as an insulating material. The structure, on the other hand, would be based on a timber frame building system made of renewable material, made from hemp-lime composites, which would allow the use of a passive wall system, leaving a negative carbon footprint.

The building would also have a compact volume, which would reduce the wall surface and minimize the number of thermal bridges.

a project by Julia LipińskaFor the construction of part of the partition walls, demolition stones from former farm buildings would be used and the rooms would be finished with natural clay plaster.

The student gave up the traditional fencing of the plot. Instead, she suggested building systems that combine the use of rainwater collected in underground reservoirs with community gardens and composters to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste.

Julia also planned underfloor heating with a heat pump, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and perovskite photovoltaic panels on the southern parts of the roof, which will charge the electricity needed for lighting in the building and the adjacent area, heat recovery ventilation, heat pump and vehicle.

The student’s project is also her diploma (engineering) thesis made under the supervision of the supervisor Dr. Ing. archery bow. Marek Lamber.

Or maybe a house made of straw?

On the other hand, she took third place in the competition Weronika Roemerwho is currently after the second year of studies in architecture at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology. She designed a house in straw bale technology, ie a wooden structure with straw filling. – Which, when properly compressed, has very good insulating properties. It is also a natural material and functions well in Poland’s climate – says Weronika.

Design by Weronika Roemer

The building would be filled with fifty centimeters wide straw blocks, and the straw on both sides would be protected from damaging weather by a one-inch thick layer of plaster. It would also protect the wall from fire.

The house would have underfloor heating and a green insulating roof. For the energy efficiency of the building, the author has also planned solutions such as: increased thermal insulation of partition walls in relation to the current requirements, a foundation slab as a heat accumulating element or a heat pump in combination with a low temperature underfloor heating system.

In assessing the student’s project, the jury pointed to the extension of the competition proposal with the possibility of building entire residential areas in the straw bale system with communal areas that support biodiversity, with flower beds and greenhouses, and social areas with stalls and a library , while minimizing the area of ​​residential houses and plots.

Design by Weronika Roemer

The design was especially appreciated for its contemporary architecture while using traditional and local materials.

More about the competition here.


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