An Interview with Renowned Spanish Architect Dr. Luis de Garrido

Design Trends’ Johnny D unravels in detail about The FIRST WORLD ENVIRONMENT CITY, bioclimatic in nature with zero energy consumption and reconfigurable expandable housing in Colombia, designed by renowned bioclimatic specialist architect Dr. Luis de Garrido.

Luis De Garrido’s projects in ‘Colombia One’ is bioclimatic in nature, prefabricated, removable, ecological balanced and a zero energy self-sufficient city. It is one of its kind in the world! The city is constituted by social housing and is self-sufficient in water, energy and food.

Dr. Luis de Garrido is one of the highly respected architects in the world of Sustainable Architecture. His stature and design creations is highly appreciated by his peers. He is an inspiration to many! His personified humility is infectious in nature. The younger generation of architects and designers of the world are in awe of his design creations!

Johnny D: Please enlighten Design Trends’ esteemed readers about the First World First Environment City.

Dr. Luis de Garrido: The RODEO Social Eco-City is compact and designed based on 5,000 social houses grouped in compact blocks in order to achieve maximum ecological level and the highest level of quality of life to minimize the price of housing and energy consumption and resources.

EL RODEO Social Eco-CityColorful Layout

All the homes in the city are expandable, even the dwellings included in blocks of various heights. Thus the citizen access to housing at the lowest possible cost, and can expand with the passage of time, when necessary and with necessary available financial resources. In this sense, we have designed a very ingenious and innovative types of housing blocks in order that all homes can be expanded at any time, irrespective of their location.

EL RODEO Social Eco-CityDesigned to tap Nature

The city is self-sufficient in energy, water and food. That is, the same city generates water and energy they need for the citizens without connecting to municipal connections. On the other hand, the city includes various types of green areas, and integrates within different types of urban gardens, capable of ensuring food self – sufficiency, and provide jobs to its citizens.

JD: Dr. Luis please elaborate about your latest design of “The RODEO Social Eco-City in Colombia.

Dr. Garrido: Speaking about the architectural solution, “The RODEO Social Eco-City” is a self-sufficient city formed of social housing buildings located in Jamundí, South of Cali in Colombia. It is an ecological and bioclimatic city with high energy efficiency that includes only social housing (VIP and VIS homes) and all the services necessary for self-sufficiency of the city (schools, markets, police station, fire department, health center services emergency, church, several social centers, various sports centers, parks, etc.) and all kinds of recreational spaces and green areas.

Social Eco-CitySelf-Sustainable City

The city articulates in its urban fabric with several different types of social housing. 30% are row houses VIS, detached, expandable and two heights forming blocks of various dimensions. In the central part of each block the backyards of the houses are arranged. The remaining 70% are apartment buildings with different heights and different types.

There are several blocks of flats in the city. Two iconic housing blocks of 14 heights at the entrance of the city. Six rectangular blocks in eastern and central area of the city, and the rest are compact housing blocks with an iconic form of single family housing, installed in the collective subconscious of all human: the classic form of the tab Monopoly.

This form has been chosen for several reasons: (i) The symbol globally accepted concept of “home”; (ii) The inhabitants of each block to have the feeling of “home” and have a strong emotional attachment and staff with the building, despite sharing it with other 100 families. (iii) The urban fabric is very compact, print can only be formed by several large houses. To achieve these objectives the emotional housing design has been inspired by the Basque villages of Northern Spain and the “familisterios” Socialist Central Europe.

Housing blocks may look different, with different facade structure with a different color scheme, so that there are no two identical homes across the city. Similarly, the architectural structure of the blocks allows all homes to have small differences inside each other so that no two houses are alike, and each user throngs the feeling that their home is unique.

4 (3)Ordination General Stages

planDetailed Core Management

6 (4)Block A

JD: Please elaborate the main objectives of such a massive bioclimatic project for the world to understand its greater impact on a social scale.

Dr. Garrido: The design of the apartment blocks has several objectives. They are as follows:

EL RODEO SocialAn Aerial View

(i). It allows each house owner to understand that their house are easily expandable as per individual’s choice. So those interested, may buy a house with an area of 30 m2 (VIP house with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room), to extend it to 45 m2 at any given time (adding an additional bedroom and a new bathroom). One may also buy a house of 45 m2 (Tope VIS), to extend it to 60 m2). The block is designed carefully in an order that their appearance does not change soon, when satisfied users will expand their homes.

To enable the expansion of housing, ​​a modular design allocating five modules for each house has been designed with great specifications. Thus each housing comprises of two modules, and a third module serves for the extension of two modules. This empty module only has the load beams, on which each user simply has to place the ground, and its facade.

(ii). The second objective of the design of the blocks is to allow their homes to remain cool at all times (around 25°C), although temperatures in Cali range from 29°C and 34°C all year round. This provides two parallel rows separated by a courtyard house (with an average width of 4 m.), where it generates and maintains a huge bag of fresh air flowing through the housing continuously. At the top of the block there are homes with patios, that cover the inner courtyard, and through it the superheated air are evacuated by chimney effect.

(iii). Third objective of the design of the blocks is to have the form of “home” tab of Monopoly. A conceptual form that transmits to each of its occupants the idea of living in an ideal (able to meet all their demands) home. No two are alike blocks, and no two are alike houses, thus each user lives in the home that best fits their particular demands and lifestyle.

In addition to the expandable housing blocks they have been designed various types of flexible housing block.

EL RODEO SocialDesigned to Perfection

EL RODEO SocialIdentical in Look yet Unique in Nature

In this type of block households have such a structure that may have different internal configurations, depending on the particular demands of every possible occupant. The client holds an open space, which can be structured in several possible ways, or asked to be built in the desired manner. There are several types of houses, with an area ranging from 45 m2 (VIP), up to 60 m2 (Tope VIS).

JD: Please enlighten Design Trends’ esteemed readers about the ecological impact and analysis of the magnificent project.

Dr. Garrido: Social housing buildings “The Rodeo Social Eco-City” have been designed with the greatest possible ecological level extensively with most ecological indicators identified, which are as follows:

I. Resource Optimization

1.1. Natural Resources: We have taken full advantage of resources such as the Sun (to generate hot water, and provide natural lighting to all households), the breeze, the land (to cool the housing), rainwater (water tanks for watering the garden), and on the other hand, we have also designed and installed water saving devices on taps, showers and cisterns complex.

1.2. Resources Made: The materials used are maximized and hardly generate waste because all the components of the buildings have been made ​​at the factory, with repetitive and modular dimensions.

1.3. Resources Recovered, Reused and Recycled: All building materials may be recoverable, repairable and reusable, so that buildings can have an infinite life cycle with the least possible environmental impact.

On the other hand, it has promoted the use of recycled and recyclable materials, such as water pipes polypropylene sewer pipes polyethylene, chipboards OSB for interior doors, plywood boards for coatings, recycled glass for countertops kitchen and windows, etc.

II. Reduction of Energy Consumption

2.1. Construction: The building has been built with minimal energy consumption. Prefabricated materials used have been made ​​with a minimum amount of energy.

2.2. Use: Due to the special bioclimatic design of buildings, the houses do not require thermal conditioning devices, and have a very low energy consumption (electricity consumption of appliances and LED lighting). At the top of each block, in ducts bioclimatic chimney exhaust air (inside when high temperatures are reached, about 40 ° C), several interconnected water tanks are located, to generate a natural and free water slightly heated for direct consumption in homes.

2.3. Dismantling: All materials and architectural components used can be recovered easily to be repaired and reused later.

3. Use of Alternative Energy Sources: The energy used are of two types: Solar thermal (deposits located in the solar chimneys to produce ACS) and geothermal (architectural air freshener system, taking advantage of low temperatures existing underground in the underground galleries beneath the garage) .

4. Reduction of Waste and Emissions: The houses do not generate any emissions, nor generate any waste, except organic.

5. Improving Health and Welfare: All materials used are environmentally friendly and healthy and do not have any emissions that may affect human health. Similarly, houses are ventilated naturally, and take full advantage of natural lighting, creating a healthy environment to provide the best quality of life to occupiers of the houses.

6. Reduced Price of the Building and Maintenance: The homes have been designed rationally, eliminating redundant, unnecessary or free games, allowing construction at the lowest possible price in this type of social housing (VIP-VIS).

III. Bioclimatic Features: The buildings remain fresh all through the year, despite high temperatures outside, due to various design strategies, without increasing the price of construction.

1. Fresh Generation Systems: The buildings are cooled by itself in three ways:

1.1. Avoiding heat: The building complex is located near the Ecuador, and tropical climate. Therefore, they have provided all the windows facing north and south (no windows on the east and west to avoid direct sunlight in the mornings and evenings). All overhangs and balconies are located north and south, to protect the windows from direct solar radiation. On the other hand, due to the very low cost of construction, there is no money available to place insulation or ventilated facades. Therefore, the insulation of facades has been created with the outside air itself. The system overhangs and balconies generates shadow continuously (since the path of the sun at this latitude) so in the north facade and the south facade an envelope of cool air that acts as exterior insulation wall is created precast concrete.

1.2. Cooling: Using a simple system of architectural cooling air and a set of underground galleries. Outside air enters the underground conduits from the central portion of each block. The air passes through the tubes overnight and is cooled as it passes. In the end, the fresh air enters the central courtyard shaded block, where it is kept cool and ascends, crossing all homes, and refrescándolas its path. On the other hand, and more importantly, due to the high thermal inertia of the building, the building is cooled along all night, and stays fresh throughout the next day.

1.3. Evacuating the Hot Air outside the Building through a set of solar chimneys located on top of the covered central courtyard.

2. Systems for Storing Fresh: Fresh generated at night (by natural ventilation and outside due to lower temperature) accumulates in the floors and interior walls of high thermal inertia load. Thus the building remains cool throughout the day without any energy consumption.

3. Transfer Systems of Fresh Air: Solar chimneys suck the air inside the central courtyard of the blocks. Thus rising air currents that force fresh air to the interior patio scroll through all the surrounding homes are created.

4. Natural ventilation: The ventilation of dwellings is naturally and continuously through grids access doors and interior doors inside the house. Similarly, housing transpires through the exterior walls, allowing natural ventilation without energy loss.

IV. Highlights Innovations:

– Housing Blocks have been designed with expandable surface, so that the occupants acquire housing they really need without mortgaging their future and can expand when needed.

– Blocks have been designed with flexible and reconfigurable housing, so that each occupant can have a single housing, according to their particular needs.

– The construction system used allows the maximum possible ecological level as it involves the least possible energy consumption and less waste generation and possible emissions because their life cycle can become infinite, since all building components they can be recovered, repaired and reused.

– A perfect balance between the need to provide the building with a large thermal mass, and the desire to recover and reuse each and every one of its components has been achieved with the design creations. Therefore, we have chosen a large structural system based reinforced concrete slabs. These plates are assembled together by welding points and twinned metallic elements embedded in the concrete mass of each architectural element.

– The buildings have been designed thoroughly in order to self- regulate the heat and offer occupants good comfort conditions, without the need for thermal conditioning devices.

Dr. Luis de Garrido about ‘The FIRST WORLD ENVIRONMENT CITY - The RODEO Social Eco-City’Ground Floor Plan

Dr. Luis de Garrido about ‘The FIRST WORLD ENVIRONMENT CITY - The RODEO Social Eco-City’Ground and First Floor Plan

Dr. Luis de Garrido about ‘The FIRST WORLD ENVIRONMENT CITY - The RODEO Social Eco-City’Vegetation Layout

Dr. Luis de Garrido about ‘The FIRST WORLD ENVIRONMENT CITY - The RODEO Social Eco-City’Master Plan

Image Courtesy: The Architect

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