EUIPO AA3 Building, Alicante

Setting the standard for buildings in Spain


Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: BREEAM ES New Construction 2015
  • Stage: Interim
  • Location: Location
  • Size: 13,993 m2
  • Number of floors: Two below ground level and four above ground level
  • Score & Rating: 90.85 % Outstanding
  • Certificate Number: BNC-0216-002/CP

Project Team

  • Client:  European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
  • Architect:  Carlos Rubio Carvajal, RUBIO Arquitectura
  • BREEAM Assessor:  Mercedes Cecilia García Ruiz, Servicios Ambientales Integrales del Norte, S.L.
  • Contractor:  FCC Construcción, S.A.
  • Engineering: TYPSA
  • Project Management Assistance: IDOM
  • Site Supervision Team: GRUPOTEC
  • Health and Safety Coordinator: PREMEA
  • Quality control: TÜV ATISAE

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), formerly known as OHIM, was created in 1994, in Alicante, Spain, as a decentralised EU Agency for the registration of trade marks and designs valid across the EU-28


EUIPO has been led by an Executive Director, Mr António Campinos from Portugal, and a Deputy Executive Director, Mr Christian Archambeau from Belgium, since 2010. It has a significant presence in the local area; its contribution to the economy of the region in which it is based (GDP) is estimated at EUR 376.2 million annually.  Its core team is made up of close to 800 professionals working within the legal framework of the European Union Staff Regulations.

EUIPO operates in five working languages, namely English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. However, the Office receives applications in 23 EU languages.

In 2015, EUIPO’s AA2 building was awarded the first BREEAM ES Outstanding certification for new buildings in Spain, Portugal and Italy. EUIPO’s headquarters also have an Environmental Management System under EMAS Certification in place. The next phase of the project development is part of a campus expansion plan. The new AA3 building will host 150 workspaces, meeting and training room facilities and underground parking spaces. The building will be integrated within the campus and will have both indoor and outdoor connections to the existing AA1 and AA2 buildings.

When it began to plan the Design & Build (D&B) AA3 Project, EUIPO set an objective to continue reaching the highest possible standards in terms of sustainable development. Naturally, the new AA3 Project also seeks to achieve BREEAM ES Certification for new buildings, as this method is considered the most efficient guarantee for good practice in sustainable development, construction and operation of buildings, as well as being one of the most comprehensive and recognised certifications in the field. When launching the AA3 project’s call for tender, one of the requirements set was to obtain the BREEAM ES New Construction Certification at post-construction phase. The winning applicant of the call for tender had to formally commit to achieve all requirements necessary to reach the BREEAM NC Certification with a rating of at least Excellent, in order to be granted the D&B contract. Nevertheless, after the candidate was selected and the contract signed, EUIPO decided to aim even higher, and required that the AA3 Project reach the level of Outstanding.

Green Strategy

The general strategy applied is based on a comprehensive integration of the new AA3 building project within the existing campus, comprised of the two existing AA1 & AA2 buildings. The new AA3 Project benefits from the know-how gathered during the BREEAM certification process of the AA2 building in 2015, and also from the ‘In-Use’ Certification of the AA1 building, currently in process. Furthermore, the Certified Environmental Management System EMAS used by EUIPO, also contributes to the continuous improvement of its application processes.

Without any doubt, the knowledge acquired during the previous certification processes constitutes remarkable value, as all these elements could be integrated into the design process, making the most of synergies between the campus buildings. The BREEAM pre-assessment of the AA3 building project has been rated at 90.85%, qualified as Outstanding. It thereby ranked the building at the highest level of sustainability in Spain and Europe, thanks to the strategy applied and the know-how, efforts and engagement of all involved stakeholders, namely EUIPO and the project and design team.

The project reached more than 95% of the maximum possible score in 60% of all categories, which underlines the high level of sustainability. Key features include:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions: 71.03 %
  • Reduction in primary energy consumption: 66.73 %

These percentages of reduction have been calculated with the BREEAM tools used for it and are related to the “Reference Building” in these tools.

  • Reduction in water consumption 496.7 m3/year (estimated consumption of the AA3 building, with the reference building consumption: 1694 m3/year.)
  • Recycling or recovery of over 95% of construction and demolition waste generated during the construction phase.
  • Monitoring energy consumption by installing sub-meters in the main and secondary distribution boards, and by integrating them in the BMS system.
  • Installation of energy-efficient equipment.
  • Installation of lifts with an energy recovery system using a regenerative drive, that saves energy and feeds it back into the network with a positive charge.
  • Monitoring water consumption via the BMS system.
  • Re-use of greywater.
  • Use of rainwater for watering plants, collected in storm tanks.
  • Implementation of low CO2 emissions technology.
  • Maximum use of natural light.
  • Use of cladding materials with low or “zero” formaldehyde and VOC emissions.
  • Use of environmentally sustainable materials that have an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
  • Use of recycled aggregates.
  • Improvement of the biological quality of the site, with the creation of habitats with native plants that favour local biodiversity.
  • A strategy has been drawn up for eliminating existing invasive plants.
  • Use of cooling gases with low CO2 emissions levels and installation of a leak-detecting system.
  • Electricity supply to be obtained from renewable sources with zero emissions (green energy).
  • A geothermal facility is to be installed to cover the heating and cooling needs of the AA3 building.
  • Installation of an outdoor lighting system with adjustable light flow to reduce night-time light pollution.
  • Support for alternative transport systems by providing charging stations for electric vehicles and parking spaces for bicycles. There will be reserved car share parking spaces.
  • Execution project drafted in a comprehensive and integrated way, taking into account the opinions and suggestions of neighbours and users.
  • Management of the commissioning of the building via a Commissioning Manager.
  • For the first three years of the building’s occupation, the facility manager will compile information on occupant satisfaction levels, and water and energy consumption; this information will be used to check whether the building’s performance meets the expected standards.
  • A 60-year LCC has been prepared and will be backed up by an LCA.