Proyectopía is a company located in Pontevedra, which is dedicated to projects and works related to architecture, culture and research. They claim, as the name implies, to bring utopia to reality. For that they seek to combine the best of conventional and modular construction. Their models are eco-efficient, that is to say, of near zero energy consumption, and of exclusive design.
After receiving in 2015 an aid from the Technological-Industrial Development Center for its innovative features, they got their main product. It consists of a modular construction system that allows a customized design adapted to the client, the plot, and the climate. They thus obtain eco-efficient homes that are transportable and easy to install without almost auxiliary means. “The homes we make, or are eco-efficient, or we are not interested in doing them. We make that very clear to our clients, ”says Carolina Meire, technical architect at Proyectopía. A conventional house of 200 square meters consumes about 3,120 euros per year. One of Proyectopía is approximately 325 euros a year, that is, 90% less.
In 2017, the Galician Innovation Axencia (Gain) granted them an aid from the Innovapeme program, co-financed under the FEDER Galicia Operational Program. The new challenge was the relocation of the market. They needed solutions that had facilitated communication with collaborating companies in construction, with customers and their interaction, and systems that allowed virtual experiences at a distance. What they got was a variant of their constructive system. This is aimed at expanding existing housing spaces, or creating housing for young people, small in size, but with a combinable and customizable design. This product can be sold through a virtual sales portal that they have already created and are about to launch.
In the blueprint they build the house in 3D. This allows to offer both internal and external perspectives. Here we find architecture 4.0 at prices that are around 1,000 euros per square meter, which include everything: project, licenses, construction management, housing execution, paperwork, bathrooms, electrical installations, kitchen … The client must sign a pre-contract delivering an amount small that is discounted from the final price of the house, and you can take a virtual walk through your house on a plot in three dimensions. The construction period, as they are reflected in the contract, is less than six months after obtaining the license.
The construction period, once the house is designed and the license obtained, is less than six months
Proyectopía does not offer a catalog. It never works with predesigned models. They create a project designed with and for each family, also taking into account the microclimatic study of each plot. In addition, Carolina Meire explains, “we take the best of prefabricated construction, which is now so fashionable, offering a closed price, turnkey. Until the client leaves with a smile, we are not calm”. Right now they have 50 projects underway. The first ecotourism villas of Galicia can be visited now, in a complex called Mardesía, which is located in A Lanzada (Rías Baixas). It consists of five villas that incorporate passive structures to reduce energy consumption. “We create buildings with almost zero consumption, with excellent environmental performance, low energy demand and that take full advantage of the microclimatic conditions of the plot.”
The car industry as a reference
The project design system is based on the automotive industry in terms of the precision of the assembly of its components. They can assemble the panels millimetrically, which are previously machined and numbered. Thus there are no human errors, no weather problems, or weather conditions, in addition to avoiding accidents or possible deviations. “We do not leave in the hands of an operator, who may have a bad day, the possibility of a bad execution and then have a lifetime in your home. Filtration is impossible, as happens in a car”, says the technical architect of Proyectopía.
This company also offers an after-sales service, which consists of the telematic monitoring of the home during the first year of use. This system allows to guarantee ideal conditions of hydrothermal comfort and low energy consumption. “We know if the client that lives in that house opens the windows too much or not. For the house to be eco-efficient, it must be used correctly ”. The life cycle of the Proyectopía houses is much greater than that of a house by catalog, and the interventions to be carried out are much cheaper than in a “conventional dwelling”. This is because its modular components can be quickly replaced, both those linked to the facilities (which are updated more frequently), and those linked to the structure.
With regard to the research, they are working on a project that contains a transportable and self-sufficient light self-building eco-innovative kit at the destination, through the application of advanced rotational molding techniques. “We always work with aluminum and luxury materials, but this is intended for social housing in other markets such as Latin America,” says Carolina Meire. For that, what they want and increase the thermal capacity of materials they find in their destination: sand, water… In this project they work in a consortium with Rotogal and Parcero Installations. This system could be exportable to any part of the world. They would be mounted practically without skilled labor, and saved in auxiliary means in its construction. No quality or efficiency is lost due to the fact of being social housing.
The houses of the future can start on the roof
The COTaCERO project (steel + construction from zero quota) is a direct continuation of the doctoral thesis of the architect Víctor Hermo, who is the founder of Proyectopía. With it, a line of investigation for the execution of buildings in height from the ground level began. It is a technique that uses hydraulic jacks to allow reverse construction, starting with the roof, and as the different plants are hoisted, we build below (from the roof to the base, a method also known as top to bottom ). The COTaCERO project implemented the new procedure as a transfer, from a usual form of deposit construction, to the execution of housing. “In the project we finished the experimental phase with the execution of a scale model built from steel sheet, which was raised with hydraulic jacks of two meters length. In this project, the validity and advantages of the new system were demonstrated, but improvement options were also detected through the welding relief as an assembly process”, says Hermo.
From here, REVERSTOP (reversible + “top to bottom”) arises, where the priority is the reversibility and reuse of materials, being able to build buildings with a highly optimized process, which allows adding or removing plants from below, maintaining the upper floors. The system is exposed in two materials: steel and aluminum. And at the end of the experimental demonstration, a two-floor, full-scale building is built from the ground level with hydraulic jacks. “The system allows to execute buildings up to six stories high that are, of course, based on the repetition of plants, without auxiliary means and from the ground level. The advantages for the construction in height are evident: speed, security and improvements in the control and, consequently, in quality ”, points out the founder of Proyectopía. From then on, Hermo opens a new line of research related to modular construction and sustainability, in which he continues to work today, although he does not rule out returning at some point on top to bottom construction.