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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Vida en la geoda
The architect Luis of Garrido poses a new neighbourhood in a near quarry to Mondragón

Life in the Geode

Drafting Interempresas03/06/2011

on June 3, 2011

The housing of the Geoda 2055 project blocks virtual simulation.
The architect Luis de Garrido is found in a quarry adjacent to the town of Mondragón space for his project of enlargement of the city, and at the same time, a way to recover a degraded ecosystem. Cooperativism, team work, the nature of the Basque people and the geodas are sources of inspiration for a project with vocation of self-sufficiency in energy and water supply. Everything from consultative strategies for a high level of industrialization, prefabrication and ease, speed and economy of construction. An example, in short, sustainable architecture, called 'Geode 2055'.

In his project, Luis de Garrido intends to order the set - 105,000 square meters - from a three-dimensional mesh made by buckets of 30 x 30 x 30 meters organized on a regular basis, and attached to the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the quarry. Thus, on the ground floor level have been arranged a set of 5 x 4 = 20 cubes. While on the vertical surfaces of the quarry is has "splashed" a set of cubes, organized in a manner precise through space mesh.

All is thus similar to a gigantic 'Geode', and each cube seems a precious stone of glass sticking out to the outside. Rupture of the Hill has revealed precious stones of the Earth's interior. "Precious stones of the Basque country", reads the architectural project.

The geodas, precious stones

Rupture of a stone with vulgar and ugly aspect lays bare a set of precious stones (Geode). Similarly, harrowing rupture of a hill cannot fail to see a set of precious stones embedded, offering a unique and extremely beautiful (Geode 2055) picture.

"It apparently can seem unattractive, and also a wound in the Earth, can become something beautiful and valuable", explains the project.

The perfectly regular management of these precious stones Basque is inspired by the cooperative nature that permeates the city for which the project is intended.

The project of architect Luis de Garrido is inspired by the precious stones from the Basque countryside.

Life 24 hours a

With regard to the communication of management systems, have been established three different levels: the level of ro-ro communication, the garden and the vertical part of the quarry. As a whole have been arranged several types of buildings. The aim is to provide "life" throughout the performance area, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In other words, that there is adequate mixing of uses to equip a certain character of social self-sufficiency to the neighborhood, and make life more pleasant for its occupants.

Buildings of Geoda 2055:
-Housing: 13 blocks of 81 homes each block (1,053 housing units in all).
-Restaurants: in the upper part of the 'keep'.
-Museum: 6 blocks in an area of 42,000 m2 make up the 'Museum j. M. Arizmendiarreta'.
-Area of tertiary uses: 4 blocks totaling 28,000 m2.
-Offices: 3 boards in a Tower located in the 'keep', in a total of 20,000 m2.

All hubs are similar and, in turn, all are different. And win the set. The only different building is 'Keep', a high-rise building, located at the entrance to the set. The building acts as a "Lighthouse" indicating the highway travelers who are going through a special place.


The buildings, located in a quarry, would have residential, tertiary and cultural.
The only different building is 'Keep', which acts as a 'beacon' indicating to travellers of the highway that are passing through a special place

Climate metamorphosis of buildings

All cubic buildings have a double skin of glass, which acts as a greenhouse in winter, and sunscreen in summer. They also have a covered central courtyard, which acts as a greenhouse in winter, and cool and shaded, courtyard in summer. In the same way, they have a landscaped roof deck, so that it can be used continually, every day of the year (protecting its occupants from the Sun, wind and rain). This cover was formed by a set of solar thermal and photovoltaic, captors who are perfectly integrated into the compositional structure of the cube.

The double skin of glass in buildings provides its multimedia character. In this way, changing the information, projected the light and color, change the visual perception of the cube of continuously throughout the day and night.

Sustainable analysis

Resources natural.Exploit to the maximum resources such as the Sun (to generate hot water, heating buildings by greenhouse effect, and provide natural lighting to all stays as long as Sun), the wind, the air (to cool buildings in summer), Earth (geotérmico-arquitectónico - patented system by Luis Garrido - to heat and cool homes), rain water (water supplies for irrigation and to make it potable through purifying domestic reverse osmosis), ...

Resources manufactured. Materials take advantage to the maximum, reducing potential waste by means of a proper project, a total industrialization of all components of the set, and effective management of its construction.

Resources recovered, reused and recycled.The vast majority of the materials of the buildings may be recoverable in such a way that all buildings can be removed in its entirety, and can be repaired all of its components in a simple way. On the other hand, the use of recycled and recyclable materials has been promoted.

Decrease of energy consumption.Use of materials with low energy requirements.

Construction and dismantling.The buildings will be built with minimal energy consumption, due to the industrialized building system, and the prefabrication of each component of the buildings. In the disassembly, the vast majority of the materials used can recover easily (once surpassed the lifespan of the building), in order to be repaired or used in another building.

Energy self-sufficiency

The integration in the enclosures of the buildings in thermal solar captors, photovoltaic solar captors, and geothermal systems, makes the whole completely self-sufficient, from an energy point of view. The typology of the buildings is the result of an intense bio-climatic analysis. In winter the buildings tend to heat up for if same, becoming in greenhouses. Thus, the energy needed for heating (which has a geothermal and solar origin) is reduced to the maximum. On the other hand, in summer, simply by opening a small set of gates, greenhouses are converted into solar protections. In this way, along with fresh architectural systems, buildings are kept fresh, without the need for air conditioning systems. On the other hand, used boilers have a high energy performance, and a very low consumption.

The design of the building allows dispense with systems of air-conditioning, domotic and some electrical appliances

The lighting of the common elements, double skin of glass and ventilated facades is based on leds, that also abound in the interior of buildings. Buildings tertiary (with higher heat requirements) as well as its bioclimatic design and systems arquitectónicos-geotérmicos to heat air for ventilation, geothermal heating systems be used under-floor heating. On the other hand, and because the correct design of the buildings, are not necessary systems of air conditioning, nor systems domotic, nor many appliances. There is no free devices that consume energy and they need maintenance.

Bioclimatic characteristics

To avoid that the buildings cool in winter: a double skin of glass has been planned with an intermediate air Chamber. The outer skin consists of a double glass carpentry, and the interior of laminated glass (in the East-West facades inner skin is composed of precast panels of reinforced concrete and natural insulation of hemp). The outer skin of glass has a special silkscreen in such a way that lets pass the sunlight perpendicular to the glass (winter) and does not let to the sungrazing Sun (summer). The leather has a foreign system of awnings and an internal triple blinds rail system.

To heat the buildings: the double skin of glass allows two systems of generation of heat for the building. On the one hand it allows that the solar radiation penetrate in the stays of the buildings and the hot by radiation. This heat will keep during the night because of the high inertia of the group and the few energetic losses. On the other hand the double skin allows an effect invernadero double. The hot air generated rises by the existent camera between the double skin and enters in the interior of the building. Besides, by means of an inventive system of openings of this double skin of glass allows the ventilation in winter with air precalentado by the invernadero. In this way it keeps the temperature of the building, without need of mechanical systems of climatización, and therefore, without energetic consumption any.

In the structure envolvente of the covers ladscaped have installed captores solar thermal (tubes of empty), that allow to generate sanitary hot water. Besides, thank you the previous systems, the heat generated during the day accumulates in the buildings and keep them hot all night.

The bag of hot groundwater (geothermal energy) removes the sufficient flow of hot water to warm up part of the floor slabs by means of a system of floor heating (only for tertiary buildings). To heat the rooms situated to the North has designed a system of heat transfer through the double skin of glass: hot air generated in the southern part of the buildings until the northern part is driven by fans.

Tertiary buildings uses underground hot water to warm up part of the floor slabs by means of a system of floor heating

Generation of fresco to avoid that the buildings heat in summer: uses protection in front of the direct solar radiation, that in the zones situated south of the buildings attains knocking down the external glass of the system of double skin of glass. In this way it avoids the generation of heat by effect invernadero, and besides the opaque horizontal elements (that they are the captores solar thermal) protect to the glass of the direct radiation.

Besides, like complementary technician, uses glasses serigrafiados —a mesh of points— that allow the step of the solar rays perpendiculars to the glass (winter) and do not leave to happen to the solar rays rasantes (summer). In this case, the hot air that creates in the double skin of glass rises through the rejillas that serve of separation between the forged, and escape to the outside. This air circulante ventilates the double skin of glass and deletes the thermal gains, isolating the building.

In the zones situated to the east and west of the buildings the solar protections horizontals do not serve, by what have had a group of signposts with metallic solar protections bent, in the interior of the double skin of glass. Regarding the protection in front of the indirect solar radiation, use three levels of estores inner opaque, translucent and transparent of several colours/colors.

In the project, part of the obtained recycled water is pumped to the top of the quarry for a waterfall.

To freshen the buildings in summer: Around the buildings have had several takings that pipe the external air until a group of subterranean geothermal galleries where freshens of natural form, because of the stable temperature of the subsoil. The like this freshened air rises by the inner playgrounds, until arriving to the different stays. When freshening the building, the air heats and rises, and escapes by the upper openings of the external glassmakers. On the other hand, the forged of the buildings have a high thermal inertia, it quepermite that at night they freshen the buildings by means of the cool air outside, and keep frescos along the following day. A simple system of trampillas allows that of night between the air of the outside, whereas of day the air goes in only by the central core (cool air).

Of the stock exchange of subterranean cold water extracts the sufficient discharge of cold water to freshen part of the forged by means of a system of radiant floor (only for the tertiary buildings). Besides, to freshen the buildings of natural form has used a simple and natural system: powder water, with the end that it evaporate and, with this, descend the temperature of the immediate surroundings. However, this method increases the level of humidity of the air, and therefore increases the feeling of bochorno. Thus, in the first place deshumecta the air, filtering it through salts that absorb the humidity, and through a mechanical device based in the 'effect Peltier'. Second, the resultant dry air cools by means of a system of evaporation of water powdered. Like result obtains cool air, and with a degree of similar or inferior humidity to the natural state of the surroundings.

The fresh air entering the buildings, through the Interior courtyards, refreshes all stays in its path, and high thermal inertia of the building (due to the heavy forgings and intermediate gardens) allows to keep the generated fresh throughout the day, not just energy consumption.

Skyscrapers of the Geoda 2055 project.

Most important innovations of the architectural project of Luis de Garrido

Self-sufficiency of water.The architectural ensemble does not need to connect to the municipal water supply systems (although they have been maintained in order to have an alternative source of water, if necessary). The necessary water for human consumption for human health, for the irrigation of crops and for the irrigation of green areas is obtained from several complementary sources: ground water, rainwater and greywater recycling. Part of the obtained recycled water is used as compositional and plastic element of the architectural ensemble. It is pumped to the top of the quarry through several channels in parallel, thus obtaining a true cascade of water. This cascade is used to refresh the atmosphere and create a microclimate on the whole.

Energy self-sufficiency.There is no need for connection to the municipal electricity supply systems (though also have been maintained). Buildings require very little energy due to its optimal bioclimatic design. The set has a surplus of electricity, which is injected into the municipal network of continuously.

Self-sufficiency in food. The upper level has a huge organic vegetable garden, which extends to the interior gardens of the buildings, the Garden covers and, in general, the entire surface of the quarry. This garden provides basic foodstuffs to the residents of the architectural ensemble, insufficient for current patterns of food, but sufficient in case of emergency.

Lifecycle infinity. The components of the buildings have been designed to mount on dry basis of screws, nails and by pressure. In this way they may recover easily from the building, to be repaired, reused or returned.

Portability total pieces independent.The components have been designed so that buildings can assemble and disassemble easily, and indefinitely.

Industrialization total.The components of the buildings will be carried out in factory, and below these components identified one by one, until the final construction of the buildings. Of course, this obliges you to perform an architectural project very detailed designing piece by piece, and coordinated with each of the manufacturers.

Integral of waste elimination The components of the buildings will be made in factory, without generating any residue. Mounting and dismounting is also free of residues.

100% of covered garden. Seen from above as a whole is perceived as if nothing had built, as the garden - species of the Basque country - covers occupy the entire surface of the buildings.

Flexibility extreme. The interior of the buildings is diaphanous, and through a system of mobile partitions can take any type of space partitioning.

Buildings multimedia.The double-skin glass printed of each of the buildings is equipped with thousands of small multicolored leds, with individual control, enabling them to compose all kinds of scenes and images. The physical spaces are mixed with virtual spaces, and not where completion of the architectural elements, and begins the visual information can differentiate.

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