The first of all the questions involved in constructing a hole new building should be: is it necessary? Do we need a new building?. Followed by How do we do it?. Rather than the study of a new type of highrise building, this project aims to explore the techniques, possibilities and results of a high efficiency rehabilitation of an existing tall building which is in a central position within the city.
Spain is going through a strong crisis, mostly because the real state bubble and, in fact, theres almost four apartments per citizen. Building has already stopped and new working methods and ideas are starting to come along, among which theres a strong interest in re-doing what’s been done in the past with low efficiency and low standards.
This project explores one of these methods: the use of the greenhouse’s technology and concept to create a microclimate, a cushion between the exterior and the interior, and intermediate space of appropriation for the owners to assign a use. This intermediate space develops as a balcony of prefabricated materials and means such as KLH wood panels, steel, and polycarbonate plaques, all of them are also recyclable. This cushion of air will improve considerably the efficiency of the thermal envelope of the building resulting in less consume of energy for heating and cooling, by the passive capacity of the greenhouse to accumulate air which can be recirculated to the interior of the house or dissipated depending on the needs. The balconies are also a way of casting shadow to the hole façade, which is why a building completely exposed, with no balconies, was choose. The shadow not only helps to refresh the interior preventing the concrete to overheat, but also allows ventilation and dissipation.
The constructive system, with the materials chosen, was considered to be fast, water free and efficient (light). The upgrade of the building will take no more than six months since the beginning of the construction works and very few machines will be needed due to the lightness and prefab pieces. In conclusion, with the creation of balconies, the appropriation space, the building is renewed with a lot less energy than the required for a demolition and a new construction. By working this way, not only the energy will become more livable, but incredibly more sustainable. The useful life of the building expands and it is possible to consider the regeneration of the natural resources used in the past construction, closing cycles.