Currently, the number of people forcibly displaced from their homes stands at 103 million and is constantly growing. Many seek refuge in settlements that should be temporary but where displaced people end up living for years, even decades.
The Norman Foster Foundation and Holcim, a global leader in sustainable building solutions, have teamed up to develop an answer to this challenge based on two strong beliefs: Everyone has a right to a home and everyone should have access to sustainable building.
The life-size Essential Home prototype combines innovative design from the Norman Foster Foundation with sustainable building solutions from Holcim. Low carbon construction, energy efficient and round in design.
The exterior of the house is made up of rolled sheets of low-carbon concrete for physical security and durability.
To ensure thermal and acoustic comfort, as well as energy efficiency, the house is insulated with Elevate RESISTA AK boards on the floor and Airium low-carbon mineral foam on the roof.
The house rests on an Elevate EPDM membrane that prevents moisture from entering the structure, eliminating the need for earthworks. To improve weather resistance, the house is based on a permeable platform made from Holcim ECOCycle recycled building materials.
Walkways made of ECOPact permeable concrete connect the living spaces. This low-carbon concrete not only promotes biodiversity by allowing rainwater to pass through the ground, but also serves as a source of light: luminescent aggregates embedded in the mix absorb light during the day and reflect it at night, increasing safety while reducing energy consumption.
The house itself is completely recyclable. At the end of its life cycle, a necessities house can be dismantled and its various components reused in new buildings or recycled for other purposes. Finally, the proposed project is highly sustainable and CO2 emissions are approximately 70% lower than a similar traditional housing solution.