Sorigué named one of the winners of the urban challenge to sustainably expand Barcelona buildings

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Sorigué named one of the winners of the urban challenge to sustainably expand Barcelona buildings

December 7, 2022

Through its company Constraula, Sorigué and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia will begin manufacturing a prefabricated construction prototype to help speed up the renovation and refurbishment process for Barcelona’s building stock in a sustainable way.

Barcelona City Council chose the construction proposal submitted by Sorigué’s city utility company, Constraula, in partnership with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), as one of the three winners of the urban challenge launched to improve the livability, comfort and energy performance of the city’s apartment buildings.  

As part of this challenge, launched by the BIT Hábitat Foundation with the support of the Municipal Institute of Planning and the Department of Planning, over the course of one year Barcelona will test the three winning prefabricated construction prototypes to sustainably expand its apartment buildings.  

The proposals selected are metal or wood structures added on to new building façades. This also frees up space for the homes in terms of balconies or community areas, or for adding an elevator, improving insulation and sunlight. In addition, these can placed on rooftops for adding solar panels, green roofs or reusing rain water.  

Sorigué’s proposal is regenerating Barcelona

The business group’s proposal, called Regenerating Barcelona (Regenerar Barcelona), relies on a self-supporting wooden structure that moulds to a building's façade to design interior and exterior spaces.  

Its goal is to enhance the living conditions, exterior appearance and energy performance of apartment buildings.  

The prototype was designed together by Constraula and UPC research groups: REARQ – Architectural Refurbishment and Restoration and GICITED – Interdisciplinary Group of Building Science and Technology.

Regenerating Barcelona, along with the other two winning prototypes, will begin testing during spring of next year in the Besòs i el Maresme neighbourhood and other areas across Barcelona, which still need to be agreed. Teams will receive a €150,000 grant to fund 80% of the investment.  

Furthermore, as part of the group’s commitment to building synergies between different departments and companies, Sorigué’s green infrastructure company, Ambitec, provided advice on this project. 

The company’s green infrastructure expertise and know-how contributed to drawing up a proposal on the vegetation that will cover the building’s façade for improved thermal conditions and insulation.  

This way, the prototype’s use of vegetation encourages biodiversity and helps utilise water efficiently in irrigation.  

With these solutions, Barcelona looks to improve the comfort, living conditions and sustainability of current buildings, which will boost energy performance and therefore result in lower CO2 emissions.  

Plus, the competition aims to do this using low-emission construction with low costs so as to regenerate a sufficient amount of homes over the coming decades, helping reach decarbonisation pledges.