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FAQs – Answers to our most frequently asked questions

BPMC2 Architectura - FAQ

Quite often we are requested to explain what it is and how we do it, and we receive questions regarding bioclimatic and sustainable architecture.
The following are the answers to our most frequently asked questions:

What is bioclimatic architecture?

Bioclimatic architecture is based on maximizing passive devices and on adapting the form and materials to the conditions specific to each location to control the microclimate and the conditions of use in a building.

In reality, these are eternal principles, well known by humankind, from our earliest beginnings right up to the arrival of modern technology, searching for the best utilization of the climate and environmental resources available.

Truth be told, the definition of “bioclimatic architecture” should not exist as we understand it, because correct architecture should always be thought out and carried out with maximum control over the climatic conditions while taking advantage of the materials and techniques native to each location.

Today, an elevated conscience exists regarding the necessity of minimizing the environmental impact from each human activity while making each of our actions compatible to the maximum with respect to the planet’s resources. Fortunately, we have the know-how and technical instruments at our disposal allowing us to precisely control the necessities of acquiring conditions of well-being indoors, all the while limiting the use of active corrective systems (climate control, daytime illumination, etc.) to the maximum.

Some countries have passed laws specific to the use of renewable resources. While in continuous evolution, these laws must be considered the bare minimums that, in whatever case, will be improved upon in the future, and will strive to make buildings more intelligent, needing fewer active systems to regulate light, temperature, etc.

The significant reduction in “active” devices correcting for environmental conditions free the building from dependence on external sources, whose costs and availability are always subject to unexpected variations and are not controllable by the building occupants.

According to bioclimatic principals, the benefits of a correctly projected building can be summarized by:

  • Maintaining optimum microclimatic conditions in terms of its location and the season of the year.
    • Energy savings necessary for the functioning “active” systems.
    • Reductions in the building management and maintenance costs.
    • Consequent reduction in the dependence upon external sources.

What does “sustainable” mean?

In line with the concept of sustainable development, the idea of reducing the carbon footprint of each human activity to the maximum so as to preserve resources for the benefit of future generations, the principles of sustainable architecture state that each phase of each component in the processes of production, management and elimination of a building be controlled and planned with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint as much as possible.

According to these principles, the project is elaborated analyzing the environmental impact of each individual component and of the productive complex as well, just in addition to the environmental impact related to the building’s utilization and elimination at the end of its useful life.

The choice of materials and technical solutions are conditioned by intrinsic characteristics of the materials or constructive system, their availability, production costs, transport and assembly, in addition to the needs for their elimination and also by their technical characteristics and features.

Within this context, the technical and economic evaluations are included that allow deciding upon the necessity of incorporating energetic devices based on renewable source like thermal solar, photovoltaic systems, geothermal, wind and micro wind turbines, etc.

Throughout this entire process, equilibrium is sought between the financial considerations of the worksite construction and the environmental costs, either directly or indirectly related with it, with the goal of obtaining the greatest balance between economic resources, costs and environmental sustainability.

Why bioclimatic and sustainable architecture for productive buildings?

Productive buildings (factories, warehouses, offices, hotels, sales and all spaces related to sales) represent a very high percentage of the total constructed patrimony.

The quantity of energy consumed, as a whole, is similar or superior to that consumed in residential and tertiary buildings; recent estimates indicate that, for example in Italy, within the industrial sector a 20% reduction in energy consumption is possible (source: energoclub).

Based on this data, we believe good margins exist to improve energy efficiency in industrial buildings.

In this context, we feel it is possible to offer our know-how to clients accustomed to considering investment profitability and rate of returns, and also the significant added values deriving from improvements in the image of their business and/or getting in line with the marketing strategies of their product.

Is it possible to adapt existing buildings to the principles of bioclimatic and sustainable architecture?

A correct bioclimatic project bases part of its foundation upon analysis of the location in which a building must or will take form in order to take full advantage of the climatic factors. These are linked to the geographic location (latitude, altitude above sea level, orography, surrounding climate), and to its surroundings (existing structures, trees, and other obstacles).

In the case of restructuring an existing building, it is difficult to take advantage of the best orientation possible with regards to the aforementioned cited factors. But surely intervention is possible to intervene to correct and mitigate the effects resulting from perhaps non-optimum exposure, as well as providing corrections to the external surfaces, shading systems or covering.

All energy requalification interventions, which are evaluated case by case, are always proposed and developed in terms of the final objective defined by the client, or in accordance with the client, determining the best balance between the available resources, the improvements attained in energy and environmental terms and the investment rate of return.

What is LEED Certification, and what purpose does it serve?

LEED is a voluntary certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is applicable to any building typology, referencing the complete life cycle of a building from the project to the construction.

The LEED system is based on the concession of credits for each one of its requirements, promoting a criterion orientated to the sustainability by assigning values to the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a building. These include energy or water savings, reductions in CO2 emissions, improvements in ecological quality of the surroundings, the materials and resources employed. The sum of the credit weightings constitutes the certification level.

LEED was formed in the USA in 1994 and today is recognized in many countries, including Italy and Spain. Within these two countries, divisions have been created ( GBC Italia and GBC España).

The certification costs vary depending upon the type and are calculated proportionately to the building area.

Professionals recognized by their knowledge of the LEED rating system are distinguished with the title of “LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), a title indicating their passing grade in the qualification examinations granted by the “Green Building Certification Institute”, an autonomous organization that manages the USGBC accreditations.

The primary advantages resulting from acquiring LEED certification and by completing a certifiable LEED building are summarized in the following:

  • Less energy consumption
  • Less environmental impact
  • Functional improvements
  • Economic advantages from greater productivity by the building users
  • Economic advantages from a higher value/greater commercialization of the building.
Source: LEED Certification

What types of services does BPMC2 Architectura offer

BPMC2 Architectura is a firm specializing in sustainable and bioclimatic architecture for productive spaces (factories, warehouses, depots, logistical buildings, offices, and sales spaces).

These are our primary services:

  • Analysis, evaluation and consulting for feasibility studies.
  • Comprehensive project development: preliminary investigation, projects for the acquisition of licenses, permission and authorization, final designs, structure calculation, installations projects, writing of projects “as built”.
  • Preparation of safety and health studies, and coordination in the project and worksite phases.
  • Construction management, assistance in writing contracts with businesses and suppliers, assistance in competitions.
  • Consulting for the acquisition of assistance, subsidies and fiscal benefits resulting from the realization of bioclimatic and sustainable interventions.
  • Consulting for LEED Certification acquisition.
All activities are developed for the construction of new building complexes, as well as for expansion, improvement and remodeling of existing buildings.

Where does BPMC2 Architectura work?

BPMC2 Architectura is headquartered in Elche (Alicante, Spain) at the city’s Parque Industrial, a modern multifunctional industrial and services complex in harmony with the firm’s philosophy.

Due to our international character, the founding partners are Italian and Spanish in nationality, our activities take place in Spain, primarily in the Valencian Community; and in Italy, in Rome and Sicily.

Our curiosity and desire to grow and experiment take us to explore new territories; because of this, we have established collaboration agreements with firms and businesses in Libya and we also have an expansion program towards the productive zones in northern and central Italy.

In whichever case we do not like to limit ourselves; beyond our creativity and energy, we believe that continuous exploration in new directions is the foundation of a healthy process of growth and innovation. Because of this, we are interested in evaluating possible activities in contexts that at present are unbeknownst to us.

What are the rates for the services of BPMC2 Architectura?

BPMC2 Architectura has favorably welcomed the liberalization of rates imposed by the European Union, content to be able to evaluate along with the client the possibilities and potential linked to its projects, without reference to minimum or regulated rates.

As a matter of fact, our services develop and are evaluated and tailored to each client, adapting each time to the complexity and effort that every job requires.

Consequently, and coherent with business logic, the rates for our services are based on the production costs: time, professionalism and effort necessary to develop our work, in a process of constant dialogue with the client. We are aware that our compensation is strictly linked to the level of satisfaction of their expectations and the perception of usefulness of our work.

How does the client participate in the project process and at the work site?

For BPMC2 Architectura, the client is the primary engine for each activity.

We can evaluate, study, analyze, and hypothesize, but all this serves for very little without the indications of our client, the demonstration of their wishes and expectations.

Our work method is based on constant contact with the client, who is informed and involved in all project phases. We place at their disposal the instruments and information necessary to be able to evaluate and make decisions at crucial moments.

The client is an active, present and welcome participant in all different phases of the project as well as at the work site; the client is the commander of the vessel we are guiding to the finish line set by the client.

We know we do not always achieve fantastic things, but we are absolutely convinced that when we do achieve good results, we would not have been able to do so without having a motivated and decided client at our side.

What guarantees does BPMC2 Architectura offer in their work?

We are aware that not everything always turns out as we would like it to.

Nevertheless, we also know that our primary objective is our client’s satisfaction. It is doing our work as well as possible.

Because of this, when we do make a mistake, we take responsibility for correcting our error.

In addition, when this greater effort is insufficient to resolve the problem, we offer our clients solid international coverage as a guarantee of the good result of our work.

In the case of especially complex projects or particular demands from clients, we are always willing to evaluate together and in a preliminary fashion other methods of offering greater guarantees that can satisfy their needs.

End FAQ

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