Lifehaus is a commitment to the creation of self-sufficient, low-cost housing, through the partnership between Lebanese architect Nizar Haddad and Australian environmental journalist Nadine Mazloum. The project began in 2014 when they sought to offer a sustainable alternative that would give people in developing countries access to a decent home.
The result was the construction of Lifehaus, a prototype house that recovers ancestral construction techniques and materials to create a zero-emission home.
Located in the Lebanese town of Baskinta, this first house of 160 square meters fulfilled everything that the project team expected: a house with a reduced carbon footprint and a low cost that was also a beautiful house formed by a studio with living room and kitchen, terrace, greenhouse, and a technical room.
For the creation of the prototype, the architect Nizar Haddad used different materials that mainly included clay, rock, limestone, hemp, cane, or hay.
Although the team used wood or bamboo for the roofs, the alternative of using cement is offered when these materials are not available in the area where the house will be built. Reused rubber, glass bottles, or aluminum cans complete the collection of materials that gave life to the first Lifehaus.
The creators of Lifehaus explain on their website that everything in this construction is designed to optimize resources. That is, this is a house with the ability to retain heat and humidity and, as it incorporates photovoltaic panels and wind and hydraulic turbines, it’s a type of construction that works well in inhospitable places and could be the answer to those who live in areas without access to electrical services.
While one of the basic objectives of the authors of Lifehaus is to promote the use of natural, recycled, and unprocessed building materials acquired locally, they also claim that they seek to reintroduce ancestral construction and survival techniques into the present with this prototype. Even one of the postulates of their work is that this house is the demonstration that with genius and creativity the modern human being can fully integrate into nature and adapt to it without harming it.
In addition to the above, the Lifehaus project promotes three basic activities: rainwater harvesting (and its reuse in triplicate), organic, hydroponic, and aquaponic agriculture (to prevent contamination of groundwater reserves), and the use of passive natural energies (solar-powered housing).
A model for every audience
Several models have been created within the Lifehaus project, which will vary based on their application, need, and luxury. Thus, the spectrum of prototypes ranges from emergency housing to luxury homes, including affordable homes for those who want a peaceful life that’s more connected to nature.
Lifehaus is a construction style that aims both to respond to crises and to offer a home to generations more committed to the care of the planet. So, what do you say, are you ready to have your Lifehaus?