Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ecological Living Module at the UN

This morning I visited the United Nations to see the Ecological Living Unit. The "tiny house," which was designed to be "efficient, multi-functional and engineered to operate independently," is a collaboration between UN Environment, Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture, and Gray Organschi Architecture. Below is a quick tour of the ELM with my photos.

Ecological Living Module
The west-facing facade is covered in a "Microfarming Wall" that is irrigated by rainwater that hits the angled planters but also by rainwater collected on the roof.


Ecological Living Module
Ecological Living Module
These two photos show the solar panels on the sloped roof and the sliding glass wall at the narrow, south-facing porch with its shallow overhang.


Ecological Living Module
Another sliding glass wall opens on the east side to aid in passive ventilation.


Ecological Living Module
A peek inside reveals shadow patterns from the skylight, a wood-lined interior, built-in seating, and a ladder up to the sleeping loft.


Ecological Living Module
The skylight doubles as an Integrated Concentrating Solar Facade (ICSF), which produces electricity and captures solar energy "as heat for domestic hot water, space heating, and solar cooling," per the ELM handout available at the UN.


Ecological Living Module
The north end of the sleeping loft features a translucent clerestory above an Indoor Purification Plant Wall that is meant to improve indoor air quality.


Ecological Living Module
Behind the first-floor kitchen and sleeping loft on the north side of the building is the ELM's data and systems nerve center.


Ecological Living Module
Here, the various power, water, and computer controls are efficiently packed into a small closet accessed from outside.


Ecological Living Module
The construction is primarily wood, with locally sourced plywood, LVL, CLT, framing, furring, and siding – even wood fiber insulation is used in the walls, floor, and roof.


Ecological Living Module
Ecological Living Module