The Construye Solar initiative proposed a great challenge for Chilean universities: to design and build a sustainable social housing prototype, in order to improve the esthetics and standards of Chile’s social housing. For this competition, houses were built to scale and exhibited for 10 days in Parque O'Higgins in Santiago de Chile.
"To create sustainable housing that meets high standards of internal environmental quality, energy efficiency, good architecture, and that is both cozy and practical for a typical Chilean family, while bearing in mind that construction costs must be kept low, to make its application to MINVU’s rural subsidy DS 10 feasible, was clearly a major challenge," recalls Gonzalo Verdugo, leader of the Wallmapu team from the Universidad de Temuco’s School of Architecture, a group that was awarded the Enel Energy Efficiency award.
Gonzalo is an architect by profession, but, above all, is a dreamer, who for the second year took part in this initiative that seeks to make sustainability the main attraction of a new housing model.
The project that the professor designed and built together with his students, was called "Lafken-che", and it is a sustainable house inspired by a Mapuche ruca. "We are proud to have proven that the house can generate 100% of the electric power it requires for all its activities, using solar energy," says Gonzalo.
Until recently, the term "sustainable" sounded distant and expensive. Today, however, it is something that is within everyone’s reach, through different formats and always providing the best solutions from an energy point of view. "My dream is for Lafken-che houses to be built using the DS10 rural subsidy in all possible places in Chile, since the house is relevant to all geographic and climatic contexts of our country," he points out.
With examples like this, Construye Solar contributes to the creation of bases to build a more sustainable country, breaking myths, and introducing innovative ideas that encourage the use of the different natural resources within everyone’s reach.
Projects like Lafken-che begin to build a better future, making the dream of hundreds of neighborhoods and neighbors come true, which could change their quality of life at a low cost, by intelligently using the natural resources and sustainable products that surround us.