Hilson Moran, in partnership with Zaha Hadid Architects and AKT II, has developed an innovative digital architectural platform to create homes for Roatán Próspera in the Caribbean, the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras. The residential designs are an ecological and social response to the unique climate, terrain and culture of the island.
Crucial to developing the platform was a comprehensive understanding of the local supply chain, logistics and construction techniques. This importantly promoted the use of local materials, craftsmanship and manufacturing facilities, in turn supporting the local economy.
The design is based on a modular system that uses sustainable timber, sourced nearby from certified forests, to form the main structural elements. It fully embraces the benefits of off-site construction, reducing the carbon footprint of the development, while at the same time providing cost control and enhanced quality due to the precision achieved in a factory.
Hilson Moran developed the design’s passive environmental control and water cycle strategies to minimise energy consumption by reducing temperatures to improve thermal comfort, with little requirements for mechanical cooling. Dynamic thermal modelling was used to validate user comfort and energy consumption parameters.
Optimising renewable resources to reduce energy consumption and generate water, the modules are designed to be self-shading, open and oriented towards the prevailing sea breeze for natural cooling. Local, natural materials and ground coupling provide further cooling to interior spaces. When required, water is removed from the atmosphere for supplementary cooling by dehumidification. This water is also harvested and filtered for use in each home.