In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital city of the Canary Islands, (A Spanish territory of the coast of NorthWestern Africa) there sits embedded in the sea side landscape, what can be described as a Bioclimatic dwelling designed by Ruiz Larrea and Associates Sustainable Architecture.
The Bioclimatic home prominently integrates passive solar design as well as sustainability principles, taking on a circular form that defends against consistently high wind pressure in the region while optimising orientations. The use of materials from the surroundings such as Tosca volcanic stone, riga recycled wood, glass, concrete and basalt stones in gardening, insulation, waterproofing, etc. as well as zero energy costs further cement this home’s sustainability status.
The Tosca stone is used for walls placed on the ground in Stabilized double sheets allowing the inner air chamber to function as a heat distributor of fresh air from the ground to the inside, through the venturi effect that’s created with radiation heating.
The concrete slab roof is covered with topsoil and native planting which is kept wet by a drip system, promoting evaporation and thus ensuring constant temperature of the concrete mass, ensuring the interior of the masses which is exposed to excessive sunlight remains cool somewhat. Volcanic pozzolan is also used as an insulating material and cladding for the roof.
The Bioclimatic home has no heating or air conditioning, and simply capitalises on its location and the weather therein, making use of both the sun and wind. Photovoltaic cells sit atop the folding canopies of the south porch, but, are currently not in use as the home draws it power from the nearby wind mill park.
It also recycles up to 2000 liters of rainwater which is used predominantly as gray water, most likely for irrigating the landscape which integrates seamlessly into the surrounding environment.
While seemingly unusual, the design of the Bioclimatic home is really a simple and flexible layout, that makes use of passive solar design and cooling systems to enhance air quality and renewal, and take advantage of cool sea breezes thus, improving thermal comfort and ensuring a cool shade.