From the headquarters of the most important gas company in Catalonia in 1907 to an example of a sustainable building in the 21st century. Last Sunday we had the opportunity to visit La Fábrica del Sol, an environmental education facility promoted by the Barcelona City Council’s Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility Department, which aims to extend the culture of sustainability from the neighbourhoods of Barcelona to everywhere.
The headquaters of Catalana de Gas (1907) refurbished into La Fábrica del Sol (2015)
The building of modernist style, renovated for the last time in 2015, has various facilities and elements that make it an example of sustainable building, which give it an ‘A’ level energy certificate. Some of these facilities and elements are the photovoltaic panels located on the rooftop, a heating system using underfloor heating powered by geothermal energy, a passive ventilation system that takes advantage of the air currents generated between the windows and the interior patio, a green roof and vegetable walls that provide thermal insulation and a sense of comfort, and the accumulation of rainwater for irrigation.
The green roof and the PV panels
The “Lluerna” room, with a green wall
La Fàbrica del Sol offers guided tours (prior registration), free visits (without registration), environmental activities for children and adults and a personalized information service on urban ecology and sustainability. For more information you can check their website and personally approach the place, the building is open to the public although there is no visit or scheduled activity!
The Sustainability by Education – Barcelona team, in front of the solar facade of the building