Academic Projects

Urban Development in Nottigham Medows (2009)

'Zero Carbon Housing' is a module in the MArch Environmental Design course, focusing on the design of a Code Level 6 housing scheme in a Nottingham site. The brief is defined by the Solar Decathlon Europe competition.


Generation - The Gaps

Gaps is the term used to address the narrow voids between terrace houses in the Meadows area, Nottingham. On-field study shows  Gaps informally play the role of of daily access routes. Homes have more than one front. It also denotes the connection between public and private areas. They become an important social component in terms of living activities in the area. The housing development is structured along a grid which originates from a conceptual extension of the gaps.


Environmental Strategies

Several passive strategies were proposed and tested. The dwelling has the dual task of fitting both Nottingham and Madrid climatic conditions. The strategies have been set for worst case scenarios for summer, winter and midseason. Each strategy works together with the next one and all of them can be modified according to the occupants' needs. Orientation, sun space and buffer, thermal mass,  

double envelope and a strong layering of materials for a high performance facade have been considered, ensuring high performance levels in terms of energy savings and zero carbon emissions, as shown by the testing of the strategies.


Testing the Strategies

The strategies were tested considering resulting indoor temperatures and air movement as main parameters, with prediction modelling in Optivent, Ecotect and EDSL Tas. The general behaviour of the building is as initially expected by the designers.


The higher temperature variations occur in the buffer space, and the higher temperatures are registered in the stack. These two provide a control for more comfortable temperatures in the living spaces. Summer behaviour is ideal, since internal temperatures remain between 22oC and 24oC. Winter behaviour is also quite acceptable. Internal temperatures are no lower than 10oC in the living area, during the coldest day of the year.