Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) Palmira, colombia

PROJECT OVERVIEW: The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is a Colombian research and development nonprofit dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger while protecting local natural resources. CIAT’s ‘Future Seeds’ gene bank is one of the biggest seed repositories in the world. A hub for global crop diversity, Future Seeds seeks to ensure the long-term conservation of vital crops, encouraging their use to enrich diets and to help climate-proof food supply in the tropics. Colombian architecture firm, AEV Arquitectos, won CIAT's design competition for the gene bank with a concept for a state-of-the-art high performing building suitable for a hot and humid climate. The design includes a canopy that acts as a breathable façade and accommodates modular laboratories and a learning center open to the public. Arup collaborated with the center to better understand needs and introduced new sustainability approaches to the project to create a net-zero laboratory. Working with the architects and CIAT’s microclimate consultant, Arup detailed the canopy and lab façades, and provided design assistance to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the microclimate assessment. With CIAT’s high sustainability standards in mind, Arup helped the team understand the path to LEED® Platinum certification; Labs21 benchmarking; and also introduced The Living Building Challenge, a regenerative design framework, as an additional avenue to achieving rigorous sustainability standards.

CATEGORY: Professional SETTING: Urban STATUS: Completed project

BY: Arup

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: In partnership with CIAT and AEV Arquitectos, Arup worked with the team to understand the needs of a global seed bank and the community it serves. The design of the center promotes openness, with a breathable facade and modular laboratories to allow for flexible and adaptable spatial configuration, as well as space for a learning center open to the public.

PARTNERS: Alejandro Echeverri Ariquitectos (AEV Arquitectos)