CASA LIBRE

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Design

First Prize – Low Energy Housing Competition, PR Dept. of Housing, EPA

Winner of a low-cost housing competition for a sustainable, 800sf, $45,000, three-bedroom home. The jurors, Javier Sanchez Corral (Mexico), Germán Samper (Colombia), and René Davids (Davids Killory Architects) singled out this project for its clarity and simplicity of the scheme, the incorporation of passive technology and sustainable materials, and the reduction of resource consumption in the construction and operation of the home.

The structure of the house allows reconfiguring the spaces over time and for an office or small commercial activity. Designed for the hot humid tropics, the project incorporates strategies that promote comfort without air conditioning, substantially reducing energy consumption. Underwritten by the EPA, this is the first home in the Caribbean to achieve an Energy Star rating.

The project includes cross ventilation, enhanced convective cooling, natural illumination, solar hot water heating, rainwater harvesting and a small photovoltaic system. Materials are sustainable/recycled and are themselves recyclable.