Over the summer, the students from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have undertaken to prototype a fully off-grid and completely functional ecohouse in the forest of Valldaura. Committed to enhancing a more ecologically aware and self-sufficient future for architecture and housing, these students from IAAC’s Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings will complete the construction at the end of August 2019. Privileging environmentally and ecologically conscious design as well as zero-km biomaterials.  This prototype is the collective final project of the academic program offered from the IAAC’s Valldaura Labs, and the students have taken up the task to find viable alternatives to challenge current energy-consuming architectural methods using the skills, experience and knowledge they have learned during this academic year.

As a future-thinking Institute involved in enhancing innovation to reinvent current design and architecture methods, IAAC trains young professionals to better understand, approach and solve the current and future challenges architecture faces, including sustainability and self-sufficiency related-issues. As a more direct response to current global environmental crises, IAAC designed its Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings welcoming forward-looking students in its unique set of Valldaura Labs, near Barcelona, for them to learn by doing but also by living!

Built by the students, the idea of this prototype is to test and evidence the viability of such a construction and to provide alternatives to current energy-consuming buildings. This project is designed, fabricated and assembled by MAEB students in the forest of Valldaura, using strategies in ecologically aware design setting priority to use zero-km materials and reducing the carbon footprint and energy requirements after completion.

This year’s prototype showcases many inclusive, innovative, environmentally aware and self-sufficient solutions, including:

  • An integrative design, successfully synthesising inputs from across the diverse building cultures and systems of our international student body.
  • A fully traceable primary structure, fabricated completely from zero km pine harvested from the Valldaura forest.
  • The translation of a low tech, universally established shingling system into a morphologically responsive, materially optimised envelope using advanced computation, and fabricated from zero km oak harvested from the Vallldaura forest.
  • An intelligent, low impact, fully dismantle-able stone foundation system from Valldaura materials.
  • A fully off grid metabolic systems.

…and much more!


Looking forward to contemplate the final construction at the end of August!