The ROCKWOOL Sustainability Awards recognise the Final Degree Project (TFG) of students Macarena González and Yamil Chapoñán

Macarena González, a student in the final year of Architecture at UIC Barcelona, has won the ROCKWOOL Sustainability Award for her project “E! Mobility”, in a ceremony held on 14 July as part of the Architecture TFGs. In her TGF, González designed a building that functions as a recycling plant and battery production plant for personal mobility vehicles. 

These awards recognise the Architecture TGFs at UIC Barcelona that incorporate the best solutions in the field of sustainability, in a coherent manner and from the initial conception of the project.

For Macarena González’s project, the jury evaluated the challenge of working with pre-existing elements, and the rigor in the energy calculations before and after the intervention.  The jury also highlighted the flexibility and quality of the spaces, the integration of the building into the environment and the fact that it manages to cover more than 60% of its needs with renewable energies.

The second prize was awarded to Yamil Chapoñán for her vertical greenhouse project “Grower.” The jury highlighted her commitment to make agriculture compatible with the urban layout in density, the concern and technical proposals to limit water consumption in the agricultural sector, and deepening of the carbon footprint of the entire life cycle. In addition, Chapoñán has developed a tool for calculating carbon footprint in the Building Life programme, awarded by the Green Building Council España.

The jury awarded special mention to Paula Rodríguez, whose proposal stands out for giving coherence and rigor to an excellent architectural design, backed by a scientific study methodology for quantifying environmental impact and user comfort.

The jury for the ROCKWOOL Awards was composed of Sandra Bestraten, president of the Barcelona Demarcation of the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC); Greta Tresserra, member of Sustainability, Innovation and Internationalization of the COAC; Jordi Guivernau, architect for UIC Barcelona and member of the ROCKWOOL Technical Department; Teresa Batlle, Picharchitects/Pich-Aguilera, coordinators since 2013 of the Sustainability Awards for Final Degree Projects (TFG), and Mauro Manca, lecturer at UIC Barcelona, architect and civil-environmental engineer.

Sandra Bestraten stressed “the boldness of the projects. They worked on strategies that address very current issues, such as decarbonisation, batteries or proximity marketing. In many cases they recover existing buildings that are obsolete or in disuse… and there is nothing more sustainable than taking advantage of and giving architectural dignity to an existing building.”

Jordi Guivernau explained that the objective of the award is to “close the training cycle of future architects, valuing the criticality of the environmental impact of their projects throughout the life cycle of a building. At present, the sectoral regulatory approach to sustainability focuses on the use phase of the building. With these awards, and from the point of view of GHG emissions, we appreciate that the impact of the construction processes, the materials used, and the demolition and recycling phase were also considered.”

“The UIC Barcelona Architecture TFGs incorporate a specific work on decarbonisation, in partnership with the Green Building Council of Spain and participating in the European Building Life project,” Mauro Manca said. “Students applied the methodology and tools to measure emissions in both the construction phase and in the use phase of each building, and performed a life cycle analysis,” he added.

Teresa Batlle in turn explained that “the awards have managed to integrate sustainability into the architecture project. Over all these years, we talked about the importance of bioclimatic architecture, energy efficiency, environmental impact on building construction and use, including assembly and disassembly to move toward a circular economy.” She also emphasised that “teachers and students see sustainability mainly environmental, but also social and economic, as an aspect that must be considered from the outset of the project. In this regard, it has been and an intense and very fruitful 10 years.”

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