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Jestico+Whiles, House for the Future, Cardiff

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Special prize for innovation

This house for the future was commissioned by the National Museums and Galleries of Wales and BBC Wales for the Museum of Welsh Life in Cardiff.

The brief was to build a house that combined challenge and innovation with realism - it should house four or five people but be flexible enough to address the needs of its occupants over time - and the construction cost was limited to £120,000.

The house's standing-seam aluminium roof, made from recycled aluminium, covers the northern part of the building. The aluminium roof was selected as a wellproven, lightweight roofing system capable of supporting planting.

The alumium pans of the roofing system have been overlaid with sedum plants to create a lightweight green roof known as Nature Roof. This approach to 'greening' the roof was chosen as a more cost-effective and environmentally responsible solution, as turf roofs are often very heavy.

The system comprises a drainage board which sits directly onto the roof surface, allowing excess water to drain away while retaining sufficient water or plant growth.

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