|Certification Status||Living Certified|
|Version of LBC||3.1|
|Project Area||275 square meters|
|Start of Occupancy||March 2019|
|Number of Occupants||1-10|
|General Contractor||Green Living Projects|
|Certification Consultant||Valeria Fiorentino and Xavier Ramon|
01. LIMITS TO GROWTH IMPERATIVE
At Cal Guerxo, the team strives to create a place where they feel connected and in harmony with the land. Permaculture based practices connect them with growing food while creating habitat for humans, flora and fauna.
Regardless the small size of the land, they took upon themselves the stewardship of the land by converting it into a rich habitat for humans, fauna and flora. They created spaces using the local ecology as our inspiration, blending areas for agriculture, leisure and connection with nature with an organic pool as a major feature.
02. URBAN AGRICULTURE IMPERATIVE
Almost 30% of the land is dedicated to permaculture based agriculture. Trees provide fruit and nuts while smaller shrubs and vines provide berries and grapes while a mixture of perennial and annual plants provide an abundance of vegetables. But most importantly, the team is learning how to connect with growing their own food in a way that is aligned with nature.
03. HABITAT EXCHANGE IMPERATIVE
Through the Kelvedon Hills project from the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, we contributed to the perpetual protection of land equal in size of our project site.
04. HUMAN SCALED LIVING IMPERATIVE
Living in a village in a rural area allows the team to re-connect with the human scale. Electric bikes allow them and visitors to explore the surrounding nature and villages and to connect with the larger city of Barcelona. They can also hop on a train and enjoy three hours of quality time while the landscape passes by.
05 + 06. RESPONSIBLE WATER USE AND NET POSITIVE WATER IMPERATIVE
Cal Guerxo works with the natural cycle of water. Without loss of comfort, there is low water consumption and all water needs are provided by the rainwater that captured. After using the rainwater, it is cleaned using natural processes and infiltrated in the land.
To be able to operate within the rainwater budget, efficient bathroom fixtures were installed and dry toilets are used. All water leaving the house is filtered in a constructed wetland so the water can be re-used for the vegetable garden. Urine is captured separately and used as a natural fertilizer for the garden. In addition, Cal Guerxo was designed to manage future intense rainfall events and keep all water on site through infiltration of evapotranspiration.
07 + 08. ENERGY + CARBON REDUCTION AND NET POSITIVE CARBON IMPERATIVES
At Cal Guerxo, more energy is generated then consumed on an annual basis using a 4.95 kW PV array on the roof. A battery provides energy storage that can be tapped into in case of emergencies increasing the resiliency. Material related carbon was reduced by re-using existing materials and selecting natural materials or low-carbon materials.
The overall resulting carbon footprint after carbon-sequestering materials was 1.8 kgCO2e, which was offset by supporting a renewable energy project in the north of Brazil.
HEALTH AND HAPPINESS PETAL
09. HEALTHY INTERIOR ENVIRONMENT IMPERATIVE
The team implemented an Indoor Environmental Plan that includes a shoes-off policy in combination with a Scandinavian mud-room area at the entrance. The air quality in the house is kept optimal through air filtration and extraction as needed.
10. HEALTHY INTERIOR PERFORMANCE IMPERATIVE
The indoor air quality at Cal Guerxo is continually monitored to allow residents and visitors to be aware of the quality of the air. This includes monitoring of temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs and fine particles. The values measured are compounded in an overall score providing an indication of the quality of the air. In addition, all products used in the house for cleaning are biodegradable and Ecologo certified (UL) which is a multi-attribute life-cycle assessment that demonstrates reduced environmental impact.
11. ACCESS TO NATURE IMPERATIVE
At Cal Guerxo, a strong and frequent connection with nature is present through all senses. The intensity of this connection elevates the experience to a spiritual level. Residents and visitors have shared how their stay at Cal Guerxo has had a beneficial impact on their health.
13. RED LIST IMPERATIVE
To support a material economy free of toxins and harmful ingredients for both people and the environment, the team has screened all materials in the project to understand the ingredients they are made of. Over 90% of all materials used in the project do not contain any of the harmful ingredients on the Red List
14. RESPONSIBLE SOURCING IMPERATIVE
95% of all wood in the project was sourced from responsibly managed forests with FSC certification or was re-used wood. The team has also purchased two Declare certified products and one Living Product Challenge Product to support the economy of products that choose to be transparent regarding the ingredients used in those products.
15. LIVING ECONOMY SOURCING IMPERATIVE
The project has sourced 34% of its materials locally, including the re-use of existing materials on site. An additional 36% of materials were sourced regionally (> 1000 km). An additional 25% of materials was sourced internationally from within a distance of 5000 km.
16. NET POSITIVE WASTE IMPERATIVE
Prior to the start of the renovation, an inventory was made of all the materials that were present on site and the project team incorporated as much as possible existing materials in the design. During renovation and building process, all waste was separated by waste stream and transported to the local waste yard. At Cal Guerxo, all waste is separated. Organic waste, the largest waste stream, is composted on site and turned into a valuable resource for the vegetable garden. Other waste streams are separated and end up in the different waste containers at the entrance of the village provided by local authorities.
18. INCLUSION IMPERATIVE
The project supported the local economy by hiring people from the village in which it is situated and by working with local craftsman. Green Living Projects, the organization that led the design effort got JUST certified during the design phase of the project and the architectural firm that supported the project team made a JUST assessment.
19. BEAUTY & BIOPHILIA IMPERATIVE
Cal Guerxo is surrounded by mountains and there is an abundant presence of nature. The main design intent was to ensure that one can connect with the beauty and spirit of the surrounding nature while at the time providing a home where one feels protected and secure. There are a multitude of design details that integrate in such a way that it allows for a spiritual connection. Inside the house, the materials that have been chosen give it an earthy feel allowing one to feel grounded while the windows provide views of the surrounding mountains. Besides the natural materials, the house is using the wind and the sun as natural resources to provide comfort while borrowing rain for its water needs. The outdoor areas include an organic pond which is a source of life for both human and non-humans. The outdoor landscaping boosts biodiversity and creates an environment to connect with nature in a multi-sensory way.
20. EDUCATION AND INSPIRATION IMPERATIVE
Inspiring and educating others has always been one of the main goals of the project. Besides a number of visits to the house by the public, the owner hosts volunteers and organizes workshops through out the year with the aim to engage in regenerative thinking so that everyone can develop meaningful insights to apply to their own projects.