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‘Green’ House Study 1

The Green House study aims to enrich the mental well being of users through the development of a new housing ecology. The study will focus on the integration of natural elements and passive design techniques which research suggests can have profound positive effects upon humans such as reduction of Cortisol hormone (stress hormone), increase in Seratonin (happy hormone), decreased anxiety & fatigue, increased sleep and cognitive performance.

The concept of using plantation for increasing health and well-being is nothing new and was practiced as far back as the Roman times with philosophers such as Cornelius Celcus proposing walks in gardens and other nature based activities to enrich mental health of the sick. In addition there are countless modern day examples such as health retreats, Japanese Onsens (forest baths) and sanitariums. Moloughney Designs concept design shows one approach to incorporate plantation, natural ventilation and sunlight into everyday living to help enrich well-being of users.

It’s said that in less than 20 years time 75% of the human population will live in urban environments. These urban environments are increasingly polluted, congested, dominated by man-made elements and having drastic effects upon the populations mental health. All this while the natural environment is exponentially shrinking, suggesting the broader population may have limited access to the benefits of the natural environment in the future. It is for these reasons Moloughney Designs is committed to developing new ways to integrate these principles not only into housing models, but also spaces such as offices, libraries, schools and other buildings.

Moloughney Designs will complete a series of design tests and complementary academic research on the benefits of plantation, natural light & ventilation within everyday life of users and how this can be integrated into a new decentralized architectural ecology.

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Entry to the house

Drought tolerant grass and plants are used throughout the garden space and climb the facade of the building. These could be either flowering, evergreen or deciduous. Not only providing a beautiful aesthetic but also providing shade and further insulation to the building. The second story is recessed back reducing visual bulk from the street, while the steel plantation frames taper down to the ground and lead people towards the entrance of the house.

 
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Diagram of the houses formation

 
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The living areas have a double height space giving a generous sense space, while light flows in from the courtyard and skylight above. Spaces are informally dividing by level changes with a stair leading up towards the bedrooms and study, whilst a sunken lounge is below.

 
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The kitchen and dining area have double height windows allowing light to flood the area while a vertical farm hovers above, with integrated drainage and irrigation system connected to a rainwater tank. A mix of timber, concrete and plasterboard is used throughout the design.

 
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The sunken lounge provides for a distinctly different atmosphere from the kitchen and dining area which is open, light and warm. The lounge provides a more intimate space, one that is more enclosed and contrasted between heavy concrete and light warm timbers. A cosy space for relaxation.

 
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The double height windows to the side of the kitchen have a screen protruding which allows climbing plants to grow. The design uses deciduous plants to ensure that during summer shade is provided, whilst in winter the leaves fall off allowing all the winter sunlight to penetrate within the house. This is not only pragmatic but helps create an element of theatre to the exterior with the house continually evolving throughout the seasons.

 
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The ground floor is 132m2

The semi-detached studio apartment is 25m2 and is designed to provide passive income or act as a home office

The first floor floor space is 44.5m2

The plot size is 420m2 which is smaller than the national average of 474m2