Solar Facades

Buenos Aires is going through a severe energetic crisis, given that the State has been subsidising up to 90% of the energy bill for the last 10 years. This resulted in users lacking of awareness of the value of energy, and designs without any environmental consideration. The subsidy will be removed, and the general mass of architects does not have the environmental know-how. This investigation intends to bridge the gap by analysing common practice and evaluating their impact on interior conditions and energy consumption.

The Spanish grid inherited by Latin American cities divides the urban landscape into square blocks of equal size that are subdivided into identical plots of 8.66m width and varying depth. Building regulations standardise even further the options available within any given plot. In combination with passive design strategies the paper shows that it is possible to achieve free-running conditions for residential units. The outcome is a set of design guidelines, tabulated for designers. Adoption of the guidelines is estimated to reduce average energy consumption by 2/3, resulting in large savings for occupants as well as for the State.

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This research was carried out at the SED master of the Architectural Association. The paper was presented at PLEA 2017 in collaboration with Simos Yannas.