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AmetsLab ecoefficient architecture company launched

TECNALIA Technology Corporation and the Metropoli Foundation, who have been collaborating on a number of projects related to intelligent territories, energy efficiency in neighbourhoods and buildings, new building typologies etc., have created AmetsLab, a new technology-based enterprise in the sector of bioclimatic and ecoefficient architecture, symbolised by the "Zero" building.

This has been the outcome of a joint reflection on the opportunities arising from the new context of the housing and construction sector. The new building sets itself the goal of reducing to zero three fundamental aspects: energy, water and waste. The idea behind the “Zero Energy” objective is that the building generates the energy it needs for its functioning. For its conception, construction and functioning, the building should require the minimum amount of energy and this demand should be obtained from renewable sources. To this end, the areas to be harnessed are the experience and knowledge on bioclimatic architecture, renewable energies, micro-grids and materials optimisation. The “Zero Water” target looks atminimising water consumption. Experiences in water reuse within buildings (greywater reuse), the intelligent use of rainwater and systems for reducing consumption will be, amongst others, the technological areas to be exploited. The “Zero Waste” objective is based on the optimisation of waste management during the stages of construction, useful life and deconstruction of buildings, and on the capacity to reuse or recycle previously used materials when dismantling and deconstructing a building, i.e. zero rubble/waste. Modular construction units, manufactured in a factory and then transported in trucks for their assembly on-site, will provide a significant reduction of construction time, estimated to be between 8 and 14 months. This innovative way of building is known as “offsite building”. At a primary stage, research and design efforts will focus on office buildings for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), professional studios and offices, business centres and nurseries, and other medium-sized tertiary uses. Buildings will be3 to 4-storeys high. Initial contacts with Basque enterprises willing to manufacture or build these new buildings have been very promising, and there are a number of companies interested in forming a strategic alliance that would make this dream (“amets” in Basque) come true. This technology-based enterprise will act as a channel for the above-mentioned organisations so that the results of their research on the City, Architecture and building technologies reach the market and the public at large and help in minimising the impact of the urban environment on the natural one. AmetsLab is located in the TECNALIA business nursery at the Bizkaia Technological Park.

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