Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Skype meeting with Arrebita Team

This past Thursday, DIMSCALE met with Arrebita’s work team by Skype. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the team about the most appropriate constructive solutions to implement on the project, having regard to its functionality, quality and cost. 

Living Box 3D prototype, made by Arrebita team

The team has developed an idea based on the creation of modular units on different floors. This idea will seek to equip each floor with structures at the level of sanitary facilities, kitchen, laundry area and storage areas. The team designed a prototype to be installed substantially in the center of each floor. Thus, all special facilities are centralized, reducing the cost of the necessary networks, and creating both a reduction in area occupied, increasing the space available to the remaining program (housing, offices, etc..). These units may differ from floor to floor, with the possibility to create a module with a higher level. This idea is practicable after the rise of the height of the roof, through the elimination of the roof lining.

Much of the meeting focused on discussing the best constructive solutions to these units, taking into account the implications of its functionality and cost. Priority has also been defined for the choice of Portuguese materials. DIMSCALE suggested the use of various materials such as plates or Valchromat and Viroc. The size of the units should take into account the optimization of the overall size of the plates, so that doesn’t exist unnecessary material waste.



In terms of structure for these units, it was recommended the application of steel or wood, as examples of structural elements. DIMSCALE spoke of the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the cost associated with each solution. It is also addressed the issue of formwork – has been proposed by the team using second hand formwork. We concluded it may be difficult to collect these second-hand materials in good condition. In addition, this solution involves the use of non-uniform materials, at the aesthetic level.

With regard to areas of canopy, will be taken into account the possibilities of using prefabricated kitchens and / or source already equipped.

In turn, for bathrooms, bathroom and the issue related to the use of Viroc finishes, addressed the possibility of using sanitary ware suspended in order to make a more efficient management of materials that will be part of the pavement.

Suspended sanitary ware example

For decorative purposes, was discussed the possibility of collecting ancient Portuguese tiles for timely implementation of these units in different areas.

One of the main problems of the building is its natural light, since it has only one facade. The equipment proposed a solution of glass in some areas, so that the daylight can move more effectively into the building, especially the wall of the box reserved for the staircase and the ceiling of the basement. This is, in our opinion, a good solution because it solves a major problem in the building, adding quality and functionality to the project. And, despite being a relatively expensive solution, it becomes profitable to be applicable in small areas and the value it adds to the program at the functional and conceptual levels. For this part, it was suggested laminated glass with direct printing, from WidinGlass.

Glass floor example

One issue that has been discussed is the reuse or replacement of the front windows. The team intended to protect the most of the original aspect of the building through a solution that would involve repairing the window and applying a second inner window so that they comply with thermal and acoustic requirements. DIMSCALE warned of the costs adjacent to such a process, since it involves costs for the repair of existing windows, acquisition of new structures and subsequent implementation. This application is also hampered by the low wall thickness (10 cm), and may not be a practical solution in use and unattractive to the aesthetic level. The alternative would be reproducing the original aspect of the existing windows in new windows that already comply with all existing norms. This is an issue that, like all others, we will continue to work with the team.

Arrebita building windows

We addressed also the question of thermal and acoustic insulation of the building (general insulation and insulation between floors). We will, with a specialized company in the area, analyze the possible interest in participating in this project, and later presenting their solutions to the team. Team will have been introduced about some solutions on the market, such as insulation boards that allow to place the structure of floors / ceilings in cards that can also function as they finish, so there is no need for a second material (such as false ceilings).

Thermal and accoustic insulation needs

With regard to the roof of the building, consisting of Marseille type tiles, we spoke about the need to do the same survey, reutilize the greatest possible number of tiles in good condition and replace the rest by new tiles. There is also the need to install the system of collecting rainwater, since the building does not have a functional system.

Building roof

Finally, in relation to the problem of the floor structure of the ground floor, which is in poor conditions, we discussed that it will need full replacement. We advised the adoption of a steel structure, being a more reliable, practical and with a higher long-term profitability solution. This question will have to be worked with partner NCREP, responsible for the work of strengthening / replacement of building structures.

On the next Open Working Day, happening now on the 9th of May (Wednesday), will be discussed in greater detail these issues.

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