At almost 63,000 square meters, the Madero Center has twenty-six office floors, along with one floor dedicated entirely to technological support for the building. The project was designed by Mario Roberto Álvarez & Asociados architecture studio, a company considered to have one of the most prolific collections of modernist architecture in Argentina, and even in all of Latin America.
Construction for the Madero Center started in October 2007, extending for three years in order to comply with the needs of the main contributor to the building, Standard Bank of Argentina (now the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), who had already sublet half of the offices of the building to other enterprises.
The office floors were leased at an average price of US $34 per square meter, a regular market value for premium buildings in the city of Buenos Aires. This indicates that the LEED pre-certification doesn't (and, some would argue, shouldn't) change the market value of a building. Rather, this qualification should act as a competitive factor when promoting the building.
Some of the characteristics that make the Madero office building really different, at least in the contemporary Argentine context, include the promotion for the rational use of water, energy, and natural resources, along with bioclimatic considerations for the interiors.
However good the intentions of an architect are though, in reality they mean nothing without consideration for sustainability. And for many years these facts were ignored by Argentine architects. In comparison to their Latin American counterparts, architects of the country struggled with “Green Building” design. Now, however, Argentina has its own green building council, modelled on their American counterparts.
The Madero Center is the first of many examples to come. However, we should ask ourselves if this model of green certification is applicable to buildings of all kinds in Argentina. Additionally, how are architects and developers going to offer innovation in green architecture while keeping it affordable?
Should we not start to create rules for what a green Argentine building should be? Are certifications from abroad applicable when the Argentine context is so completely different?
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.