Eco homes and passive houses have become the next big movement in sustainable building. Their growth and popularity is a result of the passive house’s dual functionality; to eradicate carbon emissions through the elimination of heating and cooling means, which in turn saves money.
While it’s incredibly honourable and increasingly necessary to care for the environment and our world, it is simply illogical to expect the majority of a modern day society to not take the same care of their hip pocket.
Joining the growing list of passive styled eco homes is the brainchild of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Spain’s FabLab. This prefabricated passive house follows their founding ideology of “form follows energy”, which offers to enable energy efficiency through the actual shape of a building.
In fact, FabLab is so efficient in its energy use, it generates more than twice its amount of usable energy. This is due to effective green technologies that have been incorporated into the development, such as a solar photovoltaic system, food production through fruit and vegetable gardens and advanced recycling facilities.
The team behind this world class building have come together to create one unit of architects and designers from over 25 countries. They have worked tirelessly, with a goal of minimum input, maximum output.
They were honoured with the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe people’s choice award, after more than 20,000 people visited the home in its current location of Madrid.
Although FabLab House has been compared to anything from a football to a cockroach, its sustainability efforts are unarguable. It has been labelled “Villa Solar”, “Whales Belly” and “Forest Zeppelin”, leaving an individual impact on all of those who visit the remarkable building.
With such a following, the FabLab House is available for purchase in its many different forms, from the Cottage (12sqm), Shelter (24sqm) and Studio (36sqm), to the House (60 + 60 sqm) and the Villa (96 + 96 sqm). If purchased in its House form; which incorporates all standard single bedroom housing amenities with an added loft, the standard price is approximately €45,000 plus taxes.
This is the crux of passive housing that needs to be advertised by green building companies, as well as the industry at large. It does not have to cost a fortune to building sustainably. In fact, if the ideology behind sustainable building was truly understood it would be obvious that its foundation lies on the basis of efficiency and affectivity in every context.
FabLab House is a great example of the European sustainability movement, one that would be incredibly beneficial to both Australian society and industry members to emulate.