In the tropical Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, Southeast Asian architecture firm T3 Architects has completed the Hippo Farm Bioclimatic Dormitories, a cost-effective housing structure that uses locally sourced materials and bioclimatic design principles to stay naturally cool and comfortable year-round. A limited budget and a brief that specified low-impact construction led the architects to explore traditional construction methods such as using Vietnamese bulk rice husk with inspect-resistant diatomaceous earth for the roof insulation. The building is also equipped with composting toilets, low-flow plumbing fixtures and rooftop solar heaters to further minimize the project’s environmental footprint. Catherine and Olivier, the founders of Hippo Farm, commissioned the Bioclimatic Dormitories as an expansion of their three-hectare permaculture farm in Binh Hoa, about an hour away from downtown Ho Chi Minh City . The new construction was designed to follow the example of the existing architecture on site, which was constructed for low environmental impact and built with locally sourced natural materials. Hippo Farm’s existing buildings also feature solar panels, graywater recycling and passive solar design principles. As a result, the architects first conducted solar and wind studies to create a site-specific design that would not only take advantage of cooling cross […]

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