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Hydrologic Sustainable Housing

Part 2 Project 2010
Sebastian Borquez
University of Chile Santiago Chile

In the Cau Cau area, Valdivia, Chili, is taking place a new eco-renovation Project which also considers the urban aspect. This Project has been evaluated by the Evaluation System of Environmental Impact which has denied its approval. Therefore the housing area must be redesigned considering the hydrologic cycle existing in that place.

I propose a housing cycle which attaches to the natural cycle and defines the two project bases:
1) To permit the development of the natural cycle to ensure the existing ecosystem.
2) To propose a hydrologic cycle for housing that provides a mutual benefit to the existing ecosystem and the urban area.

I have studied the three components of the Cau Cau area: vegetation, water and soil. That way I have realized there is a geometric process based on a cell that together with their peers produces interconnected grids, nodes and interstitial spaces. The cells of the Project platform are the Olivillo and Gallery Forests responsible for the hydric regulation and the water transfer to the lower aquifer. Making an entry of the Olivillo and Gallery Forests and applying the geometric logic, we are able to get an interconnected grid that provides a mutual benefit:
1) Housing complexes are inserted in the interconnected grid because it is most protected area from floods
2) The forest area preservation permits the hydric regulation and the natural hydrologic cycle development.

In this way the housing is inserted in the interconnected grid without obstructing the natural cycle. The housing complexes get the water from the aquifer. The water is used and then discarded. The wastewater passes through the symbiotic treatment for its purification. The treated water is used for irrigation and after that absorbed for the plant cover. Finally, the water passes through ground layers for its purifications and is returned to the lower aquifers for closing the cycle.

Sebastian Borquez

I met Sebastian Borquez in 2009 when I guided his architectural final project in the Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad de Chile. During that time he demonstrated to have a great talent for design and real passion to hard work.

His project was a Housing Complex in Valdivia city riverside.
The result is a remarkable project involved on sustainable design approach. The project includes wastewater symbiotic treatment and landscapes design strategies as it is located in a wetland area.
I can vouch his professionalism, rigorously and sensibility as I am available to give more specific information about his work to anyone who requires me.

Humberto Eliash Diaz
Universidad de Chile Professor
Vice dean of Faculty of Architecture


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