Ana Luíza Bitar, a civil engineering bachelor student from Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is already since January 2020 in the Netherlands. She spent half a year in Groningen for the minor Urban Regeneration at Hanze UAS. Currently, she is doing her graduation internship at Zuyd UAS on the topic: Energy efficient dwellings by urban mined biomimicry-based facade renovation, as part of the Drive 0 project.
The Drive 0 project consists of the renovation of a common typology dwelling in the Netherlands in order to assemble a more energy-efficient building using waste materials from demolition. Her role in the project involves designing a new circular facade for the house, energy simulations and mock-up development. Ana focuses on reusing wood: firstly, as wood fiber insulation; secondly, as a cladding material for the ventilated façade, in which her bio-inspired design is based on the second skin of the cricket.
Regarding the insulation, it was necessary to determine if the fibers of the wood could be used as insulation material. What are the demands? Does this material, for example, meet the requirements of fire resistance?
Furthermore, to make the dwelling more energy-efficient, the façade was designed in a way that the air can circulate throughout the facade. Therefore, the dwelling is not only energy efficient, but it also coolers the building during the summertime. Interesting here is that she also researches the aging process of the wooden cladding material: is it possible to expand the lifespan of the façade by thermal treatment? How to improve the fire resistance of the wood in a circular and biobased way?
As a final result of her internship, Ana will design an energy-neutral facade solution and a mock-up to be tested for one year in a real situation to validate the results. Moreover, she is developing an article to be published in an international journal.
Last March, Ana presented her first results at the ‘Crossing Boundaries conference. Throughout this conference, many professors, masters and PhD students from all around the world shared their projects and perspectives about the circularity in the built environment.
Despite the Covid-circumstances and the cold weather, Ana enjoys her stay in the Netherlands: “the well-organized public transport and the safety on the streets are impressive”. Finally, since she had the opportunity to study in the far North and far South of our country, she experiences the different dialects and cultures of our country, which she thinks is quite remarkable.