The Bolueta Tower: a benchmark for energy efficiency
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The Bolueta Tower: a benchmark for energy efficiency

We continue our journey through the most important architectural works worldwide and today we visit Bilbao where one can find the tallest “passiv haus” in the world.

The Bolueta Tower has become of the most remarkable symbols of sustainability as it is the highest eco-friendly building in the world, surpassing the Cornell Tower in New York. It is 88 metres tall and has 28 floors destined to created social housing.

In terms of architectural elements and energy efficiency, this tower has become a reference worldwide due to its nearly zero energy consumption, derived from the materials used and airtight spaces.

A nearly zero energy consumption building

The architecture studio VArquitectos along with the construction companies Sukia and VICESA were in charge of the project. The result was the creation of a self-sustaining building, which became functional and energy efficient. To do so, there were four fundamental aspects, which were crucial to save up to 75% of energy:

  • Acoustic and thermal isolation: the correct isolation of the building keeps the temperature inside the building at 17 degrees Celsius, saving energy.
  • Coating: the nearly 3000 steel sheets, which cover the façade, are fundamental when it comes to isolating the building. Its design reminds of the past design of the buildings around since they imitate pieces of coal. Each double steel sheet not only uses flame retardant materials but is also reinforced with another mineral wool layer over the external walls, which make the Bolueta Tower completely sealed.
  • Use of natural materials: skyscraper designers chose to use natural materials such as wood, which offers design and quality, combined with high energy efficiency.
  • High quality of interior air:  the building has an internal system that allows for air recirculation, thus it is not necessary to open the windows for ventilation.  That is how any undesired smell or dust is avoided as well as temperature changes.

The implementation of these measures will have helped to avoid extra costs in energy efficiency improvements within a few years.

 

The first VPO Passivhaus in Spain

The Bolueta Tower has also been awarded with the prestigious Passivhaus Certified in the 22nd International Conference Passivhaus in 2018.

The Passivhaus standard, which is overseen by the Institute of Darmstad (Germany), is one of the most demanding in terms of energy efficiency and climate control, which makes it even more prestigious in the industry. Among the different requisites needed to get the certification, buildings should have a heating consumption over 15Kwh/m², which the Bolueta Tower achieves and surpasses.

Excellence in terms of energy efficiency is very important within this tower, which allowed it save up to 75% with respect to a typical climate control installation. The key point in achieving such low renovations/hour is its staunchness. Both materials used and the location of the tower are one step forward of the current regulations which will be in place in 2019.

There is no doubt that this building is incredibly impactful in energy efficient constructions in Spain. Would you like to learn more about it? Is there any other sustainable building you would like us to talk about? Please, feel free to leave a comment below!

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