Today we travel to Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) where one of the most iconic sustainable constructions can be found.
RCR architecture studio was in charge of designing Plaza de Europa office building along with Ramon Folch, biologist and sociologist who helped them achieve the initial goals by the promoter Layetana: an attractive, useful and sustainable construction.
The Plaza de Europa office building is 10 metres high and has four floors which make it look horizontal and thin, in contrast to the height of other tall buildings surrounding it. The architecture of the façade is made of steel and its efficient design have turned this 5500 square metre building into a worldwide reference for sustainable architecture.
This sustainable approach has allowed Plaza de Europa Office Building get a LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for New Construction in 2011, the main international certification which proves the low environmental impact of a building. During that year, only six buildings in Spain complied with environmental requisites of the Green Building Council Institute. The Plaza de Europa Office Building was the first edification that met their specifications.
Efficient design and energy saving
The architecture and design of Plaza de Europa building have become an example of energy efficiency and sustainability:
- It uses natural light in over 75% of its interior spaces to save energy. Its glass floor which is installed in the entirety of the building and which allows light to reach the basement.
- Natural light, combined with an induction climate control system, allows to save 67% of energy. Moreover, water in the building is heated with solar energy.
- The building’s design focuses on water saving. Toilets are filled with rain water in order to reduce drinkable water consumption so that water use is reduced by 73%.
- Recycled materials such as steel, glass and wood were used in the construction. The biggest sign of the recycled materials used can be found on the façade, which was built with recycled steel from old Indian ships. In the interior of the building, one can find materials with low COV emissions, carpets and high-quality finishes to promote a healthy atmosphere. Apart from that, over 80% of wood in the building comes from forests with FSC certification.
All these measures have saved a total of 53% of energy and reduce 600 annual tons of carbon dioxide in comparison with the average building. This has allowed the Plaza de Europa office building save more than 125,000€ in energy for each owner, which shows that sustainability not only can affect the planet but also our funds.
There is no doubt that these offices are some of the best examples of sustainable constructions which we have found. Are there any other sustainable construction you would like talk about? Feel free to leave a comment below!