Berkay Öztürk + Ayça Metin Merve + Taşdelen
@ozturkberkaay + @aycametinn + @itsophelia

Spirala Ecological Village is located in Northern Portugal, Idanha-a-Nova. The village is at a strategic location that is the intersection of 4 provinces named; Idanha-a-Nova, Castelo Branco, Fundao, and Penamacor. Thus, our approach to the site is not only limited with Idanha-a-Nova but also involves Northern Portugal. Northern Portugal is known for its food quality. Hence, the Mediterranean climate has an average temperature above 10°C in the warmest months, and an average in the coldest between 18 to -3°C. The region produces its own high-quality table olive and olive oil, wine, cheese, honey, and hams. Portugal dominates the global market with these brands. Besides, the region feeds its development and recognition with the global organizations, festivals, food biennials, tourism, and R&D studies that mostly focus on innovation and sustainability. Considering these values, we would like to carry cultural values to the project site.

During our research, we found a few articles about olive-ash addition to clay brick which enhances the traditional brick’s thermal quality, water resilience and bending strengths. The mixture which contains %10 wt. olive-ash in the clay brick mixture provides the best results. With the development of the brick, we also offer to optimize the brick units topologically according to their new material properties with an FEA software called Abaqus. The parameters of olive ash-clay brick like density, Young’s Modulus, Poisson Ratio, load points and values, support points, angle of friction, flow stress ratio, dilation angle, stiffness of mortar which are withdrawed from the papers are considered for the optimization process.

That in mind, we have analyzed the dominant olive and olive oil production locations, museums with olive culture content, and organizations that support bio-based activities. We are proposing our site to be related to these 3 main topics; innovation researches, production, and culture. Increase in olive oil production will consequence in a huge amount of waste. In addition to olive-ash clay brick, our concern about olive bio-waste which is one of the most common bio-waste in the area still engage the material selection.

In our latest researches, we found a material called Pomastic is a kind of biodegradable plastic that doesn’t damage the environment and also it is recyclable material. As it’s written in the Spirala Community Home Brief, the form of the building is preferred in a round shape, so we offer a form which is going to be constructed with the traditional masonry technique. With topological optimization of the masonry units, it has been proposed to have different types of optimized bricks which meets the different strengths.

To combine with olive ash clay brick system with optimized brick units, it should be filled with a material to prevent wind, rain and other influences to the building. We are proposing to use biodegradable resin which is increased of usage in architectural project with flexible usage areas. It enables to create the sunlight illusions through the day because of our optimized bricks have different cavities. Lastly, we have seen that there are huge material use and solar radiation differences between standard bricks and optimized bricks. With optimized bricks proposal, it is almost 30 m3 less material used. In conclusion, we believe that the proposed system is a successful circular economy system with the steps of design, production, remanufacturing, consumption and waste management.

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