Aiming for the perfect bioclimatic building
A new building inaugurated last December at the Almeria Solar Platform is set to achieve energy savings in a range of 80 t0 90%, compared to a conventional building. What´s more, the energy that it does consume comes from renewable sources.
It is part of a research project that will run up until 2010: a myriad of sensors will check if actual conditions match the theorical predictions posited in its design and construction.
CIEMAT, the Spanish Research Center for Energy and Environmental Technologies, is behind this initiative called PSE-ARFRISOL (initials for Bioclimatic Architecture and Solar Cooling, in Spanish), with an initial budget of almost 59 million dollars. It is joined by the universities of Oviedo and Almeria and different construction (Acciona, Dragados, FCC and OHL) and solar energy companies (Atersa, Gamesa Solar, Isofoton and Unisolar).
Its main objective is to develop a total of five architectural prototypes, one for each climate area found in Spain (Cold, Warm, Hot dry and Hot wet).
(Photo courtesy of Ciemat)
The building just inaugurated corresponds to an area, Almeria, that fits the hot and dry conditions. The Almeria Solar Platform, where it is located, is a center from the CIEMAT network that pioneers different cutting-edge solar technologies and installations.
The building comprises active strategies like thermal solar collectors, pv panels, forced ventilation and absorption pumps, as well as passive strategies, such as solar chimneys, natural (simple and crossed) ventilation, buried pipes for cooling, etc.
Even though technology helps, so does common sense to take advantage of the climate conditions of the place regarding the orientation of the building, natural lighting and isolation treatments, to give some examples.