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PVC House Contest


Bruno Braga, Bruno Perdigão and Igor Ribeiro.


Luiz Cattony, Leonardo Ribeiro and Lucile Granger. (interns)


Marechal Deodoro - AL, 2013


*Honorable Mention in the Casa PVC Contest  promoted by Brasken and IAB-AL.




A sustainable housing model that uses plastic as a global raw material. From this initial description of the object of the competition, it is possible to draw three clear guidelines for the project: the flexibility and replicability of the model, the materiality and applicability of using plastic globally in the project, and the social, economic and ecological nature of the sustainability of the proposal.


When designing a residential unit that will serve as a model, it is necessary to take into account some essential aspects such as deployment flexibility, constructive rationality and spatial quality of the unit and the possible set when arranged in series.

The program was developed within a square mesh of 8.00 x 8.00 meters, where two main blocks separated by a central patio were placed. In the first, are the common areas of the house, such as living, dining and kitchen. In the second block, more reserved, are the rooms. The patio, which houses the bathroom, serves as an open space, facilitating natural ventilation and lighting. The house, which due to its reduced dimensions could become suffocating and confined, gains amplitude and useful area.

Following the technical standards of universal accessibility, the environments were dimensioned based on reference parameters for the movement and rotation of the wheelchair, allowing access and coexistence inside and outside the house.

As the location of future houses is not known, its modulation allows it to be rotated, adapting better to each situation. Thus, the same project allows for the most diverse conformations and orientations.

In an eventual series production of the unit, there is also the artifice of the movable PVC doors and windows used in the main facade, which can easily change the color tone and bring variation to the whole, breaking the monotony of the repetition of houses in sequence. Thus, without changing the essential elements of the building's conformation, it opens up the possibility of individualizing the houses according to each resident.


The challenge of thinking about a house that uses plastic as a global raw material occurs both by avoiding that the final result is just an assembly of industrialized elements, as well as in the search for a materiality suitable for the program and flexible because it is a model to be repeated.

With regard to the building's elements, there had to be unity and coherence in the project as a whole. Joining this to the idea of seeking the materiality of the house (both internal and external) and making its elements more flexible and rational, we sought to work only with the essentials, reducing the number of elements and bringing simplicity and convenience to the final result.




The sober and rational PVC concrete walls serve as the structure and sealing of the house and work together with the movable PVC doors and windows with colors that mark the facade and individualize the houses, and with the furniture made of pipes that are also colored of the same material, of easy execution, low cost and great flexibility and durability. Thus, the elements of the house complement each other, generating a coherent, rational and human space, as the living experience should be.


How to look for sustainability resources in such a small house? Above all, it is necessary to understand the sustainability of the proposal not as a primary objective, but as a consequence of this entire rigorous process that tries to incorporate as many variables as possible in preparing the correct question to be answered. Sustainability not only in pursuit of the ecologically correctness, but also economically viability and socially fairness.

The most active measures in this regard are mainly in the materials used and in the construction process. The square module inside which the house is built is part of the PVC concrete slabs, maximizing its use and minimizing the waste of the work, especially if we consider the possibility of the unit being replicated in the future. In order to definitively establish plastic as a material to be used in civil construction, it is necessary to reinforce its possibilities as much as possible and the project must fulfill precisely this role. The roof was designed to facilitate the installation of solar heating plates, as well as the capture of rainwater for reuse, being stored in a cistern located in the central patio, facilitating future maintenance.

It is also necessary to consider that, even looking for new technologies and industrialized materials, it is necessary to go back to the most basic aspects of environmental comfort in order to have a truly sustainable project. Thus, the patio fulfills a fundamental role, enabling an architecture that, even concise, is open and allows air circulation. The lighting is also always done as a precaution, to avoid excessive heat, and the doors and windows, even being made of PVC, make reference to the wooden shutters, so typical of the hot and humid climate, which protects from the sun and allows ventilation.

A simple, open, rational architecture. A compact and accurate unit model. A 60 square meter house that seeks to meet an emerging demand and is sustainable not only because it is ecologically correct in its materials and construction process, but also because of its economic viability and the immense social value it may have.

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