SIH House is ready!

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Why bigger isn’t always better?

I have always believed in smaller units for many reasons.First, for its ecological implication. A more compact home on 2 floors leaves more area for landscape, maximizing the open space. Leed actually gives points to houses that have 3 bedrooms on 120 squared meters. SIH house is almost there. Second, more space leaves space for phasing options, in case you count with a larger lot. Small subdivisions for development is something you could achieve if you are looking for rentals. Third, you lower your budget but you still have high quality spaces if designed properly.

Why is SIH house a green home?

Due to roof design, SIH house reduces heat island effect by having less roof area than a regular one floor home. Because of it’s elevation from the soil ( 60 ctms, 2 ft) air flows underneath the house, refreshing it, this condition also lets an easier maintenance access for plumbing. Fiber cement boards are made of recycled newspaper and carton recollected at many schools around the country. Part of the wood used comes from trees that fell down in a tropical storm incident in Guapiles. Natural air and light are everywhere around the house. There is no need to turn on the lights during the day. Steel frame structure structure makes a lighter structure and steel finishes are more stable and  durable.

First Level, SIH House

Data Sheet

Owner: Cristian Villalobos, Costa Rica

Cost: $ 100 000, 504 colones a dollar by November 2010.

Construction time: 20 weeks

Area: 126 square meters, 1356 square feet.

Lot area: 506 square meters, 5446 square feet.

Structure: Steel frame over concrete footings

Second Level, SIH House

Areas of the house: Mater Bedroom 17.8 sm/192 sft, Master Bathroom 7 sm/75 sft, 2nd Bedroom 17.8 sm/192 sft, 2nd full bath room 7sm/75 s ft, Laundry 5.1 sm/ 55 sft, staircase 5.9 sm/ 63 sft, social area with kitchen dinning and living, circulation 33 sm/ 355 sft, area for future expansion 23 sm/247 sft. Circulation 9 sm/96.8 sft.  Garage is outside on pavers, future roof to be built.

Exterior walls: decor block and fiber cement boards from Plycem.

Interior walls: Dry wall: densglass, “green panel” and gypsum.

Floor finishes: natural wood for stairs,laminate wood from Dekora for second level, porcelain from Loza S.A for first level, and expanded metal for ramp.

Kitchen cabinets: natural cedar treated with natural bees’ wax.

Faucets and toilets: Helvex and Bellagio

Additives, sealants, protectors: Antocorrosivo Ferroso Sur brand, Sur Fastyl Sur brand,Maxitex by Intaco, Maxiseal by Intaco, Bondex Premium by Intaco, Duretan, silicon rubber, Protecto Pro Plus, Structural Silicone for windows by GE

Paints: Goltex Antihongos Sur, Protecto Elastomerica, Protec Silicone.

To see more pictures, click here!

If you have further questions, please drop a line!



1 comment
  1. Mark Comerford said:

    This is a very interesting house and construction progress video. I was curious what the wall technology is–looks like metal stud, cement board, lapped waterproofing membrane, windscreen cladding? I am an architect who has spent some time wrestling with moisture buildup in wall issues and was wondering how you handle your wall technology in that regard in the tropics. I imagine your choice of steel frame and block walls is related to local climate and improved lateral load predictability (better in high winds)? I have always practiced in northern latitudes but even up here we have very high summer humidity.
    I enjoy your design work as well–very well done!
    Mark Comerford AIA

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