Energy and Building
Teaching - Research Group
Technical University Berlin and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Our Project

The "Energy and Building Teaching - Research Group" is an academic platform devoted to foster opportunities of advanced training for planners, architects and technicians in substantive issues within the field of energy use in the built environment. Departing from the experience of an ongoing cooperation existing since 2001, the Group has been founded by the Fakultat VI, Planen Bauen Umwelt of the Technische Universität Berlin and the Escuela de Arquitectura of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The opportunity of revising teaching strategies and existing courses of study in the field triggers the project and challenges Faculty Members of both Universities to develop innovative strategies for delivering relevant teaching in a changing context. The main goal of the "Energy and Building Teaching - Research Group" is the development and consolidation of core competences and knowledge for sustainable development, energy and environment into the educational structure for both Universities, based on the research work of the group members.


In order to bind the wide problematics posed by the general area of interest of the project, three enconpassing Topics were formulated.

New Environmental Tendencies and Demands of Growing Urban Areas

In recent decades, Latin American cities such as Santiago de Chile have been fundamentally changed by the liberalisation of the markets, the withdrawal of the state and globalisation processes. Parallel to these general developments, complex local urban realities have emerged. Their new spatial and socio-political structures both call into question established explanations for urbanisation processes and present new challenges for urban communities and the environment.


This result can be recognized within key conditions: Firstly, the increased use of resources associated to an extensive urban development strategy v/s intensive. The other is the rise of pollution loads resulting from an intense private traffic and extensive public travel time between the centre (work areas) and the periphery (increasing living areas). Pressing environmental problems are the consequence - especially in megacities like Santiago de Chile.

Building and Envelopes

Building Envelopes are a key concept in the design of buildings: As interfaces between inside spaces and outside environment, they regulate and optimize interior comfort requirements in relation to exterior conditions. They must be able themselves to adapt "intelligently" and flexibly to the various comfort needs of the users and the specific site and weather conditions.


Architecture and Construction practices however, have obliterated this critical regulating role of the building envelope, delegating it to the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems, notoriously based on energy consumption. In the "Buildings and Envelopes" Topic, the project enphasizes the envelopes in the construction of more comfortable, resource efficient buildings.

Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

The use of natural, renewable Resources in the construction and use of our built environment is a key element of sustainable urban and building strategies, usually considered beyond planning and design proper. The integration of such resources in the palette of planners and designers is to be a critical issue in the near future. The variety and richness of natural resources in Chile: forests, water, sun, suggests an interesting potential to be explored in this area of work that the project aims to develop in connection to sustainable construction. Timber, for instance, is one of the few available materials that do have very favorable properties in this respect and will play a privileged role in energy-efficient housing.


Despite the quality and easy accessibility of timber as building material in Chile, only a very small quantity (5%) of the Chilean production is being used for the local housing market. The study and promotion of wood's properties and potential as an ecological, highly energy-efficient building material will be an important part of the scientific agenda of the cooperation.


Final Dual-Degree projects awarded a national contest

(Santiago, June 13th 2012) We are pleased to announce that our first double title alumni Natalia Spörke (PUC) and Alexander Tiedemann (TUB) have won two of the ten awards from the Project Title National Contest organized by Arquitectura Caliente. Arquitectura Caliente is a group dedicated to providing opportunities and spaces of diffusion to young architects and students. The contestants are final architecture projects belonging to all universities in Chile for the period 2010-2011. This year the competition involve 144 projects.

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Students' project for the Landesbibliothek joins the debate in Berlin

(Berlin, March 14th 2012) The design project realized by the TU students Linh Vu, Katerina Navalova, Sara Fontainhas and the PUC student Camila Urzúa for the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin in Tempelhofer Feld was presented into the Akademie der Wissenschaften inside the lecture "Urban development in Berlin since the fall of the Wall"

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TU-Berlin students win the Haiti Ideas Challenge competition

(Berlin, September 30th 2011) The design project "Reclaiming Heritage" by TUB students Holly Au, Eduardo Barros, Miguel Delso Páez, Federico Rota, Alejandro García Gadea, and Carmen Gómez Maestro, Faculty Sponsors Renato D'Alençon and Luis Beltrán del Río, has won the Housing Category in the Haiti Ideas Challenge, organized by ACSA, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, USAID, United States Agency for International Development, and Howard University's School of Architecture and Design

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