The subject of the diplomatic project deals with the bioclimatic design of students’ houses of the Medicine school of University of Thessaly in Larissa. This proposal was faced as an act which interferes with landscape and, at the same time, as a solution with the less possible environmental impact of use of these buildings.
The Medicine School of University of Thessaly, which until the previous year was located in the centre of Larissa, now moves to an area out of urban plan which abuts on the Peripheral University General Hospital of Larissa, an area named as Mezourlo. There are about 300 students in this school. At the area where it moves, there is an intense presence of natural landscape, mostly through the ground relief.
The basic design principles had to do with a search for a way of installation, form and way of function which could utilize the ground relief, the south orientation of the area and the climatic characteristics in order the buildings to incorporate with the natural landscape and decrease their energy demand.
So, there were developed about seven models of houses which were located on a linear axis parallel to the ground hypsometrical curves of the area. Vertically to these curves and between houses, there were located spaces with glass boundaries where the solar energy is operated for buildings’ heating. In addition to this, the houses’ openings were designed to have south orientation for the development of solar gains inside. The openings were examined in such a way which could provide the natural ventilation of building during summer.
According to the projects, groups of one-storey houses were developed on a parallel to the ground relief axis and were covered with a planted roof, with an aim to be embodied in the landscape and to be better and naturally insulated.
There was made a survey regarding the wall insulation of every house of the project. According to the results and principles such as the material economy, one of the best solutions was the insulation of 6cm polystyrene with an air cavity of 2 cm for the external walls.
The basic heating system of every group of houses consists of solar collectors which are located on the planted roof with south orientation. There, the water is heated and then it is stored in a water tank which is buried in the ground behind the north side of the group. It is estimated that this system covers up to the 60% of the energy demand for heating of every house model.
As was mentioned previously, a common space with glass boundaries on the north and south side was designed for every couple of houses. Inside this construction, solar rays worm the air. The air, with mechanical support, passes through the floor which is made of paraffin, a Phase Changing Material. There, the heat is stored. During daytime, the air in the “green house” is recycled continuously through pipes. During night, the inside air of the two houses, passes through melted paraffin, becomes warmer and returns through pipes to the house. With an opening which to the green house (on the common wall) the house is filled with air again.
During summer, these spaces “break”, as the glass walls can be folded. In this way, they become common roofed yards for the users.
The openings which are installed on the south side of every group are shaded with a hang as the roof extends beyond the limits of every house. It has the appropriate dimensions in order to shade the openings during summer but not to prevent solar gains during winter. There is an extra construction of simple fabric shadings located to the exterior south area of every house.
At last, during summer, the entrance of fresh cool air is achieved through linear small openings on the north side of the building and a scooped out piece of ground behind of every house.