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Thursday, March 12, 2009

MiLoft launch at MIPIM, Cannes, France

RMJM launch new housing design in response to tough financial climate

UK-based international architects RMJM launched the ‘MiLoft’ design, with its rooftop ‘aloftments’, at the international property market MIPIM in Cannes this week. The concept is targeted at homeowners who wish to experience loft style living, without the need to buy a penthouse, and true affordability both in terms of purchase cost and energy usage.

In addition to protecting the environment by using zero carbon technology and sustainable materials, the MiLoft design will mean significant savings for homeowners and occupants with minimal energy usage and running costs. By using innovative ‘Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery’ (MVHR) technology designed by award-winning Max Fordham Consulting Engineers, heat generated within the home – such as body heat and heat from household appliances - is reused to maintain indoor air temperature at a constant level, negating the need for a traditional heating system. In the summer, the dual aspect, double height loft-style and open plan living space will provide natural ventilation in high temperatures, reducing the requirement for air conditioning for hot climates. Rain water is collected from the roof and redistributed for toilet flushing.

In addition to meeting government targets for sustainability, the new housing model has a low construction cost, starting at £55,000 per unit, and the modular design, with shallow foundations requiring little groundwork, means that the blocks can take only five months to build. Made from responsibly sourced timber with steel stiffeners, the units are designed to fit on the back of a truck for easy transportation from the factory direct to the site.

MiLoft is the brainchild of RMJM’s Group Design Director Tony Kettle, who is also responsible for the design of Gazprom’s Ohkta Tower in St Petersburg, which will become the tallest tower in Europe and one of the most low energy high rise buildings in the world as a result of unique technology which minimises the need for heating despite temperatures dipping to minus 30 degrees.

On his MiLoft concept, Tony Kettle commented: “MiLoft is a new model for urban living providing a far better quality of life with the minimum impact on the environment. In a world hit by recession caused by overconsumption and greed, it illustrates that good things need not cost the earth. We aim to revolutionise affordable housing supply across the world.”
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