This Is How Sustainable Cities Are Envisioned

2022-07-30 04:40:09 By : Mr. chen xiandong

Carbon footprint, waste management, densification, energy efficiency, renewable materials… one cannot talk of sustainable development without considering the city model that we need so that the urban environment with the least possible impact on the environment develop and take advantage of natural resources. , Part of the conversation has been established in public discourse over the years and societal awareness is growing, but more far-reaching and transcendent changes are needed to change the way we live and the way we build. An idea that is at the heart of the educational and research work carried out by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) from its headquarters in Barcelona and Colcerola Park.

Since then, and inspired by the culture the creator, Technology and experimentation go hand in hand in each of the 11 master’s and postgraduate courses offered by the institute, leading to trends and interactions and experimenting with old and new technologies: advanced architecture; Ecological Buildings and Biocities; Emerging Designs; Robotics and advanced manufacturing… When the IAAC opened its doors in the Poble Nou neighborhood, more than two decades ago, they talked about digital design and manufacturing that no one had yet; Its first prototype, from 2001, was already using the Internet of Things; And more than a decade ago the effort turned to ecology, wood and sustainable construction. The institution has an agreement with the UPC and Center for bits and atoms American MIT, among others, and its manufacturing laboratories (Fab Labs) They are part of a network of over 2,000 equine locations around the world.

“IAAC has been quite a pioneer when it comes to figuring out what are the trends that are going to mark the future of cities, the way of living and the materials we are going to build with,” said new director Daniel Ibáez. Say one institution aims, in the coming years, to increase the national projection of a school whose students are mostly foreign (96–97%). There is no doubt that we must change the way we design and build to meet today’s climate, economic and social challenges; And that inevitably implies a lot more information. “We work a lot with data: when we start building a self-sustaining building, if we don’t have data on the context, the environment, how the sun moves, where it actually makes sense to have windows or photovoltaic panels. .. when we begin to plan an urban district, it is impossible to do so if we do not understand the data relating to the economy of the place, mobility, environmental issues or waste management”, argues Areti Markopoulou, Academic Director of the IAAC Is. The Catalan institution dedicates 25 to 30% of its income to some kind of scholarship.

Innovating in architecture doesn’t always mean moving forward. The answers to the social and environmental challenges we face may lie in the past, but also in the environment around us. For example, innovation can mean building using materials such as wood or earth, which have been used for centuries, reinterpreting their use with data provided by technology and traditional techniques from the most diverse places in the world. Thanks with “Why build out of wood?” Ibanez asks: “The main issue is the environment. Building a concrete building is a source of emissions, while another building made of wood is a sink for them. The first requires an oven at 1,200 degrees, which means a lot of energy; while the other is a deposit of all the carbon that the tree absorbs as it grows and which is fixed in the wood, where it will remain for 100 or 200 years. Innovations in the use of cross-laminated wood (or CLT for its abbreviated form in English) Inherently, something that, he says, is “revolutionizing the construction sector as it allows structural facades to be built instead of structural walls and floors”. In 2022 he launched a campaign to promote industrial solid wood construction. It is also presented to Mas Madera, a national network of experts, companies and organizations for

Valdora Labs is headquartered at the Colcerola Natural Park on the outskirts of Barcelona. The Master’s degree in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities (MAEBB) taught there, an immersive program in an old restored farmhouse where students live, is trained over the course of the year to understand how to build ecological buildings; collect solar and thermal data; The carbon footprint related to the materiality of the building… and many other aspects related to the problem of climate change. Each year, students build a 1:1 scale prototype over the past few months: not only do they design it, but they define it, execute it, assemble it, and experience it; Using local materials and timber from the surrounding forest, which they exploit by following a sustainable forest management plan. Now, is it possible to think of growing without concrete? Not completely, Markopoulou explains: “It is a material that is still needed, but its safety should be reduced and it should be combined with other materials”.

Projects like the Forest Observation Tower that this year’s students are building; small house (2019), a small self-sustaining house capable of generating its own energy and in which the students experimented, for example, more complex shapes inside with flat geometry; quarantine house (2020) and Solar Greenhouse (2021). “There is a beautiful thought that returning to nature is to learn the things we forgot: when a tree is cut down, how to manage the forest so as not to kill it; You are the resin of a tree, What can we do with its fibers… We are talking about circular bio-economy”, explains Vicente Gualart, founder of IAAC.

It should not be forgotten that sustainability has a human and social aspect as well. Daniel Soreal, a 27-year-old student from Egypt, took the Master of Advanced Architecture because it gave him an overview of different disciplines and how they relate to architecture, opening up the possibility to design and pursue a wide variety of interests. , “But also because it allowed me to investigate the relationship between neuroscience and architecture, and how spaces affect the cognitive-emotional behavior of users.” Some of the projects developed by students here are aimed at rethinking the densification of cities; or to address the nature of self-sustaining buildings, where they operate in emergency scenarios with extreme weather conditions: for example, a building capable of altering its roof to collect water, or that has solar power. There are photovoltaic panels to collect.

Digital fabrication, 3D printing, drones, experimenting with new materials … “20 years ago, when we talked about digital fabrication, hardly anyone knew about it, but today it is relatively widespread,” Ibanez remembers. But what is involved? “Basically, you give the machine a completely digital geometry, something you’ve drawn on a computer; the program translates it and then moves a drill bit forward, following the design you’ve created”. Although 3D printing is a common technology in other fields, its use in manufacturing is entirely new, and there are hardly any prototypes exploring its feasibility. is one of them 3d house, A small one bedroom house built in Valdora, with earth and thanks to this technology.

“Until 50 years ago, half of the world’s population still lived in mud houses. And it was not until 10 years ago, when for reasons of pollution and sustainability, we realized that it is a very good building material”, says Edouard Cabe, co-director of the postgraduate course 3D Printing Architecture. “Earth is an interesting material because it takes no energy to turn it into a building material; it is 100% natural and pollution-free, and does not require transportation. Of course there are also some drawbacks, such as being low towards water. resistance. But if you design it well, these aspects don’t necessarily make it a bad building”, he argues. “Because it is such an ancient material, communities around the world have developed ways over the centuries to make a clay building behave well in its physical, climatic and social environment.”

However, imprinting a building with earth is a new route that lacks references to the pioneers. “We run into a lot of small problems with everything we do, and we have to invent solutions. That’s why, instead of inventing everything from scratch, there’s a significant amount of research and documentation work”, Cabe explains. 3D printing also makes prototyping quick and easy, while prototyping in other disciplines represents a significant expense. “And, if you take away the 3D printing component, it’s the type of construction that’s already done in some way in developing countries, especially in desert climates where water isn’t usually a problem,” Ibanez it is said.

“What we are working on at IAAC is how automation and robotics can allow us to build with local artisans with people experience,” says Markopoulou. “Earlier, to make a facade where each sheet was different and had its own orientation, the cost was very high. But we have seen that, to make a facade with sheets, it is interesting that it achieves maximum interior comfort. Follows the motion of the Sun for (rovers), Which can also scan the environment and extract data.

All of these uses have practical and immediate applications: for example, when remodeling a building, you fly a drone and you can have an accurate scan, not only of the shapes, but also of the thermal level, it To know where it is hot and cold. It’s a kind of technology that can be applied at many scales, from a simple building to the Colcerola Valley, where they have a robotic agriculture project with which to look at the position of plants, to find out the best places Monitor a large space. For each type of agriculture or to measure the quality of land.

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