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Edificio A, Can Sant Joan Business Park - Sant Cugat del Vallès

Wyróżniony Przypadek October 2013
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CAN SANT JOAN BUSINESS PARK is made up of four office buildings located in a fully consolidated business park which has a green area comprised of the natural surroundings as well as excellent road communication and public transportation links in the Barcelona area.

BUILDING A is the first building that was erected on the site. Various factors improve its quality and sustainability, such as the orientation of the building, good architectural design, spaces which incorporate day-lighting and are open to the surrounding landscapes, the level of comfort and energy efficiency. The building has achieved the ‘Most Efficient’ or ‘Letter A’ energy performance certificate, assigned by the “Institut Català d’Energia” according to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC). The level of sustainability of the work site has been certified by the ‘Preliminary Evaluation Gold Level’ in Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Sustainable Building Certification, Core and Shell.

General data

Project type : new construction

Building Type : office building

Construction Year : 2008

Climate zone : north-west  Mediterranean

Net Floor Area : 4 000 m2

Construction cost : 6 000 000 €

Number of work stations : 600 work stations

Cost/m2 : 1 500 €/m2

Cost/work station : 10 000 €/Work station


Energy consumption

Primary energy demand (for heating, cooling and domestic hot water): 53,3 kWh/(m2y)

Primary energy demand (for heating, cooling and domestic hot water) for standard building: 230,0 kWh/(m2y)

(Calculation method according to Spanish regulation RD 47/2007)

Energy use for lighting: 13,5 kWh/(m2y)

Annual CO2 emissions: 34,6 kgCO2/m2


Envelope performance

Average thermal transmittance of building envelope: U-Value = 0,40 W/(m2K)



Heating system: heat pump

Hot water system: solar thermal in combination with common hot water system

Cooling system: VRV Syst. (Variable refrigerant Volume)

Ventilation system:  mechanical ventilation systems with double flow heat recovery, Air Handling Unit, in combination with natural ventilation

Renewable systems: Solar Thermal


Architectural description

The design of the building is based on many aspects such as the relationship with the natural environment, special care for mobility and accessibility, optimization of space, maximum benefit of day-lighting and the application of technical systems to reach a high level of comfort.

The almost triangular shape of the building site and its topography played a key role in the layout and design of the four blocks, which also took into account the sunlight and the surrounding views, as only 24% of the site land is used and the proportion of glass façade per m2 of office surface is 2 to 3.

The Building

The construction shows a total of 700 m² built per floor on an open plan distribution; the structure allows free spans of 9 meters and continuous windows all around the office perimeter.

The air conditioning installation scheme follows a shared system of variable volume refrigerating -VRV- known for its efficiency and flexibility. The orientation and geometry of the building allows the system to compensate for either the hot or cool temperature required simultaneously on both the east and west facades.

Natural cross ventilation is integrated with air conditioning by means of automatic switchers that activate/deactivate the air conditioning when windows are closed/opened (this is not a highly accepted system among users, although it is useful to avoid the overuse of the system, reducing its energy demand and maintenance needs).

In the offices, air exchange is increased by 35% in respect to standard building regulations in order to guarantee a better indoor environment and a high occupancy level.

As an additional means for saving energy, the enthalpic system recovers 40% of the expelled energy in ventilation flow.

The lighting scheme uses latest-generation compact fluorescent lamps, which guarantee an increase of 47% energetic efficiency, in compliance to the new CTE (Spanish Technical Building Code).

The garden around the building is designed in accordance with the principles of  Xeriscaping (‘Xerojardineria’ in Spanish), a gardening method used to protect the environment as it allows rain water coming from the roof and ground areas to be recycled. The use of Mediterranean trees and vegetation permits a low index of water consumption. It is also perfectly integrated into the existing landscape.

The Building Skin

The building's façade, made up of a modular system curtain wall with high-performance, low-emissivity (Low-E) glass which filters solar radiation and makes it possible to obtain levels of thermal and acoustic insulation which are substantially above standards for office buildings.

This provides a good relationship between light transmission, solar factor and thermal insulation; opening windows, spaced at 8 meter intervals, are aligned on opposite fronts.

The skin characteristics of this building provide comfort, adequate energy consumption level and a low construction waste emissions.

In this sense the building skin improves the following aspects:

1. Higher thermal insulation with 80% basic standard regulation in the new CTE (Spanish Technical Building Code)

2. Higher sound proofing with 44% basic standard regulation

3. 70% of filtered solar radiation

4. 44% natural light intake

5. Natural ventilation circulation crossing

6. High level of airtightness.

The Infrastructures

The Park has the required electrical transforming power stations as well as the electrical grouping power station for each building and its shared areas. The electrical installations are designed for their use on each level independently.

The general control of the infrastructures is centralized, it allows for detailed checking of each of the individual building´s operational systems. The centralized control desk is situated at the reception hall and permits:

1. 24 hour Security controlled by cameras.

2. Access control to building area by card detectors.

3. Fire control system by automatic detection.

4. Air conditioning system in common areas and individual working spaces.

5. External lighting system for both the urbanization and building.

6. Irrigation system for plants.

7. Centralized data reception for the main building control systems.

8. Measurement of electricity consumption for each area independently.


Urban context

The Parc Empresarial Can Sant Joan is situated in the heart of the metropolitan area of Barcelona; its proximity provides easy access to other regions in or outside of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. Transport links include trains, bus service and, in future plans, a High Speed Train.


Lessons learnt

"If we had to do it again: Lighting system through rings with automatic on/off switch related to the natural lighting levels. Include aerothermia heat pump system for servicing waters (domestic hot water). Propose integral aerothermia system for air conditioning and domestic hot water".

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