Fifth Sustainable Building Award University of Alicante

The jury of the Fifth Sustainable Building Awards, organised by the University of Alicante (UA) and Fundación Marjal, announced their decision during a ceremony held at the UA Museum on 12 June. The UA Vice-chancellor, Ignacio Jiménez Raneda, the Mayoress of Alicante, Sonia Castedo, and the Chairman of Fundación Marjal, Francisco Gómez, were present at the event. Although the Awards have been running for the fifth year in succession, it was open to European undergraduates for the first time. As a result, besides UA Architecture students, undergraduates from the German university Beuth Hochschule Für Technik Berlin and from the Dutch university Hogeschool van Amsterdam took part in the contest.

The winning project in the category "New Building" was In the Vineyard, put forward by UA students. The jury particularly praised the project's approach to prefabrication, material recycling, the cooling effect of ceramic tiles, the green advantages of the use shadows and the rainwater harvesting systems.

In the category "Renovated Building", the winners were students from the Dutch University Hogeschool van Amsterdam, who submitted the project entitled Season Garden House. After slightly modifying an already built dwelling, they managed to design a sustainable home by implementing interior grass walls and a proper ventilation system.

Besides these awards, the members of the jury also awarded two special mentions for each category. A total of thirty-five undergraduates divided into thirteen groups -four Dutch, six German and three Spanish- participated in the Fifth Sustainable Building Awards.

The jury, who highlighted the high quality of the pieces of work submitted, was made up of architects Gerard Kuiper, Miguel Salvador, Francisco Javier Neila, Nela Carbonell and Gustavo Furest, and the Director of Fundación Marjal, Sofía Blasco. After the award ceremony, architect and professor from the Technical University of Madrid, Francisco Javier Neila, gave a speech entitled The use of sustainable resources in vernacular architecture of cold climates.

The group of Dutch and German students and professors took advantage of their visit to Alicante for the occasion of the award ceremony to visit the sustainable building project developed by Grupo Marjal in the town of La Romana. By analysing the building materials and the technology implemented, they had the opportunity to learn about the green features of this project, which has been designed with energy efficiency and reduction in consumption of natural resources in mind to support and promote environmental conservation.

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