Emerging Architecture Awards reflect eco-conscious design.


image: BASEhabitat

Architect’s egos are deflated as clients have dropped off the cliff with the current financial crisis. Many are staring at possible redundancy. Huge housing projects are being cancelled.

All is not doom and gloom however if the winners at this year’s Emerging Architecture Awards are anything to go by. The winners for the Houses catergory were Anna Heringer with BASEhabitat, Brac University and Dipshikha; see their project outline here (pdf).

You will see this entry comprises three individual homes created by the HOMEmade project, and a mixed-use education facility (the DESI building), all of which use local materials, labour and aspiration. Mud and bamboo are the local materials, available at minimal cost, neither involving energy-expensive manufacturing processes. The buildings are two-storey, a 100 per cent intensification of site use, minimising the amount of land currently being taken out of agricultural production.

Energy needs are met 100 per cent by use of solar panels, with warm water provided via a solar thermal heating system. The combination of very basic building methods and modes of technology is intended to act as a guide to other communities in this densely populated country: double the size of your homes in a way that does not impinge on agricultural land, and which sits lightly on the planet.

Anna Heringer’s website is here.

BASEhabitat (Austria) have an interesting website too. They concentrate on architecture in developing countries. Their remit;

BASEhabitat wish to reduce the contradictions: between basic needs and aesthetics, between ecology and the economy, between prosperity and poverty, and between usefulness and poetry.Today we can erect buildings in which no outside energy is needed to provide a pleasant internal climate, buildings that use the resources of their location rather than destroying them, that enrich the environment and offer people new challenges and new work.

This post looks at just one of the Emerging Architecture Awards winners. Have a look at some more for inspiration.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Carbon footprint, Community Projects, Design, Development, Energy, Housing, Rural communities, solar, Sustainablity, Technology, Thinking outside the box and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Emerging Architecture Awards reflect eco-conscious design.

  1. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    First of all I would refuse to live in a house designed by DIPSHITHA. Oh, wait, ignore that.

    Second, the link to the pdf file doesn’t work, which is a shame because I was interested in how they’re storing solar generated electricity for those times when the sun don’t shine. I’m assuming that they are generating an excess during the day and dumping that onto the grid. Very cool.

    Third, I am too old to live without chairs. Although, I’m thinking that it should be possible to hook a small generator to a rocking chair, which would offset the environmental damage caused by furniture and could turn retirement homes into valuable sources of power.

    Forth, how much more do these homes cost than normal ones? And, yes, I know that some of the extra costs will be made up over time, but initial price is an important factor in getting people interested.

    the Grit

  2. matt says:


    The pdf link now works. Have a look at that and see if it answers your queries. But remember, their aim is providing a ‘local’ solution to that area, not for Memphis!

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks. You’re right, these are definitely not designed for Memphis, even though we have plenty of mud and bamboo. High ceilings, however, are a shared housing feature between the two locations. The ceilings in our old house are 12′ and it makes a significant difference in our summer cooling costs.

    Speaking of bamboo, there is a large patch down the road, growing wild, that people from our local zoo come harvest every week or so to feed the giant panda China has loaned us. How cool is that?

    the Grit

Comments are closed.