A NEW BENCHMARK OF ADVANCED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN SPAIN
PhD Architect LUIS DE GARRIDO
Misia Viviendas Avanzadas S.L.
Denia. Alicante. Spain
Luis De Garrido projects in Denia, Alicante, a new type of residential building which undoubtedly will serve as a reference for future housing development in Spain. Misia Eco-Building is a high ecological level building, with zero energy consumption, and self-sufficient in energy and water.
The building housing has a special bioclimatic design that allows the generation of a stable thermal environment, able to fully meet the needs of its occupants without technological devices. That is, the houses of the building do not need air conditioning or heating artifacts. Furthermore, due to its advanced design, every corner of the houses is naturally lit during the day without artificial lighting.
The building housing generates the energy needed for building infrastructure, including LED lighting of common areas. The building also recycles rainwater and gray water generated by its occupants, to generate water to irrigate its green roofs and vertical gardens and drinkable water available for consumption by its occupants.
Most of the building components are industrialized and can be recovered, repaired and reused easily, and thereby ensuring the least amount of waste and emissions per unit of time.
Finally, all materials used are environmentally friendly and healthy, ensuring the highest level of comfort to its occupants.
For all these features, Misia Eco-Building is a building housing with a high ecological level, able to ensure the welfare and happiness of its occupants, with conventional price. This makes it a model for future housing development in Spain.
1. Architectural solution
The main objective of Misia Eco-Building is to perform the most advanced houses of Spain, at a current market price. The developer Misia Housing Advanced S.L. want to show –during the Spanish economical crisis- a new ecological construction model and a new economic, honest and innovative development, fostering creativity, bioclimatic design, industrialized construction, sustainability, energy technology, quality, the economy of the common good, and happiness.
Misia Eco-Building is located on a plot between, with two facades (one facing north and one facing south), in Denia, Alicante, with high humidity and temperature in summer. The building consists of a basement, six floors and an attic. The basement has the garage, spaces for installations, a water tank and space for food storage. The ground floor has the main building entrance, a garage and a shop. Each floor has 4 apartments.
The most important feature of the housing buildings is the structure of inner courtyards, which provide natural lighting, natural ventilation, and a pleasant environment for all houses. The three inner courtyards have two vertical gardens visible from any dwelling. Moreover, among the three courtyards the stairwell is located (made of tempered laminated glass, in order to still provide more natural lighting within the building). At the top of the courtyards two large reflective panels are arranged. The panels are oriented so that in winter reflect the maximum solar radiation into courtyards, and in summer act as sunscreen, keeping them in shade.
The houses have a natural bioclimatic ventilation and cooling system. The fresh air of the courtyards is injected into a tubular ring at the foundation slab, and is cooled even more, giving up its heat to the subsoil. Finally, the air cooled by the ring is distributed in all houses through a system of ducts.
Therefore, the building is able to thermally self-regulate and to provide a pleasant and natural environment, able to ensure the welfare, health and happiness of its occupants.
The building generates part of the electricity it needs, including lighting of common areas through a set of photovoltaic solar panels integrated on the roof garden in the north. It also generates the hot water needed, through a set of solar thermal panels, integrated in the roof garden in the south.
The building housing has a comprehensive system of recycling and treatment of rainwater and gray water for use in flushing toilets, watering vertical gardens, and watering the green roof.
Finally, the most obvious features of the building are the green sculptural facades. The facades are flat, but are torn big holes forming with an irregular geometric design, inspired by the most important formal references of the city (castle, sailboats, sacred references, …). These geometric holes provide a framework to the terraces and vertical gardens arranged in each of them, as a spandrel.
Therefore, Misia Eco-Building is a model to be followed to ensure environmental balance, while meeting the needs of its occupants, and to promote and amplify their happiness.
2. Ecological Analysis
Misia Eco-Building has a high ecological level because it meets extensively with the 39 environmental indicators identified by Luis De Garrido (for example, the known LEED rating system only includes in its parameters 3 of these 39 indicators):
1. Resource Optimization
1.1. Natural resources. It has been taken full advantage of resources such as the sun (to generate hot water, and provide natural lighting to all households), the breeze, the land (to cool the house), rainwater (water tanks booking for watering the garden), … on the other hand, water saving devices on taps, showers and cisterns have been installed.
1.2. Man made resources. The materials used have been fully optimized, without waste generation, because many components of the house have been made in factory, with repetitive and modular dimensions.
1.3. Recovered, reused and recycled resources
All building materials, except the structure, may be recoverable, repairable and reusable, so that the building may have a high durability, and the least possible environmental impact.
On the other hand, the use of recycled and recyclable materials has been promoted, such as water pipes polypropylene sewer pipes polyethylene, chipboards OSB for interior doors, plywood boards for coatings, recycled glass for countertops kitchen and windows, etc …
2. Reduction of energy consumption
The house has been built with minimal energy consumption. Prefabricated used materials have been made with a minimum amount of energy.
Due to their special bioclimatic design the houses do not require air conditioning and heating devices, and have very low energy consumption (electricity consumption of appliances and LED lighting).
2. 3. Dismantling
All used materials and architectural components can be recovered easily to be repaired and reused later.
3. Use of alternative energy sources
The energy used is of three types:
— Solar thermal (thermal solar panels to produce hot water needed by the building),
— Solar photovoltaic (solar to produce electricity needed by the building), and
— Geothermal (geothermal-architectural system to cool the air, taking advantage of low temperatures existing underground, through a set of underground galleries beneath the garage).
4. Reduction of waste and emissions
The houses do not generate any emissions, nor generate any waste, except organic.
5. Improving health and welfare
All used materials are environmentally friendly and healthy and do not have any emissions that may affect human health. Similarly, houses are naturally ventilated and naturally lit, creating a healthy environment and provides the best possible quality of life for its occupants.
6. Reduced price of the building and maintenance
The houses have been designed rationally, eliminating redundant or unnecessary components, allowing construction at the lowest possible price.
3. Bioclimatic features
Thanks to its special architectural design Misia Eco-Building is able to be thermally self-regulated, with very little energy consumption. That is, it tends to be heated by itself in winter, and is cooled by itself in summer, without the need of energy consuming technological devices.
The following bioclimatic design strategies have been followed:
1. Heat Generation Systems
The building is heated by itself in winter in two ways:
1.1. Avoiding cool. Due to its high level of thermal insulation, and providing most of the glazed surface south oriented.
1.2. Naturally heating. Due to its careful and special bioclimatic design, and perfect south facing, the house is heated by greenhouse effect and direct sunlight. Similarly, it remains hot for a long time, due to its high thermal inertia.
1.3. Electric radiation heating (needed only come days per year). Exceptionally, and only for some extremely cold days (compared to the average of Denia) the houses can have a set of small electric radiators with low energy consumption.
2. Cool Generation Systems
The building is cooled by itself in summer, without the use of technological devices, by 4 ways:
2.1. Avoiding hot. Due to its proper thermal insulation; due to the fact that it is a building between party; and having most of the glazed south and north surface; and having sunscreens for direct and indirect solar radiation.
2.2. Naturally cooling. Through an architectural air cooling system shaped by underground galleries. Outside air enters through underground pipes from the courtyard to the north entrance of the buildings. The outside air passes through underground pipes overnight and is cooled as it passes. Finally, the fresh air enters to the block courtyards, creating a big bag of fresh air. The fresh air rises, being sucked into the solar chimneys, flows through the houses, and refreshes them by its path.
2.3. Accumulating the cool of the night. Due to the fact that the insulation of the building is located on the outside of the architectural envelopes, and due to its high thermal inertia, the building is inside cooled overnight (inside all dwellings in the block) and remains cool along the next day.
2.4. Extracting the hot air out of the building through a “solar chimney”. The indoor air warms up during the day, and thus becomes less dense and rises. When ascending, it allows fresh air from the underground galleries enter into the houses. Furthermore, the solar chimney (located in the upper side of the building) draws hot air from inside the housing, creating a suction flow. As a result, a rising stream of fresh air, which keeps the houses cool, is generated.
3. Accumulation systems (heat or cool)
The heat generated during the day in winter is accumulated in the interior mass (the building has a high thermal inertia), keeping warm the building overnight. Similarly, the fresh overnight generated in summer is accumulated in its mass, keeping the building cool during the next day. The high thermal inertia of the roof garden reinforces this process.
4. Transfer systems (heat or cool).
In winter the building behaves like a huge greenhouse. The heat generated by greenhouse effect and natural radiation is distributed homogeneously throughout the building. In summer, the cool air generated in the underground galleries is distributed by using a set of grids spread over the floors of the building. This air flow cools all rooms of the house.
5. Natural ventilation
The ventilation of houses is made naturally by the racks located on the doors and interior doors step. Similarly, the building transpires through the exterior walls, allowing natural and continuous ventilation without energy loss. This type of ventilation is possible because all materials are breathable (ceramics, natural insulation, wood, wood-cement panels, breathable paints).
4. Green roofs with native species
The green roof is designed based on native plant species in the region, with little water consumption. The use of green roofs shows that can be constructed anywhere with an occupancy rate of 100%, and at the same time ensuring a green area of 100%.
5. Low price
The building housing has been built with a very low price, despite having such an advanced design, being self-sufficient in water and energy, not generating waste and having a high ecological level. All this makes Misia Eco-Building a benchmark for future generations.
6. Ensuring welfare and happiness
In general, a set of general factors (physical, emotional and psychological) capable of ensuring the welfare and happiness of people can be identified. These factors have been taken into account comprehensively in the design of Misia Eco-Building, which thus is able to promote and amplify the happiness of its occupants.
1. Thermal Stability
2. Seasonal Thermal change
3. Natural Light
4. Technological simplicity and minimal maintenance
5. Natural materials
6. Architectural design simple and not monotonous
7. Appropriate colors
8. Sense of security and privacy
10. Absence of pathogens
11. Breathability (continuous natural ventilation)
12. Foster human relationships
13. Self-sufficiency (energy, water, food)