Institute of Advanced Energy Studies: A facade with ST® Lumiere panels and Hairplan® 300

Created by the regional government of Madrid, the mission of the Institute of Advanced Energy Studies is to promote and realise research related to renewable energy and clean energy technologies. Innovative, new facade solutions from the ArcelorMittal range were utilised and tailored for this project.

Detailed information

The main requirements for the new building to house these R & D activities around energy technologies were sustainability and flexibility to assure a long service life in the changing conditions of technological progress.

An innovative facade solution

ArcelorMittal Construction Spain was involved in this project right from the beginning. In close collaboration with the architects, innovative and new facade solutions from the ArcelorMittal range were employed and tailored for this project. In total, 900 m2 of ST® Lumiere panels (of 1 mm in silver metallic), 3500 m2 of the new Hairplan 300 profiles (of 1 mm in silver metallic), 2000 m2 of Hacierba 5.200.50 B profiles (of 0.75 mm in silver metallic), and 300 m2 of differently pre-curved ST® 300 profiles were supplied.

The concept for the modular buildings

Situated in the outskirts of the Spanish capital in a future Technology Park, the project was conceived as a modular building in order to allow for extension and divisions without affecting the ongoing activities inside or the building’s general structure.

The central nucleus (module IV) is a three-storey building with an entrance and distribution hall, offices, and common spaces for recreational 'get-togethers'. It is the functional and symbolic heart of the complex.

Around this nucleus, modules I and II are arranged, both of them with the same height (level 0 +2).  They accommodate the main investigation areas and laboratories. Like containers, they do not have any vertical structure which allows for easy and quick re-distribution or subdivision whenever necessary. On the roof of these buildings, there are technical installations for the maintenance of alternative energy sources.

Module III, arranged on both sides of the central building, consists of two workshops for experimental machinery.

The orientation of the building and the facades of the different functional areas were carefully considered in the architectural design.

Conceived according to bioclimatic principles, the aim was to keep its energy consumption to a minimum, reducing energy losses, optimising the comfort inside the building, and taking into account the necessities of the different activities carried out in the different modules.


The IMDEA ENERGIA Building was designed as a Green Building with Energy certification A, according to the requirements of LEED Gold:

- 50% of the construction site was greened, achieving more than 40% of garden area.
- Rainwater is collected on the roofs and stored underground for watering plants.
- The roof areas exposed to direct solar radiation are equipped with white emugrava with a high solar reflection index (>78) in order to avoid heat island effects.
- The envelope (facade, roofing, and structure) provides the whole complex with a passive protection which contributes to the energy efficiency certified as A.
- The parking lot contains special spaces for low emission cars and shared vehicles.
- The distribution and separations between lecture rooms, laboratories, and offices consists of glass partitions allowing for a high degree of flexibility and natural light, in the interior as well as exterior.
- Different solutions were employed for curtain walls and structures according to the orientation of the facades. Towards the south and east, the facade cladding consists of sun screens, while towards the west the sun screens are adjustable with an automatic control system.
- For the construction of this complex, mainly recycled materials (like steel, aluminium, glass) were used.
- The employed materials like concrete, rock, and ceramic elements were produced in the area in order to avoid long distance transport.
- The building is equipped with an automatic lighting system and additionally, in the naturally illuminated areas, detectors regulate the intensity of the artificial system according to the amount of natural light.


The main structure is made of reinforced concrete founded on pillars, 15 of which are part of the building’s geothermal system.

A metal structure supports the terraces of the investigation area and the stairs of Module II. Additionally, the workshops (Module III) are built with steel structures of mainly HEA sections of various types on all floors. The horizontal structure consists of concrete slabs with their thicknesses depending on loads and spans supported by composite beams.

The light metal roof is a construction of beams and purlins covered with insulated steel profiles.

Text: ARKITOOLS & Constructalia

Project information

  • Madrid
  • Spain
  • Architect:
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Client:
    Institute IMDEA Energía
  • Contractor:
    Sacyr Vallehermoso
  • Photographers:
    ©ArcelorMittal & ©Arkitools