The building plot: The site is located in the city of Badalona, 10 km away from Barcelona, and the area enjoys a sub-humid Mediterranean climate. This building plot has a gross surface area of 611 m² and a regular shape. Its topography has no major changes in level. The façade facing the street has south-eastern exposure, whereas the opposite one has north-east exposure.
The conditions: We are located in an empty building plot; therefore the conditions depend on the geometry of the building plot itself, as well as its orientation and the neighbouring buildings. Applicants were asked to plan a multi-family building containing eight housing units.
The project: The building contains eight housing units. Two of them are located on the ground floor, three on the first floor, and the last three on the second floor. Two of the latter are duplex. All of them are dual aspect dwellings, so they enjoy cross ventilation. On the ground floor, the two housing units are to be located on both sides, thus leaving a central aisle that houses both a lift and a staircase, which lead the users of the building right to the back yard. Again, the floor below the roof has a common area between the terraces of the duplexes’ upper floors.
The construction: The architecture of this building defines itself by being a clean volume. The main façade aligns with the neighbouring buildings in both height and pavement separation. The higher floor rises away from both the front and the back façades, hence concealing itself from passersby’s eyes. Due to this characteristic, each duplex enjoys a terrace facing both the street and the inner courtyard. The fact of being a continuous envelope and having no complicated geometries allows a proper insulation of it, so thermal bridges will not generate. This is the way to ensure comfort inside.
The functioning: The access floor has a housing unit to either side of a central aisle that, in turn, leads to either the communications core or the back yard. There we shall find the staircase that leads to the parking, a big garden area, a play area for kids, and an outdoor swimming pool. This is the neighbourhood association’s outer meeting point. As we go up the building, we find the successive floors that house the housing units, and in the top floor we find again a common area for the neighbours to enjoy. All units are double orientation dwellings, which will guarantee plenty of richness inside both the daytime area and the bedrooms, and also take advantage of cross ventilation.
Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is one of the strengths of this project. Both active and passive measures are integrated in order to achieve a highly energyefficient project. The passive measures implemented in the project are the following: external insulation, ventilated façade on the ground floor, sun protection in the southern façade, low-e glasses in the northern façade, solar control glasses in the southern one, and cross ventilation for all housing units. Regarding the active measures, solar panels for DHW / aerothermal heating, highefficiency air source heat pump for climate control, electrical monitoring for all housing units, and optional mechanical ventilation with heat recovery are proposed. The simultaneity of all these decisions, together with the architectural design, result in a series of advantages— such as a decrease in both energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and an improvement in comfort and indoor habitability—that become themselves a differential marketing strategy.