Biourb, a study on popular architecture, energy and future

“The culture acquires diverse forms across the time and of the space. This diversity demonstrates in the originality and the plurality of the identities that they characterize to the groups and the companies that compose the humanity. Source of exchanges, of innovation and of creativity, the cultural diversity is so necessary for the mankind as the biological diversity for the alive organisms. In this respect, it constitutes the common heritage of the humanity and must be recognized and consolidated in benefit of the present and future generations.”

Universal declaration of the UNESCO on the Cultural Diversity

Up to the 20th century, the habitat of every place had evolved to adapt every environment, obtaining comfortable refuges by means of the design, the managing of the available materials and the use of renewable sources of energy. In spite of the importance of this heritage and of the historical and ethnological interest that he supposes, the vernacular construction and the knowledge that it encloses are disappearing in the peninsula, both in rural zones and in the centers, less and less historical, of our cities.

The buildings spend today 40 % of the energy that is consumed in Europe. In the current context of environmental, energetic and economic crisis, the traditional architecture can be the key to revert this situation.

During more than two years an equipment of architects and engineers of Spain and Portugal have studied, with energetic criteria and the last technologies, the thousand-year-old popular architecture of the environment of the river Douro, specially in the regions of After you Mount, Arrive and Sayago, with the aim to reveal the beginning that govern his efficiency. This documentary tells this process to slant the reflections of some of the participants in the project Biourb as Jose Fariña and Agustín Hernández Aja, as well as by means of the interviews to architects of reference as Vicente Patón, Esther Prada and Álvaro Siza.

BIOURB is a project destined to work on the bio – constructive diversity, the building bioclimática and his adjustment to the architecture and contemporary urbanism.

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