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Hollowall House

Design dwellings to house and filter water inside the walls providing insulation, warm water on the sunny side and cooler on the shady size.

Photo of Robert Smith
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Researching this idea has identified previous, excellent work by Matyas Gutai (https://www.academia.edu/7452352/Liquid_Engineering_-_Towards_New_Sustainable_Model_for_Architecture_and_City). I suggest that this proposed idea offers two additional benefits: The re-use of disposable water bottles as the chambers for storing the water and the addition of filtering elements to make the chambered water potable. Housing is too expensive and resource-intensive not to have its structure perform multiple tasks. Shelter and water management are two compatible technologies that can harmoniously co-exist. Hollowall houses substitute expensive and potentially difficult-to-obtain insulation materials with chambered water which can then offer either warm (sunny-side) or cool (shady-side) interior walls for the inhabitants. The water inside the walls would have a moderating influence on the interior temperatures. In cold weather position yourself near the warmer wall, while in warm weather move towards the cooler wall. Add rain runoff plumbing and natural filtering media at the top of the low outer walls to improve the water quality inside which the inhabitants can draw from as needed.

WHO BENEFITS?

People struggling to obtain both shelter and clean water in generally equatorial or moderate climates (rarely freezing) would benefit from these multi-purpose, home-built structures.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

Urban slums often have temporary housing loosely constructed from discarded materials. Bonded or mechanically joined water bottles can be incorporated inside these walls to form a more resilient building medium, adding strength and utility to the structure. Plastic pipe or even custom extruded, closed profile tubes made from recycled materials could also be used if available. Hollowalls offer long-term storage options to address chronic shortages of water. Hollowalls take up the equivalent floorpan of any comparable structure. Hollowalls protect the materials used (such as disposable water bottles) from UV and environmental damage by locating them in protected structural elements. Hollowalls allow residents to design simple, multi-unit or more elaborate structures as they see fit for their needs.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Not yet

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • This idea is meant to inspire - I hope someone else takes it on!

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am an Industrial Designer who wishes to have a positive impact on the world.

1 comment

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Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Nice one Robert! Do you know of any precedents for this building method or is this a proposal for thinking outside the box? It'd be interesting to explore how this concept has been tested in some form or another in the field. Thanks for the provocations!