Traveling to different countries and seeing with my own eyes what
they have done in some of their buildings, has been a very rewarding
experience for me. I was very much fascinated by some of the innovations
that have been implemented in some of those buildings.
The approach taken in the design of these buildings was not driven
only by economics—as it is in most cases in the United States—there were
other maybe even more important driving factors such as the need of
creating a building that is environmentally friendly or a building that
will stand out for its innovations, etc. This approach is what makes it
possible for technological advances that would otherwise be overlooked
by architects and engineers because of their prohibitive first cost to
My original intention of learning what other countries have done or
are doing in regard to the integration of control systems with
mechanical and architectural elements in a building was very much
fulfilled by these travels, despite the fact that lack of time did not
allow me to complete my original travel itinerary.
I was also able to study and learn about some of the innovative
solutions that have been implemented to improve the overall energy
efficiency of buildings. Automatically controlled windows to provide
natural ventilation and automatically controlled blinds or diaphragms to
provide natural daylight and a constant level of illumination are some
Even though most of these innovations may never get implemented in
the North American industry, it is certain from these initiatives taken
by these European countries that not only the United States but also the
rest of the world will, at some level, benefit.
This experience was overall an excellent opportunity to get some
exposure on how other developed countries are coping with the energy
efficiency issues and challenges that the world is facing today. I am
most grateful for having been granted with this opportunity and would
not hesitate for a minute to do it all over again if I had the chance.