A team of students and researchers from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have designed a prototype solar greenhouse in Barcelona, Spain, for electricity generation and local food production.
The students, led by Vicente Guallard and Daniel Ibañez, directors of the IAAC Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities Master (MAEBB), built a two-storey greenhouse in two months. The structure, built in the Serra de Collserola natural park in Barcelona, aims to demonstrate how meeting our most basic needs in a greener wayin line with the EU’s net zero emissions target by 2050.
It is designed to be scalable and adaptable to a variety of environments, such as on the rooftops of downtown buildings. The goal was to design and build a system that could be replicated both in rural areas and on the rooftops of urban building spaces.
The structure is built with Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) which has been dried, treated and pressed into laminated timber elements in Valldaura. The glass roof, carefully arranged in a heliomorphic “diamond” shape, allows full capture of sunlight by the plants within and the semi-transparent solar panels embedded in the glass to power the entire structure . The greenhouse only uses about 50% of the energy it produces, leaving the other half to the nearby Valldura Labs facility.
The solar-powered greenhouse also includes a fully functional nutrient supply system consisting of storage tanks, nutrient inlets, tubes to supply plants directly and an array of LED light strips to aid in nutrient cycles. longer growth. The ground floor will be used to germinate seedlings for planting in the gardens, while the upper level will generate a large harvest through advanced hydroponic techniques. All the planting beds will use a sawdust substrate, a waste product from Valldaura’s Green Fab Lab that has been imaginatively reused.
The ultimate goal is to build communities capable of growing their own food and producing their own energy.
The ultimate goal is that the knowledge and systems obtained locally can be applied on a global scale and, in this sense, the Solar Greenhouse is a valuable step forward.