Nueva + Vida

Nueva + Vida was born out of a four-week design competition to address resilient homes in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma. This project is a modular system for starting a new life. It is a panelized structure that can be replicated, reproduced and repaired at the convenience of the owner. Utilizing dimensional lumber as interchangeable parts. This will keep construction and economical wastes lower. The idea is understandable allowing construction to be continued and carried out by the families who live in these homes.

Design Challenge

As climate change generates more destructive weather patterns it is impossible to know whether you are safe or not. Designing one custom resilient building doesn't matter if everyone has lost their homes if everyone is broken there is no “again.” Nueva+Vida is not about a singular building, rather it is the knowledge of building. It doesn't matter who, why, or how someone has been affected. It matters if someone can help rebuild their neighbors' homes or even their own. That is the definition of resilience. All that matters is that they can start again. So teaching a community how to build out of these simplified panels, they can spread knowledge quicker, share materials easier, and more efficiently pool resources together so that everyone can begin their new life sooner.

Physical Context

The underlying purpose of the design is to allow more efficient use of resources in the wake of climatic disasters. Utilizing normal hardware stores, like Home Depot, to build entire homes. No matter how strong you build a singular building it means nothing if everything around it is taken away. To understand that the climate is changing and raise awareness that no singular person can flee from disasters, but to reassure them that if they lose everything, the people around them can help them start again.