Within 300 meters from the Valldaura Labs, in the valley area, mountain water currently accumulates through a natural process.  To guarantee the sustainability of the food gardens and the final prototype being developed by the students, this water will be harvested through a system of water pumps powered by solar energy. As part of a workshop to collect the water, the students of the Masters in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities have designed and built a wood structure that will be used to support solar panels.

The structure is located in the valley, near the water and it was built entirely with wood from the Collserola Park, selected through a sensible process of forest management. These were processed from raw material to final components by the students. This transformation starts by cutting pieces with the saw mill which are later transformed to final dimensions in the woodshop. Through this process, a clear connection between materiality and architectural design becomes evident, with the students having another opportunity to build prototypes they have designed. On a reflection of what it means to build with local resources, the wood changes in quality, but maintains its location, never leaving the park – as if the structure is still part of the forest itself.

The foundations were made out of 15cm x 15cm pieces, with a tongue cut at one side to receive the structure. To guarantee its durability, the surface of the foundation components was burnt and later coated with oil to waterproof it. In addition, metal rebars were inserted diagonally through the pieces to ensure a stronger connection to the ground. For the rest of the structure, 10cm x 5cm pieces were used. Using the same section optimizes the processing of the wood and rationalizes the construction process.

The components of the structure were pre fabricated in the woodshop using 10mm dowels, and the final trusses built on sight. For the connection of the trusses to the foundations, 8mm metal rods were used. The inclination of the top surface of the structure follows the ideal angle of 30 degrees and south orientation for receiving the maximum amount of solar energy throughout the year. With the solar panels installed over the next weeks, solar energy will be connected to the system that will provide water for the Valldaura Labs agricultural areas for years to come.

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