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Casa Verde
San Juan de Uraba, Colombia
image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Location:
San Juan de Uraba, Colombia
Category:
housing
Phase:
construction preparation
Updated:
18 January 2023
La brisa marina already knew San Juan when it was still a small logging hamlet. She used to visit the people in their wooden houses caressing or menacing and passing on rumors . She saw the houses becoming more respectable and solid. The inhabitants lost their fear, but also lost touch. Now she rushes through the hot streets where air conditioners line the walls. But you can still find her lingering in the remaining  wooden houses, recounting.
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Introduction
Barrio 2 de Abril in San Juan de Uraba, a small municipallity on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, was founded as an informal settlement on the town's former airfield. Today it is an official quarter of the town, but still characterised by simple wooden houses on quite small plots. 

More and more of these old houses are being modernised. This generally means that they are being replaced by more solid houses.

The model for these concrete or brick houses came from Medellín, the capital of the department, which is located at an altitude of almost 1500 m and has a completely different climate than the coastal town, where average temperature lies at 28-30 °C and the relative humidity is very high. The houses are considered safe and have a good reputation, but they are not adapted to the local climatic conditions. The lack of air circulation, the large windows and the heat-retaining walls lead to problems such as mould and high room temperatures or dependence on air conditioning.
However, the original regional architecture contains many good techniques for climate-adapted building.

The goal of the team of local architects and creatives is to develop a wooden house typology in which old and new techniques merge to create an architecture that meets the demands of valuable modernisation, uses predominantly regional building materials, and is climate-adapted, cost-effective and easy to reproduce.
Woodstructure

image: Angely Angulo Meza | © all rights reserved
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Impact
The aim of the project is to modernise the house of a family of six who own a beautiful but gradually decaying and, above all, far too small wooden house. 
The pilot project is intended to present an alternative design to the current concrete and brick houses.

The basic structure of the design is a timber platform in skeleton construction. Only materials that can withstand the salty, humid air are used (impregnated wood, galvanised steel)
  • Impact for the residents
  • Doubling of the available living space
  • Preservation of the patio
  • Flexible room layout
  • Durability of the basic structure.
  • Impact for the community
  • Less soil sealing
  • Densification
  • Use of predominantly local building materials and labour

The platform can be erected over the existing house within a few days
  •  No need to relocate for extended periods during construction.

The roof of the original house will be used for the new building, but broken up to avoid heat build-up. The old wall panels are reused for the façade.
  • Lower construction costs
  • Less construction waste
  • Good deconstructability/recyclability

As with traditional houses, the upper parts of the walls and the large doors are latticed
  • Well-ventilated living spaces adapted to the climate
  • Preservation and further development of traditional building forms

A sanitary room will be built, the current house does not include one.


The construction will be artistically accompanied. An art exhibition shows the local history of timber house construction. The building techniques and constructive details will be presented and explained.
  • Preservation of historical knowledge
  • Enabeling replicabillity
sdgs
Core team
Angely Angulo Meza was born and raised in San Juan de Urabá. She studied civil engineering in Madrid, Spain, and completed a BA in architecture at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, Germany. In her previous projects, she has mainly worked with sustainable construction and alternative building materials.

PROINTERSAN is an association that promotes social projects in the municipality of San Juan de Uraba. It supports small fincas and producers and advocates for sustainable and socially just development.

Julio Carlos Angulo, a visual artist in San Juan de Uraba, has been involved in promoting regional culture for many years. With his photos and paintings, he has documented the changes in the community.

"Plan B" is a collective of mostly young artists and technical architects who have organised themselves to work part-time for local cultural development. They give workshops for children and young people in the region and realise artistic interventions on site. For example, accompanying the celebration of San Juan's connection to the drinking water network. 
It also serves as a platform for the artists to exchange experiences and working techniques and to share computer and photographic equipment.

The project has inspired other young professionals in the area who bring experience and regional contacts in timber construction and surveying.

San Juan has an intact village community. People help each other out, especially with social projects. And in exchange for food and drinks, there are always enough helping hands for smaller construction projects.
The artist collective Plan B

image: Colectivo Plan B | CC-BY_black.png some rights reserved
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Image gallery
Context

image: Diego Angulo Pitalua | © all rights reserved
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Context

image: Julio Carlos Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Context

image: Julio Carlos Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Context

image: Diego Angulo Pitalua | © all rights reserved
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Context

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Context

image: public domain
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Context

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Casa Tradicional

image: Julio Carlos Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Technical drawings
Location

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Current hause

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Transformation

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Details

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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First floor

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Second floor

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Elevation

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Modell

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Modell

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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Modell

image: Angely Angulo | © all rights reserved
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External links
Help bring our project to life!
18 January 2023
5 m³ of timber!
Thanks to a donation from Corpuraba and San Juan Municipal Hall, we now have a large part of the timber needed for the basic structure.
After a lot of hard work, the wood is stored and ready to be sawn into shape.
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18 January 2023
New partner: Alcadia de San Juan
Thanks to the recommendation of the San Juan Municipal Office and the mayor, we were able to receive a donation from Corpuraba.
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18 January 2023
New partner: Corpouraba
Corpuraba is a public Corporation in the Uraba Region. Its purpose is to execute policies, plans, programs and projects on the environment and renewable natural resources, as well as to give full and timely application to the current legal provisions on their disposal, administration, management and use, as to the regulations, guidelines and directives issued by the Ministry of the Environment of Colombia. We received a generous donation of about 5 m³ of timber, designated for social projects like ours.
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13 January 2023
Another € 400 raised
Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
The planning phase for the basic platform has been completed. At the moment we are in the process of procuring all the necessary building materials from local or at least regional sources.

We have already succeeded in obtaining wooden planks from old deconstructed houses and are now experimenting with how we can process them to create an attractive and robust facade.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
20% funding already raised
80% expertise already found
40% materials / equipment already found
100% builders already found
Finance: € 8,000
 The steel joist hangers cannot be made locally. They are made and galvanised by a medium-sized company in Medellin. The impregnation of the large wooden beams also has to be done outside the region. However, only wood from Colombia is used. All other building materials are recycled, manufactured or purchased directly in the village or the next largest town.
  • Impregnated wood beams
4,000
  • Thraeded rods, and nuts
1,000
  • Transport Costs
500
  • OO Boards
1,100
  • Concrete foundations
500
  • Roof and Facade
900
Skills: PR & Marketing
We still have very little experience with crowdfunding. If you would like to help us promote our project and raise funds, you are more than welcome to join us.
Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
We are happy to receive any information on a secure source of sustainable impregnated timber from Colombia (preferably from the Uraba region).

We gladly accept surplus metal goods such as nails and screws. Especially for the facade we are quite flexible in what we can use.

Any smaller t components that can be used for roof truss and bracing are gladly accepted.

Labour and construction machinery will be organised locally and rented if necessary. But if you want to provide machines or labour we would of course be very happy about it.
Help bring our project to life!
Partners
Location
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