W-LAB, self-sufficient cabins for the post climate change era
A world of climate change requires solutions of contrast, but also of adaptation. The W-Lab concept explores solutions to make spaces more self-sufficient.
In the study of the future effects of climate change on the world, housing needs take center stage. A world that is heating up more and more, to the point of making it difficult to live in some areas of the earth, makes it essential to imagine solutions that are able to combine construction techniques, technology and sustainability to design new habitats. The study of W-LAB goes in this direction, and shows us a future in which different knowledge converges.
The project focuses on perimeter protection with a radial distribution of self-contained housing units, and drought resistant plants that create a barrier that provides shelter and comfort. The aerodynamic shape of the cabin it reduces wind friction and improves stability, while also minimizing noise, vibrations and erosion of the place.
Self-sufficient homes in a transformed world
With the current trend in CO2 emissions and rising temperatures, future architectural suggestions will need to take extreme climates into account. First it will serve to actively work as resource producers rather than passive consumers. The self-sufficient biocabins of W-LAB contain flexible spaces according to the user’s needs. They allow them to work from home, exercise and grow food. These are new housing modules. Modules in which users are able to stay in touch with technological developments, in a scenario that sees all broadband Internet connections provided via satellite, and goods delivered by drones to any location.
Shaded structures and curtains integrated with the vegetation. They are the first solution considered, why they improve thermal comfort and shade the surrounding spaces to mitigate the heat island effect with the central artificial oasis. This configuration could passively air-condition the outdoor spaces, with the evaporative cooling process. In addition to solar control, the architects proposed two ways of obtaining water for human consumption and external evaporative cooling functions. One comes from mist collectors that capture moisture and coastal mists (system already seen in Abu Dhabi). The other uses modular water desalination plants. The water recycling system is focused on reusing most of it, to be applied later also for plant growth.
We are talking about energy production? It is obtained directly from solar radiation and wind. Sun and wind, yes: more abundant and constant factors in the climate that tend to desertify. All the cabins, as mentioned, are completely self-sufficient. They avoid the need for general electrical networks, as well as their maintenance. Organic building materials can be grown in desert locations. Plants, such as agave, are a source of wood and fiber. They can serve as structural elements, cladding, flooring, insulation, ropes and fabrics.
An aluminum caress. More self-sufficient also in terms of food.
In summary, thealuminum could be amonks an alternative for metal elements in construction, as it is fully recyclable and requires less energy in its production than steel. The interior serves as spaces for small indoor greenhouses and flower boxes used for vertical crops. Crops that can be used for part of the livelihood of the inhabitants of the settlement. Finally, to avoid permanent foundations, screw piles function as removable supports that can be reused after the life cycle of the cabin is over, further reducing the impact on the ecosystem.