XS Ivalsa Prototype: an extra small wooden house

"XS Ivalsa Prototype" is a single prefabricated 11 square meter housing module (2,40 m X 5,50 m base area; 2,80 m height) built with X-Lam solid timber panels .
The module consists of a transformable living room with kitchen, bed and table as well as one bathroom: a "sustainable wooden caravan" made of 90% renewable materials based on wood, without any toxic treatments.
The prototype has been prefabricated in the Ivalsa Labs ready to be moved by truck to the final destination, in order to be quickly installed and used.

The XS Ivalsa Prototype is an important step forward in a novel research project on the use of wood in sustainable modular and transportable buildings, which has been started in the 2010 with the MAI Ivalsa Modular House and the MIT Sustainable Connected Home Prototype.
The Wood building design lab researchers of Cnr-Ivalsa, Paolo Simeone and Andrea Briani, developed an innovative construction system for X-Lam modular buildings of different sizes – from a small residential unit to multi-storey houses – by assembling a series of prefabricated wooden modules; built entirely in the factory, easily transportable and mountable to obtain the final building in a few steps and short construction phases.

Students of the 4th year of the CFP ENAIP Professional School of Tesero (Trentino region) have studied the best solution for the interior design of the XS Ivalsa Prototype: all furniture is specially designed in order to make maximum use of the space through a system of transformable furniture completely made of eco-friendly materials and wood. 

The XS Ivalsa Prototype construction system started with the important results of the Sofie Project on sustainable buildings characterised by low energy demand, high levels of fire safety and sound absorption, high earthquake resistance and durability, to study an innovative construction system for prefabricated buildings: the new system entails significantly reduced costs, shorter construction phases and less pollution than for a conventional construction systems, ensuring high-level in quality and performance.

The prototype construction at the CNR-Ivalsa Mechanical Tests Laboratory involves several researchers and technicians and is supported by the presence of local construction companies, leaders in the timber building sector, that have provided innovative materials and precious technical advices.

For the first time in an Ivalsa experimental building, "XXL Cross Laminated Wood" panels with high-level thermally insulated windows and door embedded by Essepi (Cavedine, Trentino) are used for the prototype's structure. 
The fixing system (metal angles, ringed annular shanked nails and self-drilling screws), the membrane underlays as well as the sealing tapes are the best and most innovative products by Rothoblaas (Cortaccia, Bolzano).
Innovative "Greenline" gypsumfibre boards by Fermacell treated with a specially developed keratin-based active ingredient  (keratin is a primary component of sheep's wool) are used for the inner side of walls and floor. "Greenline" gypsumfibre boards  absorb contaminant molecules and permanently transform them into benign substances, removing damaging substances such as aldehyde and ketone from the air and trap them.
The ventilated façades and the roof are furnished by the Fanti Group and are built with elements (planks, panels and beams) made of certificated timber (Picea abies Karst.) coming entirely from the Fsc and Pfec forests of the Trentino valleys.
3Therm (Montagna, Bolzano) innovative woodfibre insulation boards are used for the thermal and acoustic insulation of walls, roof and floor.


Andrea Briani and Paolo Simeone: concept, executive design and technical direction
Andrea Polastri: structural design
Ario Ceccotti: scientific supervision


Paolo Simeone
Andrea Briani
Maria Giovanna Franch

[Last updated on: 02-11-2015]
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