- A highy innovative office complex has been developed by ACCIONA’s Real Estate division on the site of a long-abandoned natural gas plant on Ombú Street, in Madrid’s Arganzuela district, Spain.
Working with architecture firms Foster+Partners and Ortiz.León, ACCIONA conducted a careful and comprehensive rehabilitation of the building to create a unique office complex with the highest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency.
The construction, integrated in 10,000 m² of newly created urban landscape, comprises the main offices, an adjacent building and additional premises for tertiary use. The refurbishment sought to introduce innovative architectural design features and high standards of sustainability in construction in anticipation of new ways of working.
In addition, ACCIONA developed 2,400 m² of green areas that it has ceded to Madrid’s municipal government for public use. These landscaped gardens link Madrid’s South Bus Station, the Méndez Álvaro commuter train station, and ACCIONA’s office complex. The gardens were also designed to Lord Norman Foster’s design standards, and will contribute to the environmental and social revitalization of the area.
Built between 1903 and 1909 by architect Luis de Landecho Jordán, who designed other landmarks such as Madrid’s Ritz Hotel, the former gas plant of the now defunct Sociedad de Gasificación Industrial was an emblem of the city’s economic growth at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, following this major urban regeneration project, it is set to become a flagship of sustainability.
The Ombú project was developed as a result of a commitment to sustainability and positive social impact shared by ACCIONA and the architects. One of its key characteristics is the recycling of existing materials, with the re-use of more than 10,000 tonnes of original bricks and the attendant savings in energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
During construction, ACCIONA treated and decontaminated the industrial site and undertook the biochemical remediation of the outdoor area, now recovered with native flora. The landscaping and regeneration of 12,400 m² of green areas included the planting more than 350 trees and more than 28,000 drought-tolerant native plants.
The building meets the European Commission’s standards for “Near Zero” Energy Buildings and is pre-certified to LEED Platinum standards. It has been retrofitted to qualify for WELL gold-level wellness standards and is registered for Net Zero Energy certification by the International Living Future Institute of the United States.
The project is located within Madrid’s Calle 30 beltway, with direct access to all urban and interurban communications, including shared electric transport solutions such as electric scooters. The Ombúregeneration project is therefore expected to have a further positive environmental impact by reducing the number of private car trips and their associated carbon emissions.
The new interior structure of the building was built entirely with 1,600 cubic metres of FSC/PEFC-certified (sustainable forestry) timber from local forests, also helping to reduce emissions. The timber in the structure absorbs over 1,600 tons of CO2.
Biophilic architecture, based on the use of natural materials such as interior vegetation and wood, is not only environmentally sound but is also supported by science, since recent studies indicate that contact with natural elements in the workspace improves well-being and increases productivity.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal