Rossend Prat is an architect with long-standing experience in the design and execution of building projects. His areas of expertise include both traditional and prefabricated housing.
In recent years, House Habitat has been fortunate to have built a number of these homes. We were involved in the construction of the Castellgalí, Pont de Vilomara, Sant Vicenç de Castellet I and II single family homes, situated in the Bages region (province of Barcelona).
A common feature of all these homes is the use of wood for the structure, and compliance with passive house criteria, such as interior and exterior insulation, double or triple glazed carpentry or energy recovery ventilation systems.
The Barcelona-born architect shared with us his vision of how wood contributes to his projects and the key features of the homes built in collaboration with House Habitat.
You have extensive experience in buildings of various types and purposes, when did you first start taking an interest in wood?
I have used wood throughout my career, both for new homes, with solid or laminated wood structures, as well as renovation projects. However, our venture into the passive house concept is more recent, and dates back to 2017.
How does wood contribute to your architecture projects?
It is a global concept, in line with bioclimatic and Passivhaus building criteria. In this sense, wood makes a truly masterly contribution. Firstly, because it allows for the building of healthy constructions, although it has many other benefits, including sustainability, energy efficiency and building speed (with the corresponding cost savings).
How did you start working with House Habitat?
My relationship with House Habitat came about by chance, thanks to a mutual client and a project for a single family home. Our first impression was excellent, and throughout the time we have been working together we have had the opportunity to observe their knowledge of this type of construction, as well as their expertise, professionalism and thoroughness, qualities that guarantee excellent standards of work.
What aspects of your projects built by House Habitat would you highlight (the homes in Pont de Vilomara, Castellgalí and the two in Sant Vicenç de Castellet)?
In the case of these houses, we worked with both lightweight and CLT frames. In terms of design, CLT allows for large spans with extremely reduced sections, as well as the added advantage of being able to feature exposed wood finishes. At any rate, both building systems guarantee highly effective and constant heat insulation, thereby eliminating thermal bridges and ensuring a sevenfold improvement in watertightness in comparison with traditional constructions. Other highlights include the excellent enclosure walls and effective energy recovery ventilation systems and the use of aerothermal energy for sanitary hot water (SHW), requiring minimum energy and guaranteeing inexpensive comfort and wellbeing.
Are you currently working on any wood-based architecture projects?
Yes, we are; indeed, one of the characteristics of our clients is their growing interest in this type of architecture. In fact, we are currently working on a number of projects in this sense, all single family homes, the majority of which are detached. However, we are also involved in a project between dividing walls; in this case, we are considering the use of a mixed structure – using CLT for the dividing walls in order to ensure compliance with fire regulations, with minimum sections – as well as for the frame, in order to cover the large span and ensure an open-plan space.