Alejandro Herrera, Mexico City, Mexico
Name: Alejandro Herrera
Lives in: Cologne, Germany
Period in Germany: September 2010 to September 2011
Research institution: Wismar University of Applied Sciences – Technology, Business and Design
During the time I spent in Germany, I took part in ‘Technology cooperation to boost energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in Mexican businesses’, which was part of the International Leadership Training (ILT) programme run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
‘Now I have a different perspective on architecture’
My time in Germany has really changed my life. I’ve become familiar with many efficient and environmentally friendly construction methods that I’ll be applying in my own career. It was in Germany, for example, that I discovered the passive house standard, which aims to combine comfort with energy efficiency.
I want to use my knowledge of efficient construction to develop sustainable construction projects that meet the passive house standard in Mexico. I’m already working on how to apply my expertise and on how we could market passive houses here.
In November 2011, two other Germany-Alumni, Lorena Soto and Carlos Gaitan, and I entered the first Ibero-American Passive House Contest. Our project was chosen to be included in a travelling exhibition about the passive house, along with entries from countries including Spain, Portugal and Chile.
‘As an architect, technical exchanges between Mexico and Germany are especially important to me’
Over the past year, Marisa Egea and I have set up our own company, ‘Taller Passivhaus México’. Through that project, I’ve got to know other Germany alumni and I’m working with them. I’m also regularly in touch with my former fellow grant-holders, who now work in a range of businesses and state bodies across Mexico.
At the moment, we’re working on passive house certification of an apartment in the Colonia Roma, right in the centre of Mexico City. It could become the first certified passive house in Latin America. The apartment itself was built as a steel structure on the roof of a 1930 apartment block. The main problems were excessive solar radiation and ventilation. We solved them by developing appropriate models and using suitable materials and technologies.
I’m always seeing differences in town planning between Germany and Mexico, especially in public spaces, infrastructure and transport. What I like about Germany are its towns and cities with rivers, harbours, and parks and gardens and the contemporary architecture. But I also really enjoy the cultural scene in Germany.
Alejandro Herrera on the Alumniportal Deutschland
I would love to get to know the Alumniportal Deutschland’s projects, work and products and create synergies.