La casa leggera, “Ernesto Lusana” prize 2009

The brief of the competition requested a project for 15 social housing units with innovative layout for the flats and very low energy consumption all within a 1.5 million Euros of construction cost.

The main features to reduce energy consumption and achieve a “casaclima” A grade are: a compact volume for the apartment blocks; optimal orientation of the building considering sun path and main winds; high quality insulating panels; large opening on the south side to improve heating from the sun; small openings on the north side to reduce heat loss; photovoltaic and solar panels to cover the energy needs of the families; use of the brick as the external layer, one of the most eco-compatible materials available; use of recycled materials for finishes and implementation of green areas and perspirant surfaces wherever possible.

The apartments are composed by an open space for kitchen and living room, one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms depending on the size of the flat.

It was important to offer to each apartment the same climatic condition including a private open air space (terrace or garden). Also very important is the full accessibility of the complex by people with disabilities who can access every floor (including parking and basement) in complete freedom.

The roofs are a very articulated part of this project: solar and photovoltaic panels transform the sun beams into energy and heating; the green roof works both as a thermal and acoustic insulation. The lower roofs are instead terraces so that people can enjoy these open air spaces for a wide variety of uses. Also the gardens at ground floor can be used to plant trees or light structures like gazebos and become an outdoor extension of the flat. Every flat includes a private parking space and a cellar both located in the basement level.

This project has a contemporary approach to a commonly use typology; it shows that with a normal budget good results can be achieved. It aims to set an example for future developments in this run- down part of Latina.