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Onyx Solar Photovoltaic Atrium

Onyx Solar Photovoltaic Atrium

Since the first Expo was held in London, in 1851, cities were never allowed to participate, regardless being home of 60% of World population and the places where the most important decisions are taken. But the organizers of this year’s edition decided to change this and invited 55 cities to showcase its urban improvements in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA). What’s more, 14 of those cities were allowed to have their own Pavilion, Madrid being the only Latin and Spanish city to do so.

This Pavilion is make up of the replicas of two iconic buildings located in Madrid: the Bioclimatic Tree and the Bamboo House, designed by Alejandro Zaera and his London study, the Foreign Office Architects (FOA). The house is covered by bamboo, although not completely in order to adapt the building to Shanghai’s climate conditions. The bamboo provides control over the sunbeams and serves as a thermal, acoustic and visual matress protecting the structure from rain and wind in Winter and from high temperatures in summer. The replica has an area of 600 sqm, is 18m high and has a máximum built area of 2400 sqm. It is divided into three spaces: two of them are for common use and the third one is reserved for institutional use only.

Photovoltaics atrium

One of the innovations implemented in regard to the original House is the installation of a PV atrium on the roof. Onyx Solar Energy has been in charge for developing the conceptual and functional design of the implemented structure (30 sqm). This atrium has an installed peak power of 840 W, capable of generating 1.090 kWh a year, feeding 55.000 light spots for an hour and avoiding the emmission of more than 1.000 kg of CO2 a year.

This atrium is desinged according to the new architectural paradigm that is leading to the increasing growth of the Green Building concept. It is a solution meant to improve the building’s thermal conditions. First of all, its 10% semi-transparency serves to control the light getting into the structure, thus producing a better well-being and comfort for the inhabitants of the Bamboo House, reducing the energy needs.

Another advantage consists on the ventilation and humidity control in the interior of the house, as well as the technological innovation and the energy generation thanks to the integration of active and passive solar collectors. And last but not least, the risk for sismic damages has been reduced.

With the installation of the Bamboo House, Madrid City Hall is showcasing one of the most important symbols of the city’s sustainable design. As the slogan for the Pavilion says, “Madrid is your home”. An environmental friendly home crowned by Onyx Solar.

Source: Energética XXI


  1. Your Shanghai rooflight/photovoltaic looks very interesting. Is it in production yet,and if so, what are the costs and do you have nomimated installers? Also, can you please advise if this is only available for commercial projects, as most of our work is residential.

    Chris Harris

    • Hi Chris! The skylight in Shanghai is already finished as it was built for the Shanghai Universal Expo. Regarding your second question, this kind of solutions are available for commercial as well as residential buildings, so I’m sure we can find the way to work together. I will send you more information to your e-mail right now.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Solar has been selected as the best start-up in Castille-Leon for its participation with a photovoltaic skylight in Madrid’s Pavilion during the Universal Expo of Shanghai. Unidad Editorial, the publishing group of the second largest newspaper in Spain (El Mundo) and the […]

  2. […] projects include architectural innovations. The latest innovation to be explored is the “Photovoltaics atrium.” Onyx Solar developed a system that will generate 8.000 kwh per year. According to Onyx […]

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