Sustainable Buildings

TTA is involved in bioclimatic and sustainable building projects. The operational model is to work in collaboration with architectural firms, contributing TTA’s skills in bioclimatic design, thermal calculations or thermal modelling to project preliminary design. TTA also participates in designing the energy efficient installations and introducing the use of renewable energies in the buildings.

The objective is to design new buildings or retrofit existing ones with a very low thermal energy demand, and to incorporate other sustainability measures, for example in selecting materials, reducing water use and reusing rainwater and grey water, and making use of vegetation around the built environment.


Rehabilitación de la fachada del COAC – Plan general de instalaciones del edificio de COAC


COAC | Col•legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya
2015 - 2016

TTA, together with the team of architects Fuses Viader, was the winner of the 2014 Competition of ideas for the rehabilitation of the building’s façade of the COAC headquarters, located at Barcelona’s cathedral square, and particularly known by its Picasso’s sgraffito frieze. Built in 1962, it is one of the first buildings of rationalist style in Barcelona and it is classified and protected by the city of Barcelona

The objective of the competition was to select a proposal for a Project of rehabilitation of the façade, which is a great part of the building’s envelope; over the last 50 years due to its use, it has suffered significant damage and caused over energy consumption. Other of the competition conditions were related to preserve the spirit of the original Project, as well as to reduce the energy consumption and to integrate self-consumption in the building. The architectural rehabilitation proposal anticipated to maintain the transparent surface proportion (40%) and opaque (60%). The improvement in this second part aims at reducing the thermal transmittance of the pre-existent building through the thermal insulation, as well as to generate solar photovoltaic electricity, by means of a photovoltaic glass of thin layer type CIGS; counting on the two façades and the acceptable sunlight incidence (south east and south west), power that can be installed would be 23,5 kWp. Selection of this material allows obtaining a more homogenous aspect, without visible cells and a grey color similar to the original parts. It is estimated an annual generation of 28 MWh.

Our team also was awarded the mandate to carry out the master plan of the building’s installations, which is a necessary step to complete the integral rehabilitation of the building and reach largely a potential reduction on the energy demand. The master plan included the termal modelling of the actual building together with the façade’s rehabilitation. Besides, the executive project of the air conditioning system was carried out.

Design and construction plans for ICE’s new Energy Control Centre (CENCE)

Costa Rica

ICE | Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad
2012 - 2013

This contract was awared by ICE to the consortium TTA-IDOM and local companies, Ossenbach Pendones & Bonilla, IEA and Circuito, including the initial participation of RCAA from Quebec, for the services related to the design and construction plans for the new CENCE’s facilities.

This new facilities will become ICE’s headquarters and the new energy control centre of Costa Rica which operates the National Electric System. ICE’s objective, as a public entity, was to have a new building which concept would be based in sustainable principles, seeking to minimize the impact on the location and in the area, energy self-generation and integrated management of resources such as the water cycle. The goal for ICE was for this building to become an emblematic example and showcase for the country and for Central America.

TTA carried out the activities related d to sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as the bioclimatic architectural aspects. IDOM jointly with the local companies executed all the architectural and engineering to fulfill ICE’S technical requirements, particularly those called for by a critical infrastructure, as well as for risks control (seismic conditions, storms) common in Costa Rica.

United Nations Regional Centre “UN Hub”



The concept and detailed preliminary design for this building were carried out by a consortium comprising RCAA (Régis Côté et associés architects) from Quebec, Canada – Terradas Architects and Trama TecnoAmbiental (TTA) from Barcelona, Spain, in collaboration with Panamanian architect Sosa. TTA was responsible for the overall coordination of the project and, specifically, contributed its expertise in the integration of bioclimatic strategies, energy efficiency, use and integration of renewable energies and energy-efficient installations. The “UN HUB” for Latin America and the Caribbean was designed with a floor area of some 24,000 m2, housing offices with communal services for 15 agencies, including an auditorium.

The location of the building is on a plot provided by the Panamanian government, and the construction system proposed aims to minimize the earthworks required in order to build on this very uneven terrain. The building is comprised of 3 long parallel blocks, situated perpendicular to the service building, which includes parking and communication facilities, and links the three blocks together. This division favours natural lighting and ventilation, adaptation to the uneven terrain, and offers exterior views in most of the working spaces. The design took into account the building’s orientation in order to optimize its thermal performance, particularly with respect to sun shading of the façades and prevailing wind patterns. The roof, which is the surface that receives the highest intensity of solar radiation, not only has thermal insulation, but is also ventilated and protected by a large photovoltaic array. The photovoltaic roofing of the three office blocks covers virtually all the building’s electricity demand and also acts as a rainwater collection system. The proposed construction solution is based on a model that is industrialized, light and self-contained, with dry construction and a flexible interior layout. The building’s LEED certification, evaluated by an independent body, reached Platinum level.

Rehabilitación energética de casa rural en el parque natural de Montseny


Diputación de Barcelona

This is a two-storey dwelling with a total net floor area of 282 m². The actions undertaken included the reconstruction of the roof, changes in the interior layout, the lowering of some floors, new paving and slabs, thermal insulation, drains and other installations. The installations project included electricity generation through an autonomous photovoltaic installation of 1.56 kWp, a solar water heating system, and the installation of a biomass (wood) boiler and associated equipment for space heating.

The boiler’s output is 29 kW, which was calculated taking into account the fact that there would be thermal insulation in the roof (67 mm) and insulation in the ground floor (48 mm), as well as good sealing around doors and windows with double-glazing and air gaps.

For heat distribution in air-conditioned areas two systems were used: under floor heating on the ground floor (workshop, entrance hall, bathroom and part of the kitchen), while the first floor is heated by low temperature radiators.

Apartment building


POMA arquitectura
2007 - 2009

The complete energy retrofit of this building included a significant effort to improve its general thermal and energy performance, surpassing the requirements of the Technical Building Code (CTE). The building, built in the year 1890, has 4 floors, 6 apartments, façades separated by dividing walls and a roof terrace. It was in an almost ruined state, with structural damage caused by a lack of maintenance. In addition, it lacked thermal insulation, its windows were in very poor condition, its facilities were obsolete and its operational costs were high.

The energy retrofit consisted in improving the thermal resistance value and the performance of the heat generation system (centralized system and improved boiler performance); enhancing the energy performance of the ventilation system (heat recovery unit performance >90%); improving indoor air quality; and obtaining at least a B level certification for CO2 emissions
Some of the key technologies used were:
  • Thermal insulation and elimination of cold bridging.
  • Centraliszed ventilation (circulation of air through the roof) with fresh air heat recovery units in each dwelling.
  • Ventilated roof.
  • Free cooling option in intermediate seasons without passing through the heat recovery unit.
  • high efficiency condensing boiler and monitoring of energy consumption through individual meters (hot water and space heating).

The results achieved avoided the demolition of the building, conserving most of its structure, preserving the building’s image and its integration in a historic neighbourhood and, furthermore, surpassed the current standards for heat demand.

Solar installation Municipal sports centre


Ayuntamiento de Cardedeu

This project consisted of a solar thermal system for the production of hot water for sanitary use in the sports centre, which has a floor area of 1920 m². This sports complex has 14 changing rooms, 88 showers in total, sanitation services and a bar. The solar installation covers, at a minimum, 60% of thermal demand for hot water for showers, cleaning, hygiene etc. There is a single solar array on the flat roof, and hot water storage is situated in the machine room. The extra energy for water heating comes from a natural gas boiler and its pre-existing storage unit, and the solar storage units (2 x 4000 l) are connected in series with the said boiler.

The solar array is made up of 140 m² of solar collectors, located on the flat roof, perfectly oriented towards the south.

CX MónNatura Pirineus


Obra Social de CatalunyaCaixa
2000 - 2002

This building was designed by architect Francesc Rius, with collaboration from Trama TecnoAmbiental on bioclimatic design aspects, installations and general infrastructure. It is an example of a facility dedicated to educational activities related to sustainable tourism in mountainous regions.

The centre, which has a floor area of 3000 m2 and is located at an altitude of 1,500m, was designed in accordance with criteria for bioclimatic design and efficient use of thermal and electric energy, as well as maximum integration into the landscape.

The building is partially buried with a green roof. Its main façade, which is south-facing, has a substantial glazed surface, with solar shading and 200m2 of solar water heaters integrated into the curtain wall. It also has an autonomous photovoltaic installation and a forest biomass boiler. The project included elements of energy efficiency, such as under floor heating, a fresh air heat recovery system, efficient lighting, light tubes, centralized regulation, etc. Además, comprendió la captación, transporte, acumulación y potabilización de agua para el consumo. Esta instalación también está preparada para conectar una microcentral hidroeléctrica de 50kW. Así mismo, cuenta con depuración de las aguas y la gestión separativa de los residuos. Moreover, there is a system for managing the collection, transportation, storage and treatment of drinking water and it has also been prepared to connect a 50 kW mini-hydro plant. The installation includes, as well, water purification and the separation of wastewater. CX Món Natura Pirineus

Nuria Sanctuary and “Cabana dels Pastors”


FGC | Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
1992 - 1996

This building, which houses an environmental education facility, has a façade designed to capture solar radiation directly (through windows) and indirectly, through solar collectors.

The façade has 100m² of solar collectors integrated into the structure of the curtain wall, which constitutes the building enclosure. The collectors were designed in 1 m² modules, to match the windows on the upper floor. The solar energy is used for water heating and to help run the under floor heating. In addition to the structural, thermal and energy retrofit of the building, and the upgrading of its facilities, harnessing of solar energy was also incorporated through an extension in the form of a glass veranda.

The “Cabana dels Pastors”, an old shepherds’ dwelling, was remodelled and extended for use as a bar and restaurant. This project incorporated direct solar collection, sun shading and use of high thermal inertia to harness stored heat.

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