bioclimatic family home by slow studio nestled next to a verdant olive grove in spain


Passive house in Pedrezuela

In the municipality of Pedrezuela de Madrid, Spain, slow studio designed a passive single parent family home for a young couple who wants to lead a calm and peaceful life. Thanks to the south orientation of the plot, the design is based on a very simple scheme, a rectangular floor plan in which the spaces follow one another from public to private. The objective of the project is to achieve a house with zero consumption and high sanitary standards through bioclimatic strategies.

south facade

all pictures of Salva López

an ideal plot in close contact with nature

Talking to customers, Slow Studio (learn more here) discovered that the couple wanted a simple three-bedroom home that would meet their current and future living and telecommuting needs. The occupants want to live a quiet life, enjoying a house in close contact with nature. This specific site in Pedrezuela is ideal as it borders a beautiful olive grove.

The implementation of the project started from this ideal plot, with an elongated shape facing south and with a slight downward slope from the street to a completely flat area where the house was built. The design generates a simple rectangular plot scheme, where each room comes right after the other, from most public to most private. The spaces are divided by a courtyard which improves natural lighting and ventilation.

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passive thermal performance

Since the west side of the structure directly faces the neighbor’s house, the design team decided to position the parking lot in that orientation, separate from the house but incorporating an accessible pergola. The south facade is protected by a plant pergola which helps to increase privacy and acts as a natural sunshine regulator.

One of the key points of the bioclimatic strategy is the fact that all rooms, both common areas and bedrooms, have a rigorous south orientation, allowing excellent passive thermal performance of all living areas. “We take advantage of the heat gains that we recover thanks to large openings to the south, which accumulate in inertia walls and whose temperature we maintain thanks to excellent exterior insulation.” Slow Studio shares. “On the north side, on the other hand, we need a thermal cushion to protect us from the coldest facade. To achieve this, the team located the service spaces such as the bathrooms and the facilities room on the north side and generated a very opaque façade with few openings which are protected by wooden slat shutters to privacy reasons only.

As the plot benefits from sufficient sunshine, the need to control it during the different seasons has emerged. For this reason, Slow Studio has installed a pergola that covers the entire length of the south side and will be protected by leafy vegetation and simple wooden roller shutters. In summer, vegetation covers the upper part of the pergola. In addition, roller shutters roll up, blocking the sun but ensuring sufficient natural ventilation complemented by an improved thermal sensation that is achieved through vegetation. In winter, the trees lose their leaves and let the heat seep into the residence.

In terms of construction, the house has a double brick wall with insulation between the layers and an inverted roof. The joinery is in wood, as well as the kitchen and bathroom furniture. For the installations, a biomass boiler is used to produce hot water for the kitchen and bathrooms and an air renewal system is installed by means of a heat recovery system.

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The rear facade


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