Jose Luis Barros

Self-built Social Housing in the Northern Coast of Ecuador

Atacames, Ecuador 0.85° N 79.84° W

According to a recent census Ecuador has a housing deficit of some 3.5 million dwelling units. Several  government programmes have so far failed to resolve problems of poor living conditions, overcrowding and urban deterioration. Designed for the region of Esmeraldas in the north of the country, this project responds to the particularity of the area’s equatorial climate which is characterised by mean monthly temperatures of 24-26ºC and relative humidity levels approaching 90 percent. The design strategies are informed by the factors affecting social housing in the country. Local construction techniques are adopted providing self-building opportunities. The project aims to achieve indoor thermal comfort conditions by relying solely on passive design strategies.