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INNOVVA.LABS is a platform created to foster the development of smart and sustainable solutions for the creation of affordable housing towards a more inclusive and resilient future, taking into account circular, modular and adaptive design principles.


The acceleration of urbanization and the increasing demand for new housing developments intensify existing problems such as higher cost of living, social segregation and global warming.


Since the construction industry produces 30% of the world's CO₂ emissions and is responsible for generating approximately 25% - 30% of all waste, it is clear that it needs to adopt more intelligent and sustainable solutions which can foster a circular economy, in lieu of the current linear path: TAKE – MAKE – WASTE.

In order to help address the high demand for affordable housing and the need to build more sustainably, INNOVVA.LABS created a concept for modular and prefabricated hybrid building solution in timber and concrete, which can be easily assembled with nearly zero waste material, offering high-efficiency during construction and high performance during building life-cycle.


Best yet, buildings constructed with this system can have enough flexibility so they don’t need to be demolished in order to be able to accommodate new building typologies or functions. They can simply be re-configured following its modular design. Alternatively, at the end of its lifecycle, building parts can be disassembled and re-used in new projects or recycled for different purposes, thus contributing to a circular economy with great potential in the field of CO₂ reduction.


INNOVVA.LABS aims to contribute to a more circular approach when it comes to the use of materials and resources in the building industry.


Through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools and technologies, building parts will include a set of data which will be invaluable to trace back their origins, while helping to determine performance and embodied energy levels, as well as to measure its potential for re-use or re-cycling in the future.


Through offsite manufacturing, part of the construction process will move from the building site to be produced in industrial factory conditions, which can provide economic efficiency and intelligent use of resources with minimal waste. Later, these building parts can be delivered to the building site for a quick and clean installation.



The building system proposed by INNOVVA.LABS can offer a fresh look into the construction industry by being able to reduce the building complexity (fewer parts), simplifying logistics (modules of similar sizes) and minimizing building time (pieces that can be easily assembled).



It combines bio-based materials with new methods of building, prefabrication, modularity and flexibility. More so, it offers high value engineering where cost can be reduced, if produced on a large scale, and building quality and performance can be accurately predicted beforehand.



In order to create a balance between sustainability, performance, cost and design, INNOVVA.LABS created a modular and prefabricated hybrid building solution in timber and concrete bringing together the best of the two worlds. While the pre-fabricated columns and beams in concrete are the primary structure of the building offering strength in compression and the robustness needed for lateral loads, the secondary structure in timber offers not only the appeal of wood but also enough lightweightness to


be able to reduce transportation costs as well as foundation costs.The prefabricated modular floor panels make use of bio-based materials such as wood and cork, a natural material which is an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator. The structure of these panels is made out of wooden I-Beams, which are economical to produce using a combination of timber products. They are also lighter and cheaper than mass timber beams, while offering similar strength and durability.



The building solution created by INNOVVA.LABS offers design flexibility both horizontally and vertically. Through generative design, buildings can be created through a combination of different housing typologies according to the needs of each project. In the future, these typologies can be transformed into new ones offering maximum design flexibility, thus aiming towards a resilient future. 


The openness of the floor plans also allows for the creation of mixed used projects, combining private living with shared facilities and services for the creation of vibrant communities.


Interestingly enough, the system allows for flexibility not only horizontally with the change and adaptation of floor plans, but also vertically since it can be used for the creation of low-rise buildings as well as high-rise buildings.



Compared to conventional building methods the system can: increase labor productivity by 30% since its parts are produced offsite, accelerate building time by 50%, reduce material use by 40%, reduce transportation costs by 40%, reduce building cost by 25%, reduce carbon emissions by 70%.    




The following project is comprised of a series of 3 buildings which compose an affordable housing complex in the city of Porto, Portugal. All the buildings utilize the INNOVVA.LABS building system in order to achieve sustainability and affordability, yet provide nice liveable spaces and foster a vibrant community.


Different housing typologies were combined through a generative design process in order to create a unique character for each building while addressing the design brief.


The typical apartment units were created according to the module sizes of the INNOVVA.LABS building system. These units were arranged around a central core in a way that each one had a balcony, giving residents the opportunity to have its own private outdoor space and garden, as well as access to uninterrupted views of the city, plenty of daylight and ventilation.



Tell us what you think!


Also, if you would like to invest in this idea or partner up with INNOVVA.LABS, please contact us:



295 Hagey Boulevard
Waterloo Ontario N2L 6R5

Tel.: + 1 866 612 7020

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