With the Legos P Project (economic housing with panel technology), a group of professors and students from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Guayaquil was among the ten finalists in the competition Challenge of design of resilient homes, organized by the World Bank, Build Academy, the Global Fund for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and UN-Habitat.
The challenge gave rise to sustainable housing designs that are resilient to disasters, which can be built with less than $ 10,000 and directed at people living in areas affected by natural disasters.
3,000 professionals from more than 120 countries participated with 300 group presentations.
The team of the U. de Guayaquil was formed by 6 professors and 27 students, directed by the architect Felipe Espinoza.
The Legos P project consists in assembling a house with polyurethane panels as a layman, as the user wishes, on a reinforced concrete base.
Challenge started in 2016
The challenge of manufacturing a house with these characteristics had actually begun after the earthquake of April 16, 2016 suffered by our country, “for which the State and the University were not prepared. We took up that challenge: to propose a house that is fast, that is safe, inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and we work with polyurethane panels, which are light, and that a family can put together in three days under our methodology, “says Espinoza .
The deadline for the presentation of projects was November 30, and three days before Espinoza found out about it. “There’s the opportunity to take what we had done and measure ourselves, I told myself,” he recalls.
The demands of the contest were high, they had to comply with certain parameters and the work of those three days was intense, of adjustments. In addition to Espinoza, teachers included Brick Reyes, Ivonne Rendón, Alfredo Carabajo, Johnson Ching and Rommy Torres; and 27 students from the fifth to the tenth semester, some doing preprofessional practices.
They used living lab methodology
The important thing of the achievement, says Espinoza, is that it has been working in a living lab environment, where teachers and students interact interdisciplinarily through technology to capture their knowledge. “We could not do it with the traditional system of teaching a teacher and students in a classroom,” says Espinoza.
This group already works with the living lab two semesters. “The interesting thing about this system is that we participate teachers with specialties in fourth level such as Natural Resources, Environmental Impacts, Design, which makes the coverage of academic areas very rich. This experience is for the Faculty and the University a topic of breaking paradigms, “explains Reyes.
Marcela García, who participated in the project as an intern, says that “it was very rewarding, especially for the effort that was made to meet the standards of an international competition.”
After the hugs, Espinoza says that they did a self-assessment and found that one of the weaknesses with which they work is software. “We want the University of Guayaquil to implement the living lab, and in that sense we know that the rector supports our work,” concludes Espinoza. (I)