At first glance, this lovely house in Centallo, Italy, looks just like any other. It’s hard to believe that it is a prefab home created with rapid construction techniques. The house has a wooden structure that holds up the walls and pillars.
The design by Italian company Bar & Bar, which specializes in design and construction of green and energy-efficient buildings, uses gypsum fibre with rock wool sandwiched in the middle of the walls to provide excellent thermal insulation that keeps the home warm in winter and easy to cool in summer. According to the company, this type of house can be completed in 20 weeks or 5 months after the concrete foundation has been laid and set. The use of gypsum fibre is a clever solution as it looks similar to plaster, but comes with superior structural features as it can support up to 60kg, while plaster can hold only around 10kg.
Let’s take a closer look at this prefab house to understand all its modern technological features.
The house is spread over three floors – basement, ground floor and first floor. The basement is 240sq.m and is made of reinforced concrete. It includes a wine cellar, garage and laundry area.
The ground floor, which is 180sq.m, has the living room, dining room and kitchen, in addition to two bedrooms, a dressing room, a bathroom and a laundry room. The design features a double-height ceiling in a section of the living area, which invites in abundant natural light to brighten up the interiors. Despite this element, the house does not suffer heat loss as it is equipped with a central heating system and a smart home automation system that facilitates remote control activation using a tablet or smart phone. Additionally, all the rooms have controlled mechanical ventilation and central vacuum. Isn’t that an amazing use of modern technology?!
Set in Centallo – a small village in Piedmont – the design of the house retains the traditional characteristics that are apparent in the surrounding homes. The architects opted to retain the local features into the new structure to allow the home to fit perfectly into the village landscape. Simultaneously, they incorporated modern thermal and acoustic treatments to bring in energy efficiency.
While the architects opted to use PVC doors and windows, the choice of a wood finish retains a traditional look. The windows are glazed to minimize emission and have argon gas inside the panels to enhance the insulation. The entire home is designed to provide a continuous insulation feature that extends between the exterior walls and the roof, thereby preventing any heat loss – the true sign of a green building that uses less energy.
The first floor is spread over 60sq.m and houses a large loft and a second set of private areas, including a bedroom, bathroom and an office. Notice the solid wood beams that support the sloping roof that is covered by 22cm-thick wood fibres. Like the ground floor, the first floor has parquet oiled oak for flooring, which adds to the warmth of the ambiance.
The modern style of this home incorporates an open kitchen that is simple and efficient, but with a distinctly contemporary theme. It carries through the sober colours in the rest of the home. The addition of a few traditional pieces of furniture and accessories works well in tying together the old-meets-new theme of this home.
If you would like to see another energy-efficient home, see this ideabook.