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Cachai House
Rafael Gamo

Cachai House

Taller Paralelo as Architects


Cachai House is the recovery of an abandoned house from the 1960’s, located in one of the most desired urban areas at Mexico City.

At the entrance level, there is a water body and a multiuse space with total independence. In the ground floor, located over the multipurpose space and the parking area, there is a big garden watered through the waste water treatment plant. At the first level, there’re the public and service areas, such as the living space with a terrace and a small backyard —the central axis for ventilation and natural light to the interior spaces— with a water element and a Japanese guava tree. Through the second level there are distributed the dining room, the kitchen and the bedrooms. The third level is characterized for be used as a recreational space.

The house was thought as a self-sufficient and ecological house providing it with eco- technologies as solar energy, rain harvesting system and sewage treatment plant.


The main idea was to take advantage as possible from the original structural elements to make it profitable and avoid generating the least possible waste, that premise also generated a half levels design; a lead role in microclimate terms, in addition to give the spaces generous views to the outside.

Orientation and ventilation

The location of the spaces arises by the southern orientation. Keeping in mind the solar incidence, it was important count on cross ventilation through outdoor spaces like patios and terraces. As you ascend of level, the solar incidence increased, reason why the terrace and the guava tree patio are the most temperate spaces. The rest of the terraces with southern orientation are warmer spaces.

Water collection and treatment

The house has a system for collecting and using rainwater to satisfy its potable requirements during the rainy season, and has an additional reserve for one month. The irrigation system does not require potable water from the water system at any time of the year, since it only feeds on treated water.

Water self-sufficiency, reduce the net annual demand for the recycling of treated water and an additional reduction for the purification of rainwater for half a year, so that we could aspire to a reduction of at least 75% of the average demand, by recycling treated water for non-potable services for 12 months, and potable rainwater for 6 months. The municipal water consumption has a minimum reduction of 50% per year, and an additional 20 to 25% with rainfall.

The rainwater harvesting system has a harvest capacity of 15,000 lt per event, with a potabilization of 50 lt per minute, (complete purification in 5 hours) and the wastewater treatment plant has a capacity of 1,200 lt per day (equivalent to irrigation water requirements).

Solar energy

The house as a regulation must be connected to CFE, but with a bidirectional meter, because the energy is taken through the solar cells. If the generation of energy is greater than the consumption, there is a positive balance.


Structural Engineering: Cafel

Rain Harvesting: SPL

Water Treatment: TIM

Solar Energy: Solar City

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Project Credits
Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct name
FLOS luminaires (GTEC)Flos
Floors and roofs; Bathroom furniture Grupo Tenerife
Product Spec Sheet
FLOS luminaires (GTEC)
Floors and roofs; Bathroom furniture 
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