Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on December 4, 2008
Well, I’ve never been to Spain, but I kinda like the… green design that seems to abound there. The latest in Spain’s seemingly endless parade of green architecture is definitely a place I would like to call home. It’s called the Casa OS (don’t ask me what OS stands for) and it was designed by Madrid-based Nolaster Architects.
The design is totally green – the basics of which include reduced energy and smart water use. To reduce energy, the home is built over a dug-out cavern, taking advantage of thermal massing and reducing the wind profile. It also has a sod roof, perhaps the coolest (literally and figuratively) of all green home features. The construction materials are green, too, using modular zinc panels which last longer in the salty air and can be easily disassembled, reused, or replaced. Finally, the home has in-floor radiant heating that can be controlled room by room, making it über-efficient.
The Casa OS captures rainwater and reuses household, or gray, water – a feature often overlooked in the rush to make homes more energy efficient. Looking closely, you’ll see what appears to be lattice on the ground with grass growing up in the openings. These are actually eco-blocks, an alternative to impermeable walking surfaces and a key ingredient in making homes friendlier to the environment.
What’s even more impressive is that the green-ness of the design was an afterthought; Nolaster didn’t start out thinking they were building a green home. I guess green is just part of the construction lexicon in Spain.
Hopefully builders in the U.S. will take notice. To learn more, check out their site at nolaster.com