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MDGAE students travel to Germany to learn about passivhaus

Julia Roca de Togores, student of the double Master's Degree MUA+MDGAE, tells us how she and her classmates have known firsthand the place where the passivhaus was born and have received a course from the Passivhaus Institut.

"The comfort conditions demanded today are greater than ever and this has pushed to resort to dangerous sophisticated technologies, which make buildings more dependent on them and become vulnerable, using an excessive amount of energy that is reflected in 30% of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The logical process would be to build a self-sufficient architecture that meets healthy living conditions with the architectural design itself and with the appropriate construction systems, respecting the environment and even having a positive effect on it, in terms of energy.

Passivhaus Institut is an organization of research in charge of certify these constructions. The first passive house was built in Darmstadt (Germany) in the 1990s. It fulfilled the requirements of high school: energy efficiency, thermal comfort and excellent air quality.

The academic trip of the University of Navarra for the students of Master's Degree University in design and management Environmental Building was precisely to Darmstadt, where we received a classroom course on the Passivhaus standard by the members of high school. The performance of a building was defined and the necessary methods for its verification were defined and then demonstrated in an individual project of a house in which certain parameters were essential: insulation, PH windows, airtightness, absence of thermal bridges and ventilation with heat recovery.

It is a great added value in the field of construction to have a certificate to endorse the knowledge acquired in this course, some basic notions for the development of this subject projects. It is something that differentiates us from the vast majority of professionals and a key that opens many doors in the professional field.

The elaboration of this project was something quite complex and new, so work as a team played a fundamental role. We helped each other, which made the experience much more enriching and favored a good and solid relationship between colleagues. Our trip to Germany started a few days earlier on our own, where we got to know each other better and spent some quality time. We visited the city of Frankfurt and enjoyed the German gastronomy, as well as some interesting buildings.

Text written by: Julia Roca de Togores, MAS student (Master's Degree University Degree in Architecture -MUA- + Master's Degree University Degree in design and management Environmental Building -MDGAE-).

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