Haz Arquitectura’s new wooden building uses a range of sustainable features to reduce its carbon footprint | New

A new multi-use complex almost entirely made of wood has been introduced in the Trinitat Vella district of Barcelona.

Called the Center for Community Life, the new public building will be part of a community amenities center for the neighborhoods of San Andreu and Nou Barris that will be built in the coming years. It will house various social services and organizations, including a women’s information and listening point, as well as community housing and homes for young people and the elderly. The installation is the work of architects Manuel Sánchez-Villanueva and Carol Beuter of Haz Arquitectura, a studio specializing in the construction of public and private spaces in the health, cultural and social sectors, as well as offices and sports facilities. .

image copyrightJose Hevia

Because this is the first building of the future complex, the company wanted to avoid creating a major contrast with future projects. Therefore, they opted for a simple and abstract exterior design that opens onto a future plaza that will connect the various facilities.

image copyrightAdrià Goula

Two covered courtyards located on either side of the circulation shaft provide lighting and ventilation for the entire building. Inside, the ground floor houses the reception, the canteen and a large entrance that serves as a foyer for the meeting room, which can also accommodate exhibitions and other activities. The first floor will house the Women’s Information and Attention Point and other social services. On the rest of the floors, offices and spaces for local authorities and associations are positioned around a central well.

image copyrightAdrià Goula

The architects decided to use wood as the main material in order to add a feeling of warmth and comfort to the volume, contrasting with the harsh environment of the outskirts of the city. They also chose wood for its ability to combat the environmental impact of the building’s carbon footprint, as it allows the structure to absorb carbon dioxide throughout its life.

image copyrightJose Hevia

A completely dry construction method was used. A metal framework of beams and pillars has been erected which works in conjunction with a load-bearing system of radiata pine cross-laminated timber panels and ceilings which reinforce and stabilize the whole. Interior linings are limited to areas of plywood plinths to allow passage of electrical and data connections. Otherwise, the interiors are CLT bare structure and steelwork.

image copyrightJose Hevia

The center uses passive functionality, meeting all heating and cooling needs. Its ventilation system exploits the inertia of the ground with clean air tubes placed in the hillside cut. Coming from the ground, the air in the tubes is heated and expelled into the two covered courtyards which function as large conductors. The renewed air is cool in summer and warm in winter. All rooms capture air from the courtyards and treat it with a fan coil to slightly increase or decrease its temperature and humidity as needed.

image copyrightJose Hevia

All walls and doors are designed to return air through central chimneys which direct it to the engine room on the roof. The air is blown directly onto the machines, generating a local atmosphere that is warmer or cooler than the outside environment, allowing them to operate with less effort and less electricity consumption. Finally, the roof generates 60,000 W of electrical power per year thanks to photovoltaic panels, which makes consumption close to zero.

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