Carthome The cardboard house

Main Contract – Eco-Luoghi 2018
Location – Roma
Year – 2018
Status – Realized
Amount work – n.d.

The association Mecenate 90 has banned the competition Ecoluoghi 2018 for the design and consequent construction of a sustainable house of 45 square meters, capable of stimulating the redevelopment of Italian territories with particular attention to abandoned areas.

The event, created to promote innovative projects and methodologies, in the name of environmental and architectural sustainability, includes two sections: “Homes for sustainable living” and “Urban regeneration”. The first, for which four winners were selected – two in the junior category and two in the senior category – foresees for them the possibility of realizing, within the spaces of the Ex Mattatoio of Rome, a 1:1 scale prototype of their project. The group of young architects made up of P. Colonna, A. Cavallo, R. Fioretti, L. Fondi, L. Pede, A. Sartini and G. Tancioni, participated in the competition with the CARTHOME project (an eco-sustainable house built with structure entirely in cardboard) and has been selected among the winners in the junior category. The project was ideally placed in the city of Pachino, in Sicily, as a response to an ever more looming environmental disaster: desertification. The housing model, conceived as a real water collector, is able to store rainwater and reuse it for domestic use, thanks to an accurate MEP system. The project is organized into three main modules in spatial continuity: the living room, the bedroom with its bathroom and the central patio. The covering of the living room, characterized by a chimney structure that recalls the type of “Sicilian Dammuso“, is designed to generate ascents of warm air, participating in the circulation and extraction of colder air coming from the patio. The patio, a reinterpretation of the typical Roman impluvium, welcomes the rainwater collection systems and conveys the rainwater in a cistern located outside the building.

The real challenge was to create a living prototype outside the typical traditional building standards. React Studio took care of the constructive design, transforming the design idea into a concrete prototype ready to be realized.

The structural element of CARTHOME is the cardboard tube with a circular or square cavity section. This has shown how the use of a completely recyclable and biodegradable material can be synonymous with efficient mechanical performance and technological innovation. Thanks to the research results obtained in synergy with MOBA EUROTUBI, the tube was used in the project for two different types of construction: a “frame” (made with circular tubes) and a “supporting masonry” (made with square tubes). A significant limitation was the budget available, since the work had to be totally self-financed. Implementation according to the BIM methodology has facilitated the project engineering operation, speeding up not only the systematic quantity control and the relative construction cost, but above all fully defining the construction phases: as many as 34, each one accompanied by detailed schedules, estimate men-day and descriptions of the main workings.Thanks to the constructive model it was possible to observe at 360 degrees the complexity of the realization of the work. In this way it was possible to focus on the study of the anchoring wooden nodes of the pipes, on the solution of the foundations, on the distribution of wood fiber panels and on the laying of cardboard tubes, defining the dimensions, quantity, modalities and timing of assembly. With the support of the Consorzio Stabile Vitruvio, the yard started on 4 September 2018 and covered a time span of about 14 working days, respecting in an impeccable manner the times set. The prototype will remain on display until the end of October in the spaces of Ex Mattatoio in Rome.

Photo by Ulisse Marconcini
Photo by Ulisse Marconcini
Photo by Ulisse Marconcini
Photo by Ulisse Marconcini
BIM Model of the construction phases of CARTHOME