088 - Green-Cell

Diego Chiatante


"I have a dream that one day humanity will return to the womb of Mother Nature"

Green-Cell is a new housing concept. Green-Cell is a place where students, workers, guests and dreamers can develop their relationship with Nature through a comfortable accommodation experience.  Thanks to the shelter's design and 360-degree windows, the barriers separating indoors and outdoors are broken down and interaction is increased. Green-Cell consists of a green "heart" inside a specially-designed high-performance shell. Passive design strategies make a key contribution to the shelter's sustainability while the detailed shell design makes it possible to achieve the main objectives: energy efficiency and minimal impact on Nature.

Fundamental design features are:


Green-Cell has a compact size. Its ground-level footprint is 13.25 m2 and only 0.8 m2 of contact surface (the 4 adjustable iron feet each cover 0.2 rn2 at point of contact with the ground!).. This allows for fast ground regeneration after removal of the shelter.. The Green-Cell's compactness also means that fewer building materials are required. Construction and operation maintenance costs are lower, and less energy is needed for lighting and heating.  In addition, the building can be prefabricated and transported to the site using light machinery such as a 60 hp tractor with loader and trailer. Finally, although small, the shelter is comfortable thanks to space saving furniture (a pulley sliding bed and flip-open table).


The shelter's orientation offers two main advantages: in summer (2151-June 5.01560e, .4 68' sun elevation, 18 Cr azimuth ), operable windows provide natural ventilation which improves air quality and the overall indoor experience. The adjustable wooden solar shading device ensures pleasant natural light without dazzle (diffused sunlight), thus reducing Iighting energy needs. In winter (21'3 December solstice, . 21' sun elevation, 180 azimuth), the passive solar gain reduces energy requirements and CO, emissions. Direct and diffused sunlight through the windows reduces electrical energy consumption. The dark oak cladding on the east and west faces allows additional solar gain early in the morning and in the afternoon.

Shell - Materials, Equipment and Architecture

The shell is constructed using simple building techniques with a frame of local wood and other local natural materials such as FSC certified woods (oak, pine, cedar) and natural batt insulation (renewable organic materials that reduce binder embodied energy and do not contain phenol, formaldehyde, acrylics or artificial colors). Building materials are selected from those with less embodied energy and a lower carbon coefficient. The high thermal insulation grade (necessary on account of the extreme climatic conditions) reduces the energy required for artificial heating, which is provided by a woodstove.  The photovoltaic system (equipped with battery storage) and LEDs meet all lighting and recharging needs: convenience with zero-CO2 emissions. The architectural concept starts from the traditional idea of Canadian architecture but with a contemporary touch given by the wood cladding strip design. The shelter's natural materials blend into the woodland surroundings while the adjustable iron feet reduce its footprint and provide good stability on sloping ground.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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