Spanish Tech Park Sheds Light On Research

One of the best ways to demonstrate a scientific principle is to lead by example. In Alameria, Spain, for instance, a new science park was launched last year that was devoted not only to research but to the sustainable development of new buildings.

As a result, the adjacent headquarters of the Parque Científico-Tecnológico de Almería (PITA) and the Tecnova Foundation now can be used as a public showcase of the latest in energy-efficient green building technology. Designed by Ferrer Arquitectos, the two structures, known as the Pitagoras and Tecnova buildings, feature high-tech facades that change according to the heat loads throughout the day, as well as ample use of open courtyards and indoor green areas.

The new Pitagoras and Tecnova science buildings in Alameria, Spain, were recently completed with sustainability in mind. Image by David Frutos via Ferrer Arquitectos.

The new Pitagoras and Tecnova science buildings in Alameria, Spain, were recently completed with sustainability in mind. Image by David Frutos via Ferrer Arquitectos.

The buildings are the first two to be completed in the park, which will provide PITA and Tecnova laboratory space dedicated to advancements in science and technology, as well as office space for other organizations in Alameria.

On the south side, where the afternoon sun will be strongest, the exterior of the buildings is covered in a series of adjustable horizontal louvers that shield the interior from direct sunlight. Behind the louvers is another façade made of glass to let in natural daylight to the interior offices and labs, but not the heat.

Both buildings feature light wells and green interior courtyards. Image by David Frutos via Ferrer Arquitectos.

Both buildings feature light wells and green interior courtyards. Image by David Frutos via Ferrer Arquitectos.

To aid in ventilation, as well as illumination, the buildings contain stark white interior passageways that reflect the diffused light coming in from overhead skylights. Other parts of these passageways open up to larger courtyards that are filled with vegetation and hanging plants on green walls.

Both the Pitagoras and Tecnova buildings have a Class A energy ratings and were designed to meet the certification standards of both the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program and the European Green Building program.

The name “Pitagoras,” incidentally, was created from the PITA acronym and the name of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, discoverer of the theorem every architect knows by heart: “The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the square of the two remaining sides.”

Randy Woods is a Seattle-based writer and editor with 20+ years of experience in the business publishing world. A former managing editor of Seattle Business, iSixSigma, Claims and Waste Age magazines, he has covered topics that include newspaper publishing, entrepreneurism, green businesses, insurance, environmental protection and garbage hauling (yes, really). He also contributes to the Career Center Blog for The Seattle Times and edits a photography magazine called PhotoMedia. When not working, he likes to hide out in Seattle movie theaters and attend film festivals—even on sunny days.