Interview with Luis De Garrido for VITRUBIUS Portal (Brazil)

[Google-translated from Spanish]


– A mid-twentieth century, the architect was, in a sense, the obligation to consider the weather conditions for the design of buildings. Admittedly with some precision the positive and negative effects of climate change in order to develop design strategies for a harmonious relationship with the building.

Rapid technological developments after the Industrial Revolution dramatically changed the relationship and the architect was launched, literally, to pursue other paradigms derived from consideration of the elements.

In this sense, one of the best references available at international level is the Spanish architect Luis de Garrido, who has spent more than 20 years of experience in research and development projects integral architecture, bioclimatic and sustainable.

Its chief architects as references to architects Ken Yeang, Peter Zumthor, MVRDV, Eisaku Ushida, Hansen and Petersen, Emilio Ambasz, Norman Foster, Jonathan Hines, David Kirland … among a few others.

Always controversial in their presentations, Luis De Garrido is the creator of some concepts that accompany it in its various activities and are responsible for promoting the role of the architect’s mission to the sustainability of projects.

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– One of the major conceptual achievements of Luis De Garrido concept is the creation of “artificial nature.” Can you explain to us mean by that?

Under the concept of “artificial nature” lies the essence of my work. By far the biggest contribution to my career.

This involves identifying and wean the world of man-made artifacts, providing it with its own environmental laws, and above all, integrated with nature.

Nature, as we perceive is the result of a continuous process of trial and error “no purpose, channeled by the survival of the species are created in this ongoing process (cyclic, infinite and rational purpose.) The fact is that Nature has secured its own environmental laws of self-control, and has fed on natural energy for their existence. Similarly, human activity (linear, finite and rational), and the resulting artifacts should be covered by new environmental laws, artificial, and similarly, powered by the same natural energy. And both (nature and artificial nature) should be continuously in perfect balance.

In recent years I have formalized a set of rules that could govern these new “artificial nature”, and I have experienced in each of my projects, to try to approach a goal is extremely complex, that I myself have self-imposed.

To better understand my goals, one example may suffice:

Leonardo da Vinci, among many activities, I was really worried about the flight of birds. He spent time observing how they fly, such as the shape of their wings, such as creams, etc.

Leonardo concluded early on that the man would be impossible, or at least extremely difficult to directly emulate the flight of birds with the help of his understanding and technology. And time has proved right, still not found a material light enough, light enough batteries or an engine powerful enough yet light enough to do something similar. However, after countless hours trying to understand the mechanism of bird flight, Leonardo so internalized, learned, and as a result of the process, soon to create a system even more effective than the beating of wings: the helix.

Well this is exactly what I try to formalize: a new type of architecture unique result of human activity, but the result of deep understanding of nature and fully integrated with their life cycles. A new “artificial nature.”

I made a projective able to use a set of industrial architectural elements, and able to create buildings that have an infinite life cycle. In this sense, their components can be recovered, repaired and reused continuously and permanently, without generating waste and emissions. Similarly, these buildings can move, relocate, grow continuously changed, like living organisms. Finally, these buildings, only consume energy, and even I can easily gain bioclimatic buildings with zero energy consumption of nonrenewable energy.

In short and identified-and independent-the universe of man-made artifacts, providing it with its own environmental laws, and above all, integrated with nature. A new type of architecture unique result of human activity, but the result of deep understanding of nature and fully integrated with their life cycles. A new “artificial nature.”

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– The model of the Inverted Pyramid is a very shocking theory that emphasizes the role of the architect and training to achieve the architectural design with a high level of sustainability at the lowest possible price. Please, explain in a simple to understand.

About 10 years ago I made a classification, exposing all sustainable actions can be carried out on a project, and its price. In this model I called “the inverted pyramid model.”

I was surprised and found that more effective environmental actions were, curiously, the cheapest. In contrast, stocks with lower environmental performance were the most expensive.

Well, most of the technology can be incorporated into a building is very expensive, and very little environmental efficiency. Or what is the same, the technology provides virtually nothing to the level of sustainability of a building. And so expensive.

Instead, actions relating to a refined design of the building (orientation, shape, arrangement of windows, provision of thermal mass, natural ventilation, natural lighting systems, etc …) are the cheapest, and most environmental performance.

This is tremendously important, and I can say that good design of a building is a 80% level of sustainability. In contrast, the use of appropriate technology is only 5%. But what is worse, to incorporate certain technologies to buildings (air conditioning, home automation systems, etc …) can reduce its sustainable level.

On the other hand, a good building design does not increase in the price of the building. In contrast, the incorporation of technologies is considerably more expensive.

This should make us reflect, and forcing the architects to be roused, and rejecting “technological additives, no matter how sustainable that is advertised.

The name comes from the concrete form that is obtained when classifying architectural actions because of its cost and at the same time, its environmental performance (as a result of evolution through effective indicators).

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– In many interviews points to the fact that the architects “We live in a visual tyranny” … Collins – View detailed dictionary

That’s right. The architect, traditionally has been gradually neglecting many of their professional skills. Instead of studying more and more work (and of course charge more), the architect has been delegating many aspects of their professional competence to other professionals (calculation of structures, duct calculation, infrastructure design, plant design, interior design, … etc, etc …). Thus, there have been two things in parallel: the architect is increasingly less prestige and social value, and the architect has focused his career on the distribution and relationship of spaces, and the design of the building envelope, ie on their visual appearance.

The architect must do much more, and should provide holistic solutions to all aspects of architecture. Also, do not forget at any time the visual and sculptural aspect of his work is just a tiny component of what society demands.

The architects are not urban sculptors do gigantic works.

The architects materialize the desires of the individual and society, at all times, conform.

Only by understanding this and acting accordingly, the architects will regain the role we play in society. At that time we will stop being stupid God-like, and we will become respected individuals.

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– To Luis De Garrido “the future of architecture in the coming years in Brazil “…. and says he is ready to work soon in Brazil ….

So yeah, I’m pretty well acquainted with the architecture of Brazil. What’s more, I’m working in Brazil. I’m currently involved in a project in Salvador de Bahia, and followed an ambitious TV Tower and organic media for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I hope to introduce this project soon to the Rio authorities and those responsible for the Olympics.

However, Spain was not very familiar with the work of the architects of Brazil. It is a shame, because it is very valuable.

So I would like to mention that the Brazilian architects should begin to form and have clear criteria when dealing with a sustainable project.

Currently, Brazil is in the sights of many U.S. companies, which are even daring to introduce sustainable certification systems architecture as LEED. These certification systems are useless. And if widely used they will give a bad architecture, that nothing will have sustainable. That if the certification companies will richest American and Brazilian professionals (not architects, architects or bad) that have sought an easy source of income without doing practically nothing. Without doubt, the certification systems pose the greatest danger of sustainable architecture.

I was so concerned about the issue I will personally organize in Sao Paulo, the largest conference on sustainable architecture that has been done so far. And one of the things that are going to make clear is that certifications have only one purpose media (green wash), and are of no use to achieve a sustainable architecture.

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

1. Sustainability

The overall concept of sustainability is presented in 1987 with the report Bruthland and after 23 years there is still no clear concept of sustainability applied to architecture. Is subjective and everyone sees differently.

– Why not spread the actual notion of an order to break the inertia many on this subject?

I’m so glad you asked because it gives fully the true challenge of sustainable development in general, and sustainable architecture in particular.

The concept of sustainable development that begins to conform in society s true because he was born into a corrupt capitalist system in decline. Therefore, everything, absolutely everything, from what has been said about the sustainable development has not been in the right direction, because the goal has been to continue to create wealth the same as usual, but with a different appearance. A wolf in sheep.

In the case of sustainable architecture is much worse. For the huge economic interests in the sector are added the problems of vision “subjective” the architect, even completely objective aspects of architecture (as are all issues related to sustainability).

Vested interests around the architecture are making the company sees as “sustainable” alleged a building full of advanced technologies and energy efficiency alleged, and organic material assumptions, and “free additives that make them appear to greener building , but really become much less environmentally friendly (such as vertical gardens, covered tank, home automation, …. and “expensive” gadjets “similar.

No, the truly sustainable architecture must reject free and achieve the same ends more easily and inexpensively. I’ll give you an example:

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– Luis, as you conceptualize sustainable architecture?

For what I have and have always been very clear. In fact then expose my definition of Sustainable Architecture, which was accepted and validated by 12 of the best architects in the world during the World Sustainable Architecture Exhibition at the Fundación Canal, Madrid, in 2010. The architects that were validated: Ken Yeang, Emilio Ambasz, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Antoli Lamela, David Kirkland, Jonathan Hines, Rafael de la Hoz, Iñigo Ortiz, Enrique Leon, Mario Cucinella and Winny Maas (MVRDV)

“Sustainable Architecture is one that meets the needs of its occupants, at any time, anywhere, without jeopardizing the welfare and development of future generations. Therefore, sustainable architecture involves an honest commitment to human development and social stability, using architectural strategies to optimize resources and materials to reduce energy consumption, promoting renewable energy, minimize waste and emissions, minimize maintenance, functionality and price of the buildings and improve the quality of life of its occupants. ” (Luis De Garrido. 2010)

I am aware that a simple definition does not do much. Therefore, and after more than 20 years of experience, I created a set of actions whose implementation ensures the achievement of a genuine, true and complete sustainable architecture.

These are the actions:

1. Protecting the environment
Ensuring the integrity of the biosphere
Reduce fragmentation of the Territory
Perceive the environment in a holistic way
Minimize paving
Reduce building on farmland
Promote the building height and scavenging of the city
Promote recycling and prevent its expansion cities

2. Protect Fauna and Flora
Preserve the existing ecosystem and the local Wildlife
Conserve existing habitats
Ensure the holistic integration with the environment

3. Ensuring human nutrition
Encouraging local food production
Reduce food transport
Reduce fertilizer
Ensure that the human diet change does not generate any
Promote food growing buildings
Encourage self-sufficiency of water in buildings

4. Modify the human lifestyle and cultural values
Reevaluating human needs
Reassessing the social needs
Basic human needs
Ensure integration with the historic environment and social
Ensure no impact human activity in nature
Ensure no negative impact human activity in the Weather

5. Improving human welfare and quality of life
Design with healthy materials
Designing with non-emissive
Natural ventilation design
Satisfy human social relations
Improving the quality of human life

6. Optimize resources (natural and artificial)
Built to last
Project to recover
Project to repair and reuse
Design for recycling
Design for dismantling
Project to reintegrate

7. Promote industrialization and prefabrication
Project to industrialize
Design with modular components
Designing prefabricated components

8. Minimize emissions and waste
Design for reuse
Project to manage and reduce waste
Design with simple constructive solutions
Reduce pollution
Reduce waste
Designing with non-emissive
Designing biodegradable materials
Design with Waste

9. Encourage the use of renewable natural energy
Solar project
Wind power project
Geothermal energy projects

10. Reducing energy consumption
Project with local materials
Design with simple constructive solutions
Project with local labor
Encourage self-sufficiency in buildings
Design with bioclimatic building typologies
Design solutions for energy-efficient construction
Project with the least amount of artifacts

11. Reduce cost and maintenance
Designing an integrated economic environment
Design with simple solutions
Project to extend the life cycle of buildings
Design with simple and appropriate technology solutions

12. Change transport systems
Reduce the number of cars
Ensure proportionate use of public transport soil
Encouraging walking and cycling

I invite readers of this interview to explore these issues and discuss with them some of the buildings that today’s society have been “sold” and “sustainable” (or “sustainable”).

It is clear that the disparity between what to do and what I’ve done is enormous. And what is worse, in many cases have to go in the opposite direction.

Everything is done.

recent projects Luis De Garrido
by Luis De Garrido

– Sustainability within a project is measurable? Can be measured? You can measure how sustainable is a project?

Of course. To measure the degree of sustainability of a building are defined sustainable indicators.

The formalization of a set of sustainable indicators is a complex task. Each indicator should be comprehensive and should be very easy to assess. Similarly should not overlap with any other and should not and none left over or missing. Finally, all indicators should provide precisely the level of sustainability of a particular construction.

In order to identify the indicators to be regulating the degree of sustainability of a building, would first need to identify the general objectives to be met to achieve a fully sustainable architecture. These objectives are, therefore, the basic pillars that must support the sustainable architecture.

These pillars are:

1. Optimization of resources and materials
2. Reduction of energy consumption and promoting renewable energy
3. Reduction of waste and emissions
4. Reduced maintenance, operation and use of buildings
5. Improved quality of life for building occupants

The degree to which each of these pillars is therefore the level of sustainability of a building.

However, these pillars are very general and ambiguous. Therefore, it is necessary to divide them into several parts, so that they are different, and at the same time easy to identify, implement, and evaluate. These parts are termed “sustainable indicators”, and will serve both to assess the degree of sustainability of a particular building (if the building is already built) and to provide guidelines for the construction of a 100% sustainable building (for the draft new buildings).

Thus, the indicators are converted into a set of guidelines to follow to achieve a sustainable architecture. Therefore, the degree of compliance with each indicator, we can provide a quantifiable value, which is the level of sustainability.

A truly sustainable architecture should fully comply with all identifiers.

Sustainable indicators provide comprehensive information on the characteristics it should have a complete and fully sustainable architecture. Can not fail to comply with any point, unless there is a justification or a social impairment, tectonic, economic, and not resolved.

Similarly, sustainable indicators can also be used to measure the degree of “sustainability” of a building already built.

Of course, all these indicators do not have the same relative value, which is why you have to use weightings. Similarly, many indicators are related, so you have to compromise, depending on the concrete social and economic environment. Finally, performing each indicator has the same cost, therefore, must promote those that are more effective and more affordable, and the most expensive and inefficient.

Below are the 38 sustainable indicators that enable the creation of “artificial nature” as the prime example of sustainable architecture.

1. Optimization of resources and materials

1.1. Use of materials and natural resources.
1.2. Using durable materials and resources
1.3. Use of recovered materials and resources
1.4. Reuse of materials and resources
1.5. Using reusable materials and resources
1.6. Degree of reuse of materials and resources used
1.7. Using recycled materials and resources
1.8. Using recyclable materials and resources
1.9. Degree of recycling of materials and resources used
1.10. Degree of renovation and repair of resources used
1.11. Degree of utilization of resources

2. Decreased energy consumption

2.1. Energy used in the production of building materials
2.2. Energy consumed in transportation of materials
2.3. Energy consumed in transportation labor
2.4. Energy used in the construction of the building process
2.5. Building energy consumption
2.6. Suitability of the technology over human intrinsic parameters
2.7. Degree of utilization of natural energy sources through the design of the building and its surroundings. (Level of Bioclimatism).
2.8. Inertia of the building
2.9. Degree of utilization of natural energy sources through technological devices.
(Degree of architectural integration of alternative energy).
2.10. Energy consumption in the deconstruction of the building
(Dismantling, demolition, waste treatment, etc.).

3. Reduction of waste and emissions
3.1. Waste and emissions generated in the production of building materials
3.2. Waste and emissions generated in the process of building construction
3.3. Waste and emissions generated during building activity
3.4. Waste and emissions generated in the deconstruction of the building.

4. Reduced maintenance, operation and use of buildings
4.1. Adequacy of the durability of the material to life in the building

4.2. Energy consumed when the building is in use
4.3. Energy consumed when the building is not in use
4.4. Resource consumption due to activity in the building
4.5. Emissions from the building activity
4.6. Energy consumption in the accessibility to the building
4.7. Level of building maintenance
4.8. Socio-economic environment and maintenance costs.
4.9. Cost of building

5. Improved quality of life for building occupants
5.1. Harmful emissions to the environment
5.2. Emissions harmful to human health
5.3. Index of ailments and diseases of the occupants of the building
5.4. Satisfaction and welfare of the occupants

– The term “sustainable architecture” has always had a meaning vacuum. Do not you think that the term should be implied in the concept of good architecture?

Yes, you should. But the fact is that it is not.

Think of an architect who is considered having a “good architecture.” Then an analysis of sustainable features, for the 5 pillars exposed to 38 sustainable indicators. The result is that the architect is not a “good architecture”, ie a bad architect. A simple deduction.

– It’s an extreme point where sustainability is seen by society, by most architects and mainly market as a label or certificate that is stamped on the wall of the building. How and to whom we can attribute this enormous change of meaning?

Unfortunately this is so. The basis of the problem is that so far has not been defined precisely what is meant as green architecture, or what should be its particular characteristics.

On the one hand the political and economic interests are driving the wrong direction architecture by promoting the use of artifacts supposedly organic, eliminating the ecological character of the architecture, while the more expensive. On the other hand, professionals are giving the concept of organic architecture a subjective component that should not have (there are many concepts of sustainable architecture, as architects on the planet). This combination of interest and ignorance, has opened the door to an unprecedented and unusual event: the appearance of supposedly organic certification, organic and supposedly seals (which apply after being designed and built the building), that much more expensive architecture, filled with artifacts, and move farther away from the right goal.

The greatest threat to sustainable architecture in Brazil are just certifications. The use of certification not only does not promote sustainable architecture, but the departure from the right path for future developments.

The solution is simply to take the lead architects of sustainability, and focus and training in environmental disciplines and make a good architectural design. Only a good and honest rational design is the one that will provide a truly sustainable architecture, without artifacts, stamps, or media manipulation. In this sense, there is “international” a handful of capable and sensitive architects have set the personal and professional challenge of creating a good ecological architecture. The analysis of his works is that society will provide the foundation for what is meant by a true green architecture. Some projects are more complete and accurate than others, but surely, the set provides the real way forward for all architects in the world.

In this regard I would comment that I made in the best exhibition hall of Madrid (Fundación Canal, with more visits to your page that Museo del Prado and Reina Sofia) a World Sustainable Architecture exhibition. The exhibition is very complete, has a strong educational background and has been visited by 25.00 people.

Actions like this (free for society and professional) are needed to promote sustainable architecture. And forget about useless seals and certifications.

– But the question is: Why is acting this way, if you have all the means to make a truly sustainable building?. What is the problem, if it exists?.

A developer wants to make a model building, knows that it costs the same money to another building, the architects have adequate, accurate information has …. And decides to do nothing about it, and continue with business as usual, but intends to sell as “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” simply buying a stamp trading and sustainable. (I would remind you that these stamps are purchased, and are not cheap).

– What is what drives developers to do this kind of exercise? – Doing what they always have, and manipulate the city, instead of doing something better, for the same price?.

I thought a lot about this subject, and the conclusion I have reached is based on two phenomena, one social, and economic.

The social is the most dangerous, and is based on human nature itself. It has been discovered that, during human evolution, a favorable genetic mutation in humans, is followed almost immediately by a major scientific discovery (eg, the discovery of fire, wheel, chair of ride ….). Instead, it may take generations until the new discovery to be accepted by society. Cultural inertia is huge. And maybe even be an evolutionary mechanism to protect the man, but at the same time leaves him helpless before evolution.

The economy is more simple and much easier to correct. It turns out that when a business man finds a way to make money, you want to continue exploiting it indefinitely, without limit. Create a first stage of innovation, and continue the operation. Sense that must continue to innovate, but less is better. If they can do the same all his life, earning more money, better!.

That is why what has been written the book “Who stole my cheese”, to inform employers, the cheese must be sought at all times and with a sustained effort. And I know that are made in many companies. But if construction is not the same.

The construction process is quasi-one-monopoly and therefore can not afford to innovate. Thus, all developers do the same, with the same business model as the customer has no choice.

This will have become so accustomed to a process without changes, which have a real panic to change, and the need for innovation, and even when its survival is at stake. Therefore, despite having it all in his hands, and set a new course (like the clever mouse), are left crying in the cell without cheese, crying, demanding “their” cheese, and trying to manipulate those around him to continue eating it, without further effort.

These two events left somewhat helpless as the city, and the environment.

– Could you clarify for sustainable certifications, which are so common, are of no use, and also constitute a threat to sustainable architecture?

I am very pleased that I ask this question, since the greatest current danger to the development and implementation of a genuine, honest and truly sustainable architecture is precisely these alleged sustainable certifications. The use of certification not only does not promote sustainable architecture, but the departure from the right path for future developments.

This type of supposedly sustainable certifications are useless, for the following reasons:

1. Concept base.
Sustainability is fundamentally a matter of general architectural design decisions: flat south of the south wall, long axis east-west, central courtyard typology, architectural heat exchangers, vertical space communications, architectural fireplaces extraction of hot air location of most of south glass, no windows to the west or east if not strictly necessary, ventilated facades, natural ventilation systems, etc, etc ….

Almost 90% of genuine sustainable architecture are architectural decisions ONLY. That is, is the rearrangement of spaces and architectural objects and existing standard, and good decision-making, free of charge. The other 10% involves construction details, technologies and materials.

However, the alleged sustainable certifications virtually no account whatsoever of the architectural design (responsible for 90% of the level of sustainability of a building), and focus on issues relating to water collection systems, alternative energy spatial windows, control systems, building management systems, … in short, less important aspects of sustainability of a building (the remaining 10%).

Or what is, what they purport to describe the alleged sustainable certifications, is a fraction of the level of sustainability of a building, which is also just what it expensive.

In short, behind the alleged certified sustainable, there is simply a cover-up of the sale of technologies and special materials that are useless.

I’ll give an example. In the course of certification, the certification may be advised to wear a special glass, which reduces the heating of a building. This council would increase, according to them the level of sustainable building, energy saving air conditioners. However, it is really stupid, because the architect could have designed the facades of their building smaller the gap, and targeted, that would ensure the views and the desired light level, which did not require special glasses, and also the building was cheaper … … In short, the so-called sustainable certifications simply encourage the increase of buildings, and the use of expensive materials and technologies, which also would even be necessary if the building was well designed.

It is more or less as the definition of marriage to Woody Allen: “the marriage is a pact to try to resolve the problems, failing marriage, would not exist.” (Genial!).

As if that were pruned, the widespread use of such sustainable certification is alleged that the architect believes that sustainable architecture is not something you (or at most think it’s just a matter of putting a ventilated facade, a sun visor and green cover as is happening already), and that’s just a matter of technological additives, engineer, or developer. This is doubly dangerous because it would result in buildings more expensive and much less sustainable.

And what is worse, the concept of sustainable architecture resulting would be wrong and would be useless … ..

This is what is happening.

And all because …? by the desire to earn easy money from the “Green-Building-easy-business”, based on the current widespread ignorance and passivity of the architect and society.

2. Global Scope
Sustainable architecture, like any aspect of sustainable development is completely local. Therefore, assumptions and apply software design and architecture made in Washington or London, and intends to apply to any corner of the planet, is a sovereign villainy.

And this is what encouraged the “Green-Building-easy-business.”

3. Technical evaluators.
Curiously, in every corner of the planet, to discuss sustainability in all conference referred to the “Green-Building-easy-business” (except in the conferences that I organized or consultants), and invites a their representatives. It is curious that these representatives have always, in every corner of the planet, the same profile: they tend to be civil engineers (who have absolutely no idea of ​​architecture), associated with poor university professor (no idea, without passion, without talent, and nothing. “for that has been chosen-) to” bless “their work. Or what is the same, are professionals who are illiterate on the subject of certificates supposedly sustainable source of income, and easy professional future, taking advantage of the ignorance of society and the architect, and the desire of distinction and reputation of promoter hires).

4. Assessment bodies.
The “Green-Building-easy-business”, are private companies for profit, and therefore endeavor to make a profit, leaving aside the authenticity of what they do, even more in that its activity is not regulated by Law and has no liability or civil, or criminal. In short, a perfect breeding ground for getting the money to the idiots.

Or what is, to make money the “Green-Building-easy-business”, do not hesitate to put any building, how bad it is, the adjective “golden” or “platinum,” provided to be paid. They may need a minimal justification for them not see the duster, but his work will always be under suspicion.

For me, these reviews have some validity only (and very little as mentioned in point 1), if the evaluator was state and not private, were regulated by law, and were free or nearly free. That is, not earn money with it, and to do a public official.

I recently had the opportunity to see a building in the city of Santo Domingo, evaluated by one of these easy-business-Building. ” Well the developer of the building has had to pay $ 30,000 (although I said a Chilean company asked $ 100,000) to grant them a “golden.”

I put my hands to the head.

With that money pays for the building construction project and the fourth part of the building!.

Building has a design is bad enough, and if I have to give my opinion and call it from a standpoint of sustainability, the kindest thing would come out of my mouth (because of the friendship which binds me with the developer) is to tear down the building and build another. And it’s not an exaggeration, if a building is poorly designed, as much as you do to improve your sustainable behavior all you get is slightly better behavior in exchange for a ridiculously high price (as they say in Spain: cost much more than chicken broth).

5. Adjectives and labels from the evaluation.
I guess the fact be directed to an ignorant public, but eager for fame, labels from the evaluation of these supposedly sustainable certifications are histrionic and children, “plus”, “golden”, “Platinum” …

And if many bad buildings have this rating (the majority), I can not think of rating buildings should be made by any of my students (for comparison). The buildings of my students should be rated “criptonitum plus plus plus.” And the buildings made by good people should be classified as “super plus criptonitum Supernova.” And the buildings made by the architects of higher level (Ken Yeang, Jonathan Hines, Hansen and Petersen …) should be classified as “Big Bang criptonitum by Snoopy as much as plus plus …. In short, completely ridiculous.

Overall, I sincerely for all the above and many more reasons, that these supposedly sustainable certifications are worthless, and only exist because of ignorance and passivity of society and architects, and the desire of distinction and reputation of the developer who hires. The promoters want to excel in the new sustainable society of the future, want to position quickly in the new global sustainable market and do not hesitate to pay much for it. The fact is that what they pay, is useless, and worse, is a major obstacle to the development of truly sustainable development, in particular a real sustainable architecture.

Instead, sustainable design should be taught in all schools of architecture in the world. And so the buildings would be very good, much cheaper, and no money titaría certifications are worthless.

But … “with the Church, we met a friend Sancho.”

– What are the main objectives of their work to achieve a high level of sustainability?

Be honest. Work hard. Follow my own path. Study hard.

– How are aesthetic and formal issues when we think of a bioclimatic design?

Many architects design what they please, and then put four little things to justify a better environmental performance of their building.

It seems ridiculous. It makes me cringe.

The architectural design is truly holistic. Since it can not be otherwise.

– What is the city that has best understood the coexistence between Architecture and Nature, and why?

For me, in this sense there are two existing models cities: Seattle and Reykjavik (and by extension, all of Iceland), and one city in the project: Masdar City.

Seattle is an example of how an American city has been able to compact, cultured and self-control in environmental management, social and cultural correctly (and that, being in the United States, its initial level was very low). To my knowledge this is the first city that began to use sustainability indicators to channel their sustainable development.

Reykjavik is a city of a poor nation, located on an isolated island (forgive the redundancy) and extremely cold, with few resources. Although it has been known to use geothermal energy and the sea for clean energy self-sufficiency and sustainable development.

Masdar City is a city that is currently being established, led by the richest Arab emirate of all Abu Dhabi. This emirate has been able to wait, learn and not make the same mistakes his poor brother Dubai, with all the social disasters, human, economic and environmental progress made. Instead of striking architectural and chaotic bullshit, Abu Dhabi, has structured its development on three pillars, the culture (through a hierarchy that pivots into 5 major museums), society (making a city that functions as such and not a new “Disney Dubai World”) and sustainability (making settlements self-sufficient in water, energy and food). This is the case of the new city Masdar City.

2. Latin America

– The huge housing shortage and the lack of better and more coherent proposals for social housing in Latin America is a recurring theme. The demand for new homes in Brazil over 6 million. How do you analyze these issues with reference to this great challenge of the architecture?

For in Brazil will be the same happened in Spain and other countries are going to build lots of houses, many of them are advertised as “sustainable” and none of them have virtually nothing to sustainability. Put your hand in the fire that happens. The lie, manipulate, go for the easy way, and quickly seize the opportunity to earn easy money is intrinsic to human nature …… Society needs to educate themselves, like a child needs an education.

However, among many homes will be built, they can still be a handful, by architects honest and preparations which are truly sustainable.

– You believe that no solution to the urban development model horizontal low density of cities in Latin America? How could we recycle and improve these cities in a sustainable manner?

As for all America only propose an original urban pattern. Without this model can not give others.

It is the compaction of the city based on a few concentrated actions aimed at promoting infrastructure and quality of human life. It is generated with public money “iconic landmarks” in the city, desired by all citizens, to end private initiative to develop the city around them, in an orderly, useful and hierarchical. This is recycled and compacted properly. There is much to do, but the sooner you start, before it’s over.

The process is similar to what has been tried successfully in many Spanish cities, but above all in Valencia. In Valencia a right prevails “blaverista” dye and illiterate village, which has been entrenched and perpetuated. As the central government is socialist, it facilitates the transfer of funds held in demand for autonomy Levant. Valencia has therefore had to devise a way to create wealth endogenous:

1. Building large buildings and infrastructure to give than to speak and attract the interest of the people (regardless of its usefulness).

2. This done, he provided all possible facilities (including administrative and political corruption) so that developers built around these activities.

3. The money from the sale of property is shared with the regional administration, and that was that. Is an indirect way that citizens willingly pay, regardless of the quality of what is sold.

In reality it is an old strategy, “the carrot that attracts the donkey.”

A basic strategy, but very useful when urgent changes are needed, and with few resources.

– While most of his works focus on Spain, especially in Valencia, and has worked in Colombia and Mexico. As noted architectural production in these countries? They are concerned about the sustainability of buildings?

Of all the countries of the world believe that the only countries genuinely interested in sustainability are the Nordic countries.

3. Scenario Spanish / Careers

– The theory of the Inverted Pyramid model is very positive because it emphasizes the role of the architect and training to achieve just the architectural design with a high degree of sustainability without the use of additives known as technology. This is your theory? Please enlighten the concept.

That’s right. The liability of 90% of sustainability in architecture lies entirely with the architectural design and decisions of the architect. The rest are special materials, technologies and new construction solutions. And this 10% is all that may become more expensive.

– How is the Spanish standard of construction with respect to key issues such as energy efficiency, emissions reduction and environmental comfort? No supervision or self still applicable?

Spain Technical Code (CTE) has nothing to do with sustainable architecture. Have been politicians who have been responsible for disseminating this fallacy.

– Within the concept of innovation, we can highlight two types: incremental innovation that enhances and improves a product or a means to achieve something, and radical innovation, moving to bigger steps, driven by breaking paradigms in which assumes much greater potential risk. Which of the two concepts fit their jobs?

For me every job is an opportunity to reinvent the architecture.

– Tell us what would happen if interpretations of cases and decisions of the project to achieve a bioclimatic design are wrong?

Quite simply, the project can behave worse than a conventional building behaves. So be careful and not make mistakes or make frivolous only have an objective media.

Such is the ignorance people have of bioclimatic that with my experience I can say things like: how much more professional speech “cross ventilation”, “passive systems”, less known bioclimatic. He simply believed what he read in a simple manual. Manual which has in turn been written, probably in another country (usually Costa Rica, France) for anyone who has read the other hand … until the 60’s. As a result, everyone is talking about the same, without having experienced anything personally. Thus perpetuating the ignorance and incompetence.

– Examine how the formation of its students to join the course? They already have the knowledge of bioclimatic strategies for the development of good architectural design?

Just choose about 15 students each year. And I am a dedicated staff, the best way I can. My students are my friends and my family every year. The care, and give them the best of me. Have the skills they have (very deficient in general).

– We know that approximately 50 to 100% of carbon emissions that are causing unprecedented climate changes attributed to the construction and operation of our built environment. Today we removed the 20% more land than we can replenish. We face a problem that seems monumental and very few are those who feel ready for that task. Cree in the “ecocide” as happened to Easter Island for our country?

It is a risk and possibly much closer than it seems. People never think that one day will die. And companies do not think they will never perish. But the fact is that all people are going to die (and our time will depend on how we care), and all societies will disappear (depending on how they manage their natural resources).

Economic development could go wrong model as the American or Chinese. The closer it slowly decay.

Instead, Brazil could create a new model d indigenous sustainable development in balance with their ecosystem.

Difficult task in a country that slavery still exists and that piece is cut to the Amazon jungle. But it is possible.

– Unfortunately, today, in today’s market you have the reputation of organic is more expensive than comparable products that do not carry the same “seal.” Why does this happen? How is this relationship within your projects? Do they have a competitive price construction

My buildings have a huge level of sustainability and cost less than a conventional building.

What’s more, if I say that architecture is more expensive than conventional is simply not sustainable. Since the premium is due to poor architectural design and poor decisions.

The origin of the idea that sustainable architecture is more expensive than the conventional has two origins.

1. Many conventional architecture is simply very bad. Does not even meet minimal human needs. So cheap but fragile.

2. There is a misconception of what is sustainable architecture. Technology companies want to promote the sale of their supposed green products and have good relationships with the architects. So the idea was adopted comfortable as possible for sustainable architecture is the same as a conventional style, but full of “gadgets” sustainable. (Air conditioners, home automation systems, special tinted glass, foreign materials, advanced technologies ….). Therefore, if a conventional architecture are added things simply get more expensive architecture.

What happens is that the resulting architecture has nothing sustainable, and others is bad architecture.

Good architecture and truly sustainable architecture is a different architecture, more thoughtful, without unnecessary technological additives, and no unnecessary materials and capricious.

It’s time for nonsense and let us do good architecture, away from the inertia of the architects dinosaurs, far from commercial interests and away from purely visual proposals.

Architects have to stop playing like children ignorant, capricious and irresponsible, and should start behaving like adults.

5. World Sustainable Architecture Exhibition “Towards Other Architectures” / Eco Urbanism

– Luis, you’re the curator of the exhibition to other architectures is happening in Madrid, where he shows 24 projects in 12 major names in architecture on the world stage. What was the criterion for the selection of these architects and their works?

I have chosen the world’s best architects involved in sustainable architecture. I chose two of his best projects.

The idea is to have projects of all types, with different goals, backgrounds and views.

Each outfit project is not, nor intended to be.

But the sum of the 24 projects gives an idea of ​​what is meant by sustainable architecture.

This exhibition is very important to me, as there is currently widespread misinformation about what is and what architecture should be sustainable.

– Among the precious works, two major projects on a more generous: The ecological and self-sufficient cities Masdar City architect Norman Foster, in Abu Dhabi and the Eco-city in the Spanish territory of the Dutch office MVRDV. Examines how these two major projects coherent and ambitious?

The ambition is now frowned upon because it gives the wrong word meaning, linked to a concept of economic enrichment and unscrupulous. However, the ambition, in its correct meaning, is fundamental to human development.

Without ambition cunclillas’d still be eating rotten meat eating an antelope killed.

And the ambition is that we can help make things right.

Therefore, these two projects are a model for mankind to make things better.

– In Spain there are excellent models for the development of cities, such as the autonomous region of Catalonia, Andalusia, Castilla la Mancha, etc … What about cities that are? Relationships which could do about the chaotic development model São Paulo and the planned city of Brasilia?

Brasília has no solution. Its genesis was wrong, as they believe a ghost town full of giant sculptures, forgetting about the people and their needs. It was just a little thought of personal whim. To my Brasília exemplifies the biggest mistake of urban planning and architecture of our time.

Instead São Paulo can be a chaotic, but it is compact and half the work already done.

Paula São solution passes through the structuring of the megalopolis in separate districts of about half a million people off from each other by green spaces, and with rapid communication systems.

Each district should have the greatest degree of independence and self-sufficiency, thereby avoiding the need to move the occupants. Similarly, when the need arises, moving from one district to another must be as fast as possible.

In addition, each district should be governed quite independently of the other, so as to encourage citizen participation, and that their money is going to improve those things that are nearby.

Thus the chaotic megalopolis of São Paulo would become a federation of municipalities green compact and self-sufficient.

Of course this would avoid many of the current problems of São Paulo, including the absurd traffic jam that steals 10% of the life of the citizens of São Paulo, eliminating happiness, life and business competitiveness.

– Many are the cities that must go through a process of territorial and organizational restructuring and compaction of the urban fabric. Improving established cities, recycling in a sustainable way?

Cities must urgently initiate a process of urban recycling, which includes several parameters that must go hand in hand with urban compaction process.

Without doubt, European countries have this task much simpler than the American countries, where the city is scattered, designed for road travel, and with a pitiful infrastructure.

The first thing to do is encourage people to want to live in a compact way to make more money by surface and thus meet the costs which will assume the necessary infrastructure and sustainable actions designed to reduce energy consumption optimize resources and reduce emissions and waste.

Why architects should propose new ways of building topologies suggestive, to increase the quality of the blocks due multifamily and stimulate people’s desire not to live in detached houses antiecological away from urban centers.

– Finally, what is your vision regarding the future of architecture? What we must understand that architecture will be like?

Jajajajajajaja … well, unfortunately, very similar to today.

These days I’m reading a book from a person whom I admire greatly: “The trip to the power of the mind” (Ed. Destino), Eduard Punset. Punset In this book, among many interesting things said that brain regions activated in the process of memory formation are the same that are activated when we imagine what might happen in the future. Specifically these areas are: the sensory cortex, the limbic system (amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus and prefrontal cortex. (According to studies of teachers and Gilbert Schacter, Harvard University).

It is an extraordinary discovery, and this explains several things, our ability to distort memories and accommodate them as we please, or to predict the future, we need to modify only slightly the past, making predictions also at whim.

Therefore, a healthy brain can not make good predictions, and have only been the “visionary”, “creative” and “crazy”, those who have made remarkable predictions (more or less chance of success.

But what we can do is extrapolate the step, identify patterns of evolution, evolutionary leaps intuit, intuit unexpected obstacles, and apply these laws looking to create possible future scenarios.

Accordingly we should observe the progress made by architecture in the last 50 years (very few), to identify patterns in continuous development (basically an evolution of a current formal rationalist), identify evolutionary jumps (too much attention to the “form” over other aspects that remain in the background or simply forgotten), sense unexpected jumps (new system of human values, global economic crisis, environmental need …) ….

Accordingly I would say the following:

The architecture will be completely different in Europe (whose population is aging, his wealth will stagnate, and be less competitive) than in emerging countries (India, China, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Caribbean, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, …) where you will find an extraordinary architecture broth to evolve. Architecture in the United States will maintain more or less as it is now and I do not foresee substantial changes (simply will boost the nuclear energy to keep things more or less the same).

Europe will focus on recycling in the city and its equipment (sustainable public transport, promotion of green spaces, bike lanes, removal of asphalt, etc. ..) as well as rehabilitation of existing homes and buildings, adapting to new social needs. The population will be poor and aged, and architects devote their efforts to more social activities than constructive. The buildings will be transformed continuously, and be more flexible, multimedia and environmental.

This will create a wellness culture, with few ambitions .. As a result, Europe is the cradle of the best ideas, but many of them be applied in emerging countries.

In emerging countries will be compacted, little by little cities. The architecture will be more energy efficient and more industrialized, that is, have more factory-made components. Also incorporate water recycling systems and waste treatment systems, because water and garbage taxes are substantially higher than today. On the other hand, the houses will be very hot because the air conditioning systems will be very expensive and electricity too.

Of course, telecommunications and multimedia systems that will incorporate very advanced and affordable. In the same way, the buildings have a lot of safety devices.

Therefore should not expect great performances, and large formal changes. Besides, that would be a good sign. What should be done in the next 50 years at least, is how much and ill sort has been done so far. We will attend as a turning point in history. What happens after the year 2050 is already in the degree of maturity that gets humanity.

– What are the main tasks of modern architecture to improve the lives of people today, a change in the financial crisis, climate changes and the scarcity of natural resources?

The financial crisis has resulted from several economic experiments that have tested the limits of our current post-capitalist system. That means that we simply have reviewed the pillars that this capitalist system and that this should be replaced by a sustainable capitalist system, closer to the foundation laid by Adam Smith to the primal protocapitalista system.

Similarly, an architecture that has been nurtured in this capitalist system obsolete should be rejected with all urgency. even more when the architecture is implemented with a significant delay with respect to social and economic reality that generated it.

ultimately the most important thing is that society and young professionals in architecture radically reject the architecture is usually done. That is, do not buy it and not make it. But this is complicated because it requires establishing new patterns of action and a new scale of social values. And this is precisely the priority. That is, the solution lies in the young architects who are now studying in different schools of architecture in the world and are totally dissatisfied with what is being taught.

The team must make a new architecture that is in balance with nature and to ensure the happiness of the people.

I have already indicated what must be done to make a truly sustainable architecture, and then I would like to offer my views on the features that should have the architecture to ensure the happiness of the people.

Of course, everyone has a different concept of happiness, and therefore should be offered different things to improve their lives through architecture.

However I consider that, at least, it should take several things into account:

1. Natural lighting
There is a vast literature that shows that in an atmosphere of natural light gives a lot more comfort and better health. Therefore, buildings and homes should be designed so that natural light reaches every corner (no exceptions), so that, while there is sunlight, it can develop any kind of activity anywhere in the house, without artificial lighting. (If it’s daytime and you’re reading this article in a room with artificial lighting, begin to consider change of life, work, and housing).

2. Breathability (natural ventilation continued)
When you look at all pathogens of a house (which lead to sick building syndrome), one realizes that one of the more general and effective methods to get more welfare is natural ventilation. Well, the best way to get a continuous natural ventilation (no energy losses) is adopting porous walls. Like our skin, or our clothes, humans should perspire through the skin of our buildings, to ensure our health, our welfare and happiness. To do this, all materials used must be breathable, allowing air to pass through but not water. Unfortunately, most of the materials commonly used in the exterior walls are not breathable (plastic paints, insulating usual mono-layer mortar, mortars, resins, …), which is manifested in a feeling of “choking”, which requires us to open the windows continuously (with the consequent waste of energy and loss of welfare), or simply to escape the building.

3. Technological simplicity
After 20 years of practice, and used the most advanced technologies in homes, I realized that the more devices have a building or a house, the worse we feel. And is that all devices are maintenance free, and sooner or later break down. And with that comes the personality changes, instability, and nervous disorders. In conclusion, the less technology to have a building, and more simple words, the less it will spoil, and the better we feel. The only artifacts I have in my home are: a refrigerator, a washing machine, hob (no oven as I have not used, and consumes lots of energy), a phone, two electronic faucets, a computer and a TV. I have nothing, and I will never have more.

4. High level of “naturalness” in the materials
Another thing I learned from my experience is that all components of a building must have had the least manipulation possible. This ensures the best use of resources, reduced waste generation and lower energy consumption. But also, this will guarantee our welfare. An example will help me explain this general rule: it is better to simply sawn planks and soaked in vegetable oil, which wood to use with all types of treatment, protection and varnishes. This second type of timber can contain many toxic substances, is not capable of self-regulation of moisture, and does not smell like wood or perceived … The less handling the materials have been used in a home, bring us closer to nature, and Therefore, you get a much healthier habitat.

5. Simple architectural design and Nonmonotonic
In the past 5 years, my architectural language has evolved a lot, and this allows me to get much more interesting buildings. The overall objective is to get spaces and simple shapes, but continually changing, as they are moving their occupants (in the house and around it). In this way, buildings are always a surprise to the occupants, because they can always find a game in different ways, depending on your point of view. The buildings will never get bored, and invite the occupants to the “tastes.” And it increases your happiness.

6. Appropriate colors
The colors (polarized solar radiation) are of great importance in the health and welfare of people. Therefore, our buildings should stop taking the monotony of white walls and ceilings, and the monotony of the tiles in bathrooms and kitchens. Instead they should be carefully chosen colors and materials. This will make us much happier in every moment of our existence.

7. Sense of security and privacy
Every day this becomes more important to get our happiness, because every day we have more attacks on our privacy and our security. In rural villages struck a balance between freedom, privacy, and between freedom-security, but in the cities often wins the freedom and privacy in exchange for having no social life (do not want anyone to meddle in our lives) and no security (to our neighbor not interested). As a result, we, in the long run, a loss of happiness. Well, as long I managed to make a type of house in which the occupants can fully enjoy nature, and can feel very safe (using bioclimatic grids, umbrellas, and using various security strategies that I can not write clearly .) All this makes my clients achieve the desired balance, and have the right environment to achieve happiness.

8. Seasonal thermal variability
Our society’s new-rich-hicks (which we achieved in Spain, and in general in many countries) causes us to turn away more and more of the life cycles of nature. We left our homes with air conditioning, to get into a car with air conditioning, go to work with air conditioning, eat in a restaurant with air conditioning, and a movie with air conditioning …. Overall, we came home at night not knowing what day it was done (we have to tell the weather man to know.) This ridiculous lifestyle takes its toll, and is responsible for much of our discomfort, as more and tolerate less natural temperature variations, so increasingly we become more irritable, severely damaging our happiness. It is therefore advisable to live in a bioclimatic building. A bioclimatic building keeps us cool in summer (no Are conditioning), without damaging our health and keeps us warm in winter (without expensive boilers and with little energy consumption), in a natural way. When leaving the house because we simply remove clothing, or put it to us. And now. We notice some cold in winter, and some heat in the summer to feel united with nature. So we will be happier (and we’ve saved 90% of the money).

9. Absence of pathogens
Clearly we can not run the risk of surrounding ourselves with any pathogen. But the problem is to manufacture many building materials have been used elements that can seriously damage our health. Simply the architect must know, and avoid them. More suspicious materials are: windows (or never put aluminum, or PVC), insulation (do not put any of the usual, because they are all bad), paint (do not put any plastic paints), varnishes, treatments wood, some plastics, furniture finishes, etc … I can not give an exhaustive list, because, unfortunately, most of the materials in a building around us harm our health. Of course, in my home there is absolutely no material harmful to our health, because I choose carefully (I’m adviser firms even some varnishes and paints, chemical choice of its components).

10. Minimum maintenance
I have very clear that a building and a house is to serve man, and man must enjoy it. It is therefore important to have some complicity (tasks of cleaning, garden arrangement, small repairs …), but no more. Some homes come with such experimental technology to rile its occupants, as maintained in a state of semi-slavery, or simply do not work (the whole house home automation do this, and ironically sold the technology to give us the excuse of freedom) . Therefore we must use materials with no maintenance (I use a lot of wood in my house, but do not maintain it once and forget about the paint), decrease the amount of technology in our homes, and we must carefully study the design of the house. In this way we will be more free and happy.

I can ensure you meet all the above is a simple task, as long as they have the appropriate knowledge, and of course, if you have the will to carry them out.

Giuliano Augusto Pelaio

Entrevista Luis De Garrido en portugues

Entrevista Luis De Garrido en español

La Arquitectura de Luis De Garrido (NATURALEZAS ARTIFICIALES)

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