Sistema Arde (2nd Generation)
Tandacasa S.A. de C.V.
Partner (Alejandro Villarreal), Co-Worker (Alejandro Marambio)
Cheap and widely available, concrete masonry unit blocks (CMUs) have become one of the most commonly used materials in low-income housing all along Mexico. With this in mind, we designed an integral building system that improves the technical aspects of this kind of construction and that embraces and upgrades the human aspect as well.
The system is designed as a jigsaw puzzle that provides all the constructive elements of the building, where each block element is designed to solve a particular construction problem. There are three basic groups identified within the system:
-Basic technology: it includes all the pieces that solve the basic structure of the building.
-Structural finishes: this group helps create the exterior finishes of the building, through pieces that solve not just the structural issues, but also the final finishes as well. This eliminates the need of stucco work, painting, and their inherent maintenance cost.
-Structural accessories: this set of pieces complement the last two groups, and they solve specific construction needs such as: staircases, window frames, flowerpot stands.
One of the main characteristics of the system is that it combines two design strategies: on one side it improves the efficiency and costs of the construction process, and on the other side it improves the emotional, dignifying, and humanizing part of the building.
The system has been used to construct a number of housing projects in Mexico, along the cities of San Miguel de Allende, Jilotepec, and Mexico City.