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First sustainable flats building in Spain and Europe
22 July 2016 @ 01:49

        Perhaps you do not know that in Spain there is already the First Flats Building, based on geothermal energy and other techniques for saving of energy. And it is also the first building with those features, in Europe.

      Yes, this building is situated in Tres Cantos (a very new and small town 22 kilometres to the north of Madrid).

A view of Tres Cantos

Tres Cantos

      It all started when, in 2003, a group of Cooperative (Cooperative "Arroyo Bodonal"), in Tres Cantos, devised a project very revolutionary, against the rules of construction at that time, but very exciting. At the front of the project they were: Francisco Martin (Chairman), Carlos Nieto (Architect), Jose Luis Yañez (Vice Chairman) and Antonio Martinez (Secretary and Director).

From left to right: Antonio Martinez, Carlos Nieto and Francisco Martín


Geothermal installation

        The promoters of this project say they had many difficulties, to secure funding to develop the project. They visited 28 banks and only 4 of them said they would study the case. And, finally, only one (the Triodos Bank) decided to finance the project.

      These members of the Cooperative "Arroyo Bodonal" stood firm on the idea of carrying out the project, in full "housing bubble", in Spain, and during the worst economic crisis, which is remembered in many years. But it was worth the effort, because now their homes will stop release between 120 and 130 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, per year, (73% less than a conventional house).

      They say that energy savings in these homes is very high. And Antonio Martin gives the example of the heat we had in Spain last summer; he says:  "Last summer, with the tougher wave of heat, over the last 30 years, the geothermal system, exclusively, faced air-conditioning, by underfloor heating, obtaining a result with excellent comfort, because the building lacks gas or air conditioners”. In the cooperative, they calculate that the savings produced by the geothermal system (which provides heating, air conditioning and hot water, ACS) exceeds 100,000 euros per year, a savings ranging from  75, 64%, if you stick to the criteria established by the Technical Building Code, and 48%, if the criterion is the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design from the United States Green Building Council, which is the body that has just distinguished Arroyo Bodonal with its label's Top: the Platinum label.

Underfloor heating

      The cooperative Arroyo Bodonal has already made a first economic balance "The medium expense,  per household electricity in heating, climate control and domestic hot water, between May and December 2015, was 37.02 euros per month". They explain this ratio has been calculated from the actual amount of electricity billing, that has fueled the geothermal system, in these eight months: "they are excluded the savings, in electricity supply of LED lighting, inside and outside" . The savings will evolve and depending on the price of electricity. Yes, they say:  "It is important to note that, last summer,  the climate control and cooling system has faced, alone, to the heat wave stronger (40-42 ° C) over the past 30 years, maintaining an average temperature in housing, around 22-23 ° C) ".

      Arroyo Bodonal has been endowed with gardens with plants of very low water consumption (thyme, rosemary, broom, lavender, rockrose, oleander, durillo, etc.). Also, there is provided a system for the collection and reuse of rainwater for irrigation, by water tank, and a purification plant gray water from sinks, tubs and showers, for reuse in flushing toilets and cleaning of garages.

      And this is the result of the building:

       Well, I hope that you have liked this news and hope that you can visit Tres Cantos.

      Until my next post, kind regards,

Luis.

Sponsored by Costaluz Lawyers.

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