Exploring Climate Concrete

Translating innovative student ideas to real architectural project

An architect feels and understands a lot using his vision. He receives important information about the aesthetics of an object, which wakes up his imagination of its integration in a building or in an environment.

However, if an architect wants to understand a material, its essence, its mechanical characteristics and performance potential, he needs to touch, agitate, lift up or load that object.  Then he is able not only to imagine the visual integration, but also the correct and functional application of that material.

This is what the Climate Concrete– a selective subject at the School of Architecture UIC, allows to its students to discover. How is the concrete manufactured? What kinds of concrete exist? Which physical characteristics are important to be considered in the construction? What are the limits of the material? Which advantages and disadvantages does it have compared to other materials? Getting answers to these questions by experienced professionals, the students become prepared for the question to which they will have to find the answer: How can be concrete used in architecture to take the most advantage of its (climatic) properties? And so they step in to a creative adventure of exploring the unexplored grounds of the otherwise well-known construction material- concrete.

It may sound very theoretic, but the opposite is true. Already the first edition of Climate Concrete, dedicated to exploration of porous concrete walls brought a significant result- a real application of the design, developed by students in collaboration with the professionals from Cemex Global R&D and the researchers from the Department CEIM UIC, in a real project- Wellness Hub building in Monterrey, México.

climate concrete arquitectura sostenible barcelona

Wellness Hub building designed by @PICHarchitects, façade panels by @CEMEX

The design is based on a combination of high-performance concrete Resilia™ and a porous concrete Pervia™, which together create a prefabricated façade panel with a specific bioclimatic performance, taking advantage of the porous character of Pervia™ allowing to absorb water to provide cooling, and the thermal inertia and thermal transfer properties of both concrete types to minimize the impact of the solar radiation.

CC2.0 First prototypes with @Davide Zampini and @Enrique Terrado from @CEMEXGRD, @Teresa Batlle from @PICHarchitects and @Oriol París– professor of the CC subject. CC3.0 Students experimenting with concrete, overviewed by Davide Zampini from @CEMEXGRD and by @Felipe Pich Aguilera from @PICHarchitects & #ArchitectureUIC_CEIM

Of course, there is a long way between the first design of the facade panel and its real application with a controlled performance, but the initial idea is what counts and it would not happen to exist without the innovative and fresh ideas of the students of architecture.  It is a win-win situation- the architecture can enjoy a new innovative system, the industry has got a new application for its products and the students- how many of us had the opportunity to initiate an innovation that became reality?

Now, the Climate Concrete 3.0 is just starting. The topic is exciting again: Shared performance. How can the most useful properties of concrete combined with any other material perform even better? Follow #climateconcrete to find out. 


Written by @Zuzana Prochazkova, R+D+i department of @PICHarchitects, coordinator of #ArchitectureUIC_CEIM

By |2019-02-10T19:52:40+00:00November 27th, 2018|Report|0 Comments
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