Barcelona “Trade Buildings”: A Feasible Energy Refurbishment of Glazed Modern Movement Buildings
PublisherInstitute of Physics (IOP)
Rights accessOpen Access
The Modern Movement in architecture was a key player in the post-war construction of many countries around the world, having diverse facets that can be seen from Chicago's skyscrapers to Brazil with the construction of Brasilia. In a Spanish scenario, it is possible to find some unequal examples of preserved architectural heritage that present distinctive curtain walls. The Barcelona "Trade Buildings" (1966-1971) are a great example of those glazed volumes. Although many modern glazed façade buildings age relatively well, the current environmental requirements are way far from the initial ones, configured during the 50´, ´60s or ´70s. It is thus undeniable that most of those buildings require energy refurbishment as soon as possible to keep operating in the sustainable environment we are trying to accomplish. In order to determine an analysis methodology for refurbishing the glazed buildings of the modern heritage, this study aims to evaluate a building through its energetic aspects and establish refurbishment strategies that contribute to more sustainable development, always respecting the historical and architectural value of the cities. By using the Barcelona "Trade Buildings" as a case study, this research surveys problems related to the lack of energy efficiency in the building. An intervention of this nature must identify the current conditions of the building, analyzing its energy and comfort requirements to finally propose energy-efficient and heritage-friendly solutions for the project. The three main responsible aspects that can influence in the energy consumption are, first of all, the users, who usually are responsible for energy wasting, the external building envelope, which is that factor that determines the energetic demand, and the mechanical systems, that must provide the appropriate habitability and comfort conditions. The analysis method has been carried out by developing an energetic survey through data of consumption and energy simulation programs. The results of the performance of the building materiality and systems obtained were used to propose improvement measures for the building based on Nearly Zero1 and circular economy concepts1, through the development of isolation strategies and shading mechanisms. Among the objectives of this research, we have imposed the preservation of the modern exterior image devised by Modernism, extending and improving the building's lifetime, implementing comfort conditions in accordance with current habitability requirements. In addition to this, in the long term, it is assumed that the building will have a sustainable character, by reducing the energy costs and carbon emissions originally generated.
CitationMedola, B.; Bosch, M. Barcelona «Trade Buildings»: A Feasible Energy Refurbishment of Glazed Modern Movement Buildings. "IOP conference series: materials science and engineering", Desembre 2020, vol. 960, núm. 4, p. 42025-1-42025-9.