The Autonomous Office - Model for a green energy autonomous office building

LIFE11 ENV/ES/000622

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Ricardo GONZÁLEZ MARTÍNEZ
Tel: (+34) 985134171
Fax: (+34) 985.134.222
Email: life11_env_es_622@grupotsk.com

Project description:


The building and construction sector accounts for 40-45% of energy consumption in Europe , as well as having the largest share in the use of natural resources, by land use and by materials extraction. Energy use, liquid and solid waste generation, transport of construction materials, and consumption of hazardous materials are other examples of negative environmental impacts from this sector. Building and construction thus offers the largest single potential for energy efficiency in Europe. However, there is a lack of initiatives aimed at addressing global issues of the built environment from a lifecycle perspective. Water scarcity and pollution are also major challenges facing urban build environments. The IPCC on “Climate Change and water” has reported that water and its availability and quality will be one of the main pressures on, and issues for, societies and the environment under climate change. Automated systems offer an interesting approach to managing resources better, which the beneficiary has already been working to explore.


'The Autonomous Office' project aims to construct a green, energy-autonomous office building that is able to operate without connecting to the electricity grid. It aims to integrate principles of bioclimatic design and renewable energy technologies to minimise the environmental footprint of the construction and its users. It thus hopes to provide a sustainable model in terms of energy demand and its contribution in reducing CO2 emissions. The project will develop a bioclimatic design for the building to take advantage of natural lighting and reduce temperature differentials, thus reducing energy demand in the building. It will also integrate highly efficient energy equipments and control units to satisfy the building’s needs for hot water, heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and so on. The environmental design proposal will be tested by computer software to guarantee that the most efficient design and environmental strategy is selected. The project will integrate a variety of renewable energy technologies – photo-voltaic; small wind turbine; biomass boiler; and Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell (energy storage system) - into the design of the building to produce energy for use onsite and minimise the carbon footprint. The project will then build the office building and test it for energy efficiency and water consumption. It hopes to show that it is possible to construct an office building that is able to produce the energy it needs in a sustainable way. It will also work to study how these strategies might be implemented more widely in the near future, disseminating results amongst stakeholders of the building and construction industry.

Expected results:

  • An integrated design for a building that adopts both passive and active strategies to obtain energy autonomy through renewable resources;
  • Successful construction of an energy-autonomous building with zero fossil fuel consumption after construction;
  • A reduction in energy demand from typical values of 250 kWh/m2 in office buildings to 110 kWh/m2 – through bioclimatic design;
  • A further 25% reduction in energy demand to a target of some 90 kWh/m2 through efficient energy equipment and control units;
  • Production of 100% of the energy requirement – 54 000 kWh for the 600m2 building – through on-site renewable energy micro-generation systems;
  • Prevention of 48.19 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year for an equivalent building - 15.9 tonnes CO2/yr from photovoltaics;15.9 tonnes CO2/yr from hydrogen systems (PEM fuel cell); 5.04 tonnes CO2/yr from a small wind turbine; and 11.35 tonnes CO2/yr from a biomass boiler;
  • Consumption of fresh water supplies limited to 15 litres per person per day – half of what may currently be considered good practice; and
  • Excellent general working conditions for end users.



Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Eco-products design
Industry-Production - Building


energy saving‚  green building‚  environmental performance‚  renewable energy

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description TSK is a private electronics and electricity company carrying out engineering projects and supplying electric installations. It invests heavily in research and development.
Partners Biogas Fuel Cell, Spain ONYX SOLAR ENERGY S.L., Spain Tecnologías y Equipos para el Medio Ambiente S.L., Spain Fundación Asturiana de la Energía, Spain


Project reference LIFE11 ENV/ES/000622
Duration 01-JUN-2012 to 31-DEC -2016
Total budget 1,430,723.00 €
EU contribution 579,142.00 €
Project location Asturias(España)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version