When considering building a home, there are several critical decision points. One of the most significant is defining the housing project: how big it will be, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it will include, whether it will have a garden and whether it will be a single-storey house or more.

In this article we explore the concept of single-story houses in detail, highlighting examples and some technical details, including construction materials and certifications for the construction of a modern single-story house.


What are single storey houses?

Single-story houses are characterized by their simplicity and practicality, as they are built on a single level, without the presence of stairs or steps. Essentially, they are characterized by their proximity to the ground, offering an accessible and functional environment for all ages.

Modern single-story houses are recognized for their minimalist design, characterized by straight lines that create a clean and modern atmosphere. Additionally, these houses are an excellent alternative for those who want spaces with free mobility and a direct relationship with the outside.

One of the main advantages of single-story houses is their accessibility, they are ideal for people with reduced mobility, small children or pets, avoiding the difficulties of going up and down stairs.


Examples of Modern Single-Story Houses

Douro Valley House – MJARC

The desire to interfere as little as possible with the visual topography of the landscape prompted to attach the house to the ground and find façade and roof solutions with a direct relationship to the surroundings. The idea of a “crouching building” guides the decisions concerning volume, position, occupation, exterior outfit and façade claddings.


Building Materials for Modern Single-Story Houses

Modern houses are characterized by an architecture with straight lines, simple geometric shapes and a facade with a linear structure and distinctive details. These houses may be based on traditional or prefabricated construction , with a wide range of materials and construction techniques that must be assessed during the design phase.

The choice of materials as well as the construction technique to be adopted play an essential role not only in the integration of your home but also in its energy performance.


Fig.3 Image taken from an MJARC project built in a prefabricated wooden structure.

Certifications and Sustainability

Energy efficiency is a key factor in modern architecture, and single-story homes are no exception. Some aspects to consider:

  • Energy certification: in Portugal, although there are situations in which there is an exemption from energy certification, it is a mandatory requirement for residential buildings. Single-story homes can achieve high ratings through the use of sustainable materials and construction techniques;
  • Renewable energies: installing solar panels to produce electricity and heat water is a common option that allows energy consumption to be reduced;
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation: high-quality insulation contributes to interior comfort and energy efficiency, minimizing heat loss in winter and heat input in summer;
  • Correct orientation of the property’s solarium.


Ready to move forward with your single-story home?

If you are thinking about building a single-story house in Portugal, you can count on the support of MJARC’s team of architects to ensure that all technical and legal aspects are successfully addressed.