Five trees, one year, one house, zero emissions – the amount of energy generated from wooden pellets produced from five trees’ worth of raw material can actually be enough to cover the annual needs of a household.
The design for a next generation sustainable house in Taiki-cho, Hokkaido, was developed in a multidisciplinary team to take up the challenge of the Japanese TOSTEM Foundation. With a prestigious jury consisting of Kengo Kuma and Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow, the organizers were looking for concepts to address emerging sustainable building practices in the context of a one-family house.
By understanding the limitations and advantages of available technology, the Five Tree House enables a new sustainable lifestyle rather than passively supporting an outdated one. Utilizing a micro CHP (Combined Heat and Power) system powered by wooden pellets, the house achieves its heating and electricity needs annually through the consumption of five trees. The five trees provide a renewable and carbon neutral energy resource that is no longer an abstract source of energy, but one that the inhabitants of the home can actively support through the annual planting of trees.
The architectural concept benefits from a flexible division of spaces in one floor only, with a terrace that extends the indoor spaces creating a buffer zone. Due to the orientation of rooms and the terrace as a divisive element between indoors and outside space, the house can be situated in the countryside just as well as in a dense urban settlement.
In collaboration with The Five Tree House Team/Aalto University