Image from Unsplash for illustration purposes only
How do you build something that hasn’t already existed before? What have we really been working on every single day for the past three years? Isn’t it as simple as buying a plot, building some houses, and starting sales?
In this five-part series, CEO Falko MüllerTyl talks about what he and his team has been working on up to now, what they’ve achieved already, and what lies ahead.
How to Build a Community Part 4 – Building high-quality homes
Dear Ambera Family,
You know what comes next – my list of the essential aspects for a successful Ambera Community:
- Defining what kind of community we wish to foster
- Choosing the right plot of land
- Building suitable facilities
- Building high-quality homes
- Filling our Ambera Community with life
What will the houses in Europe’s first Ambera Community look like? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how smart architecture can help give us richer, fuller lives, and how we’re working to find good solutions based on sustainability principles.
What is the challenge?
The construction and real estate industries, i.e. constructing and operating buildings, account for almost 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions. It is vital that we try to minimise our environmental impact, and considering the above-mentioned share of emissions, improvements will have an immediate effect on our carbon footprint. We have looked at every element we can – everything from our designs for Ambera and material choices, to the way we will run and operate our buildings and the Ambera community.
There are lots of possibilities for Ambera from an engineering perspective. Because we’re building a fully functioning community of hundreds of homes, we have a chance to really implement sustainable building practices that have an effect. There are many moving parts to take into account, and not all of them have what we call a ‘positive correlation’ – which is to say that they don’t reinforce each other – so we have to make a lot of decisions as we go.
Future Ambera residents will come from different European countries, and will be used to living in buildings that are designed based on the local climate, local building traditions, and state-mandated building codes (among other things). In Norway, for example, we have to design houses that can handle temperatures between -30°C and +30°C, which is a temperature swing of 60°C over the course of a year. This places great demands on building quality, and both lawmakers and the construction industry have responded to these challenges, and today’s buildings are well-equipped to handle the climate.
In Southern Spain, we obviously don’t have the same temperature difference – one of the reasons so many people want to move there – and buildings need to be designed differently. We need excellent insulation to keep the summer heat out, good heating for the winter months (despite it being nowhere near as cold as Northern Europe), and pleasant outdoor spaces, with options for basking in the sun, or relaxing in the shade.
What have we done so far?
We’ve assembled a fantastic team in Spain, with strong backgrounds in Architecture and Construction, with a focus on sustainability. The architects that are responsible for the detailing and execution of the building plans of this project have already designed and built 400 units in the same project, so as well having a great team, we also have the benefit of their experience sketching out and building these houses.
In addition, we will be using the same contractors who built the first units when building our own. We believe this will be the safest bet, as we’ve already seen the quality of their work, and know they can carry a project to completion. After consulting with ‘Belief’ – an experienced Norwegian sustainability consultant – we have outlined a strategy for our sustainability commitment that will guide our process going forward. I will go into more detail about our strategy in a separate article.
What happens next?
We want to offer a complete Ambera experience from day one, with a wide variety of options for things to do. But every day begins and ends somewhere – in the comfort of your own home. When you get up, you can choose to partake in an activity, contribute to a cause, meet friends new and old… Or you can stay in your comfy, cosy home, and just enjoy the beautiful Spanish weather.
We’ll share more concrete details with you about your future homes when we launch sales in March of 2020. In the meantime, we at Ambera are sparing no effort designing them for you – and we can’t wait to share that with you!
Ambera Co-founder and CEO
Stay tuned for part 5 of series where we discuss the last and most important aspect – filling the community with life!
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You might also find these articles interesting:
– How to Build a Community – Part 3 of 5
– How to Build a Community – Part 2 of 5
– How to Build a Community – Part 1 of 5
– Our vision
– Resident stories from the miniature Ambera in Norway