The core of Valldaura project developed by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is a laboratory to implement investigation and set a new benchmark for self-sufficiency.
The Valldaura Campus is a large park and testing ground for innovation that features the latest technologies in the fields of energy, information and fabrication. It express a new concept for sustainability with the aim to create a sustainable, consciously designed ecology using both cutting edge technology and traditional craftsmanship.
The Valldaura Self-sufficient labs and its three Laboratories, Food Lab, Energy Lab and Green Fab Lab; allow to research the specificities of the production of key elements involved in self-sufficiency: food, energy and things, combining ancestral knowledge that connects us to nature with the latest advanced technology.
The Green Fab Lab is also part of the Fab Lab Network, a fabrication laboratory this time oriented towards self sufficient and productive solutions.
“We need the energy we get from food”. Valldaura was agricultural land in the first part of the 20th century, and we are now recovering an activity that is not only productive but also generates biodiversity in the Collserola Natural Park. Food production is based on various forms of cultivation including organic gardens, orchards, edible forests and farm animals, all managed by researchers and students.
In the field of food management we are associated with the international Slow Food organization, whose headquarters are in Italy, and with its partner universities. We are creating a Bio-gastronomy School with top-class chefs who follow the principles of organic production and the zero-mile diet. We close the cycle of food production all the way to human consumption and the subsequent production of energy and new nutrients for the soil, researching technologies for both large- and small-scale food production. There will be parallel benefits in waste management, effectively closing the circle of nutrient management by way of a transformation process with implications for energy and the economy.
As part of the production cycle we have created the Green FabLab, a digital fabrication lab that uses natural resources and is a partner in the international network of FabLabs led by MIT in Boston, and part of the Plan Avanza national network of laboratories in Spain. One of our lines of research is centred on the development of new materials from natural ingredients such as wood, earth or minerals for building, to make bricks, glass and resins using simple ancestral technologies and modern high-tech processes. At Valldaura we can carry out the complete cycle of matter transformation, from a sustainably managed tree in the forest which gives us wood that is dried, designed, and cut on machines running on renewable energy to produce furniture and structural elements.
The laboratory has several traditional bòvila brickyard kilns of the type traditionally found on large rural estates in Catalonia; at Valldaura the brickyard was located in what is now the restaurant area.
The laboratories are geared to investigating the processes involved in the production of energy, food and things locally, using the resources of the immediate environment, and developing technologies and knowledge that can be employed in the construction of a new global human habitat.
This project is addresses to: students, professionals, researchers or citizens.
- promote a model of circular economy for the agricultural waste processes
- promote a new self-sufficient concept
- improve innovation and clean energy
- dissemination of sustainable practices
- difficulty in exporting on the big scale the research results