Facility of Renewable Energies – Olot
A Green Energy Central in the Historical Urban Center of Olot
The essence of the project deals with the integration, in a dense urban fabric and in existing buildings, of facilities generating renewable energies. The consequence of this is obviously that there is a visual presence to be exploited and exposed, bringing the transition towards a zero-carbon future to the streets of our cities. At the ground floor and the basement of the former hospital of Olot, which will be destined to become an administrative building, the municipality planned the rooms necessary for an energy infrastructure that provides heating and cooling for a cluster of municipal buildings in its direct surroundings, with a total of 40.000m2. The energy sources are geothermal, biomass and PV and their impressive sophisticated machinery relate in a particular way to their extraordinary container: a simple plain XX-th century building with brick façade and discrete interior. Integrating this function into the existing structure was an example of innovative rehabilitation. The urban façade of restaurants and shops is interrupted by a showroom dedicated to the functioning of renewable energies. Large graphics indicate the main elements of the installation and explain the process of generating sustainable energy, using thus architecture to create awareness. The installation serves as an example for other cities and villages, that struggle to make their inner cities carbon-neutral. The whole infrastructure was nick-named the Clever Network of Olot, because of the efficiency that has been generated through the diversity of energy sources and of the nine connected buildings, each with its own function and thus energy demands, according to different time-schedules. Two biomass stoves generate 600kW for heating, the geothermal pumps generate 180kW of hot and cold water and the PV installation provides 25kW of electricity to run the whole network. The Clever Network of Olot and its Central won the European Heat Pump Award and the Award for Energetic Excellence in Catalonia.
Fotos: Antonio Navarro Wijkmark