LOW3 (low energy+low impact+low cost) is a new idea in the construction of energy saving and energy self-sustaining buildings. A model building is said to be conceived and constructed by the students of the Barcelona Tech School of Architecture of the Vallès (ETSAV) of the Universitat Politècnica of Catalunya (UPC).
According to Torsten Masseck who oversees the LOW3 prototype as its technical director, this project uniquely brings together teaching and applied research in planning sustainable architecture.
The prototype of LOW3 house is constructed utilizing bioclimatic construction technology to make it energy self-sustaining. The building is conceptualized with the idea of reducing the use of energy, the bearing of the building on the environment during its lifetime, and spending costs on construction and other technical solutions.
The construction of the building is said to include photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. The LOW3 building is believed to be constructed using supportive and re-usable materials utilizing simple cost effective methods. The construction, supported by prefabricated and adaptable modular systems, is designed to assist changes such as alteration, development and restructuring in a LOW3 house to meet the future requirement of the house inmates.
The LOW3 project is teamwork of institutions such as the UPC-Barcelona Tech Center for Sustainability, the UPC Department of Heat Engines, and the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN). Various private companies that participated in the project include Finnforest, Biohaus, Aislux, Schneider Electric, Ininsa, Schott Solar, TFM, Rehau, JG Ingeniería, Bioclim, ABC Modular, Iguzzini, Solarlux, Klein Ibérica, Print It, Zicla and Espacio Solar.
The ETSAV team also known as SDE UPC 2010, is planning to showcase its LOW3 project in the 2010 international Solar Decathlon Europe contest during the month of June in Madrid. About 20 university projects from all over the world are expected to take part in the contest.