Irene Vivas Lalinde

During a day we take thousands of decisions.  In our life, some of them will have an impact on other people lives. Sometimes we just follow patterns while, in other occasions, we innovate. What a powerful word, don’t you think? This blog is from a citizen to citizen and here, I’ll share with you stories of people with a sustainable attitude.

Today’s story is about Gustavo, Marta and their wonderful children: Andrea and Gustavo or Guga, as his family calls him; trying to take advantage of technology to have a liveable, sustainable and comfortable house.  Gustavo undertook some innovations while reforming their house in a town near Valencia (Spain), where he grew up. He knew the context and its details; sea breeze, summer nights, winter light –  and the company of mosquitos too-. As a professional of the port sector, he got inspired by the textures and materials of vessels and huge structures which he sees every day.

When the heat hits this beloved city, citizens usually switch on their air conditioning. This is also quite usual in beachfront apartments which, even with the fresh breeze, seem to be quite hot after daily solar radiation. How did this family managed to avoid air conditioning?

Let’s have a look on the details:

Skylights to have both, light and air circulation

Yes! They can be opened when it is necessary to let hot air to exit. Sometimes, it is better to follow the laws of the nature. Moreover, all the rooms have natural light so the energy consumption is low.

The facades are huge doors with little rounds, sounds weird, right?

BUT the light goes in, the heat goes out… without affecting their privacy or safety.

The sea breeze come in, the mosquitos stay out and the house is cool!!!!

Spain is not the paradise of sustainable practices in construction. However, a project in Tres Cantos (Madrid) recently won a prize for a building that, among other characteristics, does not require air conditioning (despite usual 35º C in summer) in order to keep the households at an appropriate temperature.

More and more, architects and designers tend to include environmental friendly criteria when designing new projects. Indeed, this design (by the architect Pilar Bosch Soriano from Mgaarqtos) won a prize of the School of Architecture of Valencia.
But, could this have been possible without Gustavo awareness and approach, trying to innovate and make the most out of the less?  Probably not. Andrea and Guga are about to start their adolescence. They will grow up knowing that innovation (and imagination) can make a difference!

Irene Vivas Lalinde

The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of ALDA and the European Union.