NZEB Building Archetype

NZEB Building Archetype
Nov 2017 , by , in Design

Designed to be a reference point for sustainable architecture, the Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) is designed by Spanish architecture firm EZAR and architect Juan Blázquez as part of the expansion plan for the Malaga airport in Spain.

Curvaceous Interiors

The building covering an area of 618 square meters is conceived as a pilot office allowing direct experience of future developers and users.Its architecture resembles a giant tree with windows in its canopy.The highlight of the building is the two large side facades totally covered by vegetation, a bioclimatic strategy that optimizes thermal insulation.

The ‘Green wall’ is the highlight of the structure that is a visual treat and mingles it into its natural surroundings.

To ensure minimization of the building’s impact on the neighbourhood, it was elevated to allow people to reach the park below. This also allowed the team to design the pillars that support the structure as concrete branches and tree trunks.

The building’s exterior curved shell is a take-off for the interiors smooth, curvaceous lines, delicate angles and transparent spaces. The contemporary and minimalist office space uses metal, wood and glass in a harmonious way with neutral colour palette.

Green Wall


The building design represents a savings of 65% in consumption. CO2 emissions to the atmosphere are reduced 14,678.19 kg a year. Water consumption is reduced by 50% through rainwater capture systems. The generation of waste on site is reduced by industrialized systems and 75% of those generated have been recycled. Finishing materials are of low environmental impact origin. The impact of construction is minimized by increasing the life of the building structure from 50 to 100 years.

Built well with passive building guidelines, the design keeps energy load down with solar thermal for heating, energy efficient air-conditioning and artificial lighting and the solar panels to produce more energy than consumed.The envelope of the building was further provided with extra insulation to save energy.

The interior spaces of the building ensure good air quality and healthy environment through constant monitoring of air quality of released by air conditioning; adequate natural lighting and glare protection; appropriate artificial lighting levels and acoustic comfort by isolating work spaces from exterior and limiting reverberation time of the rooms.


Sustainable design strategies:

  • Passive design to reduce the energy demand
  • Use of vegetation as a constructive element
  • Extra isolation of the envelope
  • Use of the thermal inertia of enclosure and floors
  • Use of efficient lighting and air-conditioning
  • Use of solar thermal energy for heating, integrated air-conditioning
  • Lighting control and power generation in the building
  • Reduced water consumption and waste generation
  • Use of rainwater, recycled and recyclable materials
  • Sewage and rainwater purification systems as well as waste sorting .
  • Monitoring systems for indoor air quality

The extra cost of 5% over a conventional construction has resulted in cutting CO2 emissions of 15 tonnes per year and producing more energy than it consumes.

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