With a height of 88 meters Certified Passive House High-Rise in Bilbao Aims for Tallest Designation where the Bolueta building towers over the similarly named district of Bilbao in northern Spain. Complete with a certification from the Passive House Institute, the structure has surpassed the Cornell Tech Residence by 2.7 meters to claim the designation of tallest Passive House building. It contains 32 stories, 28 of which are above ground and thus visible. The Spanish architect Germán Velázquez optimized the design of the Bolueta construction project until it achieved the highly energy efficient Passive House Standard. An adjacent nine-story building with 63 apartments for social housing is also part of the project. The primary challenge of the scheme was to keep within the budget and use traditional materials. “Now that Bolueta is complete, there are no excuses anymore: it is possible to realize such a project in Bolueta, and it is just as possible to realize one almost anywhere out there,” says Velázquez. The project took two and a half years to be completed.

Certified Passive House High-Rise in Bilbao Aims for Tallest Designation

The Basque Government and its public property development company Visesa acted as owners and developers of the complex. All 108 apartments of the high-rise have already been sold and residents are moving in now. The 63 apartments in the adjacent building will be rented as social housing. The cost for the development, which includes 171 apartments in total, amounts to approximately 12.5 million euros ($14.5 million). A building certificate authenticating the attainment of Passive House Standard for the project was presented during the International Passive House Conference in Munich. With this highly energy-efficient standard, residents save heating costs in the winter and enjoy a comfortably cool home in the summer. In addition, a controlled home-ventilation system ensures a pleasant and healthy indoor climate.

The façade of the high-rise is also striking. The surrounding buildings and countryside are reflected in the black, glossy surfaces. “The project has a significantly ‘lighter’ effect as a result, and the black colour symbolises the industrial past of the city. It is a tribute to the two-and-a-half-centuries-old, heavily coal-based industry,” explains Velázquez. The adjacent building will be grey in colour to allude to the steel that was once produced in the area. The architect has also designed a health center to the Passive House Standard in the Basque region of Navarra.

The claim has not been ratified by CTBUH. Information source: CTBUH

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