United Nations Environmental Program’s (UNEP) statistics from the Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative indicate that the building sector contributes up to 30% of our global annual green house gas emissions and consumes up to 40% of all energy. Our buildings play a key role in the self-prophetic global crises that are in our future therefore; it is vital that our built environment becomes responsive and healthy.
Through the use of technology and innovation, our built environment is evolving. One project in particular is Barcelona’s Media-Tic building designed by Enric Ruiz Geli with Cloud9. This building is home to information and communication technology organizations and businesses that thrive on their professional approach to research, creativity, technology and the information age. The synergistic vibe between the building program and its functioning parts exhibits reconnection to its occupants through advancements in technology and materiality.
The building is composed of triangular ETFE modules that are digitally controlled to store energy, provide extra insulation and mitigate excess solar gain, alleviating potential discomfort of its occupants while reducing energy load. The modules operate as an organism, expanding and contracting a nitrous cloud through internal air chambers within the ETFE membrane, reacting to internal solar-powered sensors. This inter-chamber cloud changes opacity as necessary to relieve solar penetration within the building, therefore reducing heat-gain and unwanted glare.
Each façade functions as necessary to provide its users with environmental comfort. The building is situated to harvest energy and water through the use of roof-top photovoltaic cells and rainwater collection system. These elements contribute to reducing the heating and cooling loads and non-potable water loads.
All energy-saving technologies are connected to automatic sensors that not only help the building to function but are also programmed to store vital information for the use of operations, energy modeling and research.
The building is noted to have achieved a total of 95% reduction in CO2 while operating just shy of Net-Zero.