Inflatable Building: Insulation meets Evolution in Barcelona

What will they think of next? This is by far one of the most interesting blog finds of the year. Before the great manufacturing decline of the 20th century, Barcelona was a grand industrial hub. Now the city is trying to revitalize the areas riddled with abandoned mills. One project spearheading this initiative is a test project called 22@Barcelona. The vision


for the new district includes “energy autonomous” buildings that serve as new offices and factories. The Media-TIC building, designed by Cloud9 architects, is one of the most striking and innovative sights in 22@Barcelona. 

The newly constructed building features an inflatable Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE) skin. A solar-powered automatic light sensor, that regulates sunlight and temperature for the structure, controls the skin. Essentially the skin is a dynamic form of insulation and super energy-efficient window in one. The ETFE skin allows light to filter through but shades the people inside from direct sunlight, reducing UV rays by 85%. Additionally, the skin is an anti-adherent, which minimizes the need for external cleaning and maintenance. Be sure to check out some pictures of Barcelona’s most recent experiment below. 
Everyday, scientists and engineers push building materials to the limits and are continually integrating energy with structure. If you are interested in taking advantage of some of the most recent breakthroughs, be sure to contact us about our 3rd generation Solar Hot Water Systems, Energy Efficient Renewal by Andersen Windows, and Owens Corning Fiberglass Insulation.

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