Campus Iberdrola’s new canopy, designed by Alonso-Balaguer, has held up against the burning sun of what could be the hottest summer in the recent history in Europe. The 35.000 sqm horizontal structure acts as a double skin cladding, providing sun control and shading over the 6 buildings and surrounding outdoor spaces below. The structure is composed of several different surface materials, providing shade, transparency and support for the renewable energy systems as PV and solar thermal panels. Its double wing shape - inverted on the windward side- promotes a constant air flow underneath, increasing wind chill factor.
On the summer that has been determined as hottest on record - according NOAA and AEMET- such device can stablish the difference of being able to use outdoor spaces - besides the fact that it promotes lower AC consumption inside the buildings and increases energy savings.
As we started to see more buildings coming up with a double skin/cladding system, Alonso Balaguer considered that on a project with multiple buildings under the same program, a more convenient way was to use a horizontal cladding instead. Besides providing the same amount of sun control, as a typical double skin façade, it allows extra protection for outdoor spaces and reduces any heat island effect that might be produced by the outdoor paved surfaces. According to AEMET just in Madrid city - mostly due to the heat island effect- the number of nights with temperatures above 20°C has increased from 10 to more than 20 just in the last 10 years.
A deeper look at the canopy structure and its figures demonstrates high efficiency in terms of construction value, mostly thanks to the wind tunnel testing performed at the design stage to optimize structural design. Like that, canopy’s total weight - estimated at around 6.800 ton- is split at an equal 50% ratio between below and above the ground. If for example, we’d compare this figure to a ship design, a 50% ballast ratio would result in a high performance monohull.
Infrared pictures measuring temperature over the same surface material, demonstrate a difference over 24°C between below the canopy and outside its footprint - for same type of material.
It's encouraging to see one of the top companies in Europe to make it into the Eurostoxx 50 and invest in the cutting edge sustainable architecture.