Construmat, one of the biggest construction trade fairs in Europe, held this week in Barcelona, Spain, has chosen sustainable construction as one of the main remedies to successfully tackle the crisis in the sector this year, as well as other challenges of the future.With the an extensive range of conferences, debates and exhibitions, this year's Construmat has an even bigger area dedicated to sustainability and eco-efficiency in buildings. Key eco projects are the pavilion of the Government of Catalonia, which focuses on restoration projects, rather than new architecture. The concept behind their project "34 kg of Co2" is simply to recycle existing edifice instead of opting for new construction, which has been booming for the last 15 years. Now it is time for a change and start renovating existing buildings.
Another interesting project is Casa Barcelona, designed by the architecture studios Picha Aguilera, which consists of a module of two flats and fuses social, sustainable and innovative solutions into one home. Four architects present one proposal each, focusing on a different types of users: an elder person, a young couple without kids, another older couple with children and a flat share.
Lastly, Luis de Garrido, who got a lot of press two years ago for his R4House, presents his latest project, the Green Box. It is a prototype, prefabricated home with garden, based on the principles of bioclimatic architecture.
Apart from the exhibitions, debates are created around the following themes: norms and sustainability in construction, energy efficiency and new business opportunities in building as well as tendencies of green architecture. The Spanish Pavillion from the Expo Zaragoza won the Construmat 2009 Awards for technological innovation.