Navarra fieldtrip brings together students from Wales and Spain
6 April 2017
Students from the MSc Environmental Design of Buildings, MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings, and MSc Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design recently travelled to Pamplona, Spain for a study trip centred on sustainable architecture.
The Welsh School of Architecture currently has a memorandum of understanding with the University of Navarra in Pamplona. There is a regular exchange between students on the MSc Environmental Design of Buildings and counterparts in Spain.
This year, 20 students, including one distance learner and an ERASMUS student, embarked on a week-long study trip to Pamplona and its environs.
The first half of the trip consisted of a three day masterclass by Dr. Nirmal Kishnani of Singapore University on topics around net zero energy, climate responsive and place-making architecture in the tropics. The masterclass was complemented by a student workhop where students from Navarra and Cardiff worked together on a small design brief to explore issues around net zero energy commercial and residential development. Issues explored included density, urbanity, energy profiles, social sustainability, defining net-zero energy, daylight and energy performance. The workshop culminated in student presentations and discussions, and an evening social event
During the second part of the study trip, students were able to see sustainable building in practice. They visited the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) of Spain, the Integrated Nacional Centre for the Training in Renewable Energies (CENIFER), and a recently completed community centre which had been built to Passivhaus standards.
A second day of field study concluded the trip, with visits to the Orona Foundation, a research and development centre for intelligent lift systems that are designed to be energy saving, and a guided tour of the tallest Passivhaus residential building in the world designed by Navarra architecture practice Varquitectos. The 25-storey building situated near Bilbao is due to be completed later this year and will overtake Cornell University’s dorms in Roosevelt Island, New York City as the tallest residential building certified by the Passivhaus Institute. The final day of the trip culminated in a visit the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
The trip provided students from both universities with wonderful opportunities to share experiences, observations and develop relationships across diverse backgrounds, fields of study and experience levels and featured in the local press.