Swegon Air Academy in Spain: Part 2 – Necessity of combining energy efficiency and architecture!
December 10, 2013

Swegon Air Academy in Spain: Part 2 – Necessity of combining energy efficiency and architecture!

During Swegon Air Academy seminar in Barcelona on Energy Efficiency as an Added Value in Buildings our second speaker was David Baena, an architect and co-founder of BCQ. David´s topic was on Efficiency strategies in architectural projects.

David talked about an interesting design of a sports hall with a geometrical and compact shape, and a facade expressed as different leaves and different shades of green colour. In this building, David and his team has decided to reduce the amount of the vertical openings in order to limit direct sunlight. Furthermore, David presented an office building with interesting application of horizontal shading and smart sensors controlling the lighting. The most interesting project was an old library which was extended underground using a modern design. The whole extension was smartly covered by vegetation in order to fit and hide in old style neigh borough.

David has showed many architecturally interesting designs of buildings and he ended by saying: “Efficiency strategies are not necessarily recognizable or obvious. Energy efficiency is not the main objective of the architecture. Yet, it is a natural necessity.”

At the end of both presentations, more than fifty participants of Swegon Air Academy, mostly consultants and engineers, started a very hot debate on how does energy efficiency and costs and architectural design can create good projects. Frank Hovorka answered that one example could be a house with a concrete shell but floors & facade from wood, with cost of 1,500 EUR/m2 in Paris where the normal price is 2,000 EUR/m2. This requires changing the building materials and designing habits, which can lead to saving up to 25% and achieving of an nZEB.

Another question was the dependence of a location with an example of a building in Germany with district renewable heating source with 80% glazing to minimize the electricity coming from power coal plants and higher heating/cooling load because of cheap district source.

Another question was about the minimum level of pollutions inside the office as required by the regulations, where the biggest problem is in cities where the system cannot deal with certain particles and therefore properly clean it. For example in Germany if a building is standing between the highroads, it is required by the regulations to have installed filters 6&7.