Meet the winners: Álvaro Pérez Garay

Excellent engineers from all around the globe have joined the ennomotive community. The challenge proposed by Mercamadrid was solved by two brilliant engineers, Pedro Ibarra Chacón and Álvaro Pérez Garay. Read about Alvaro’s experience participating in this engineering challenge.

Enjoy the interview!

Can you introduce yourself briefly? What is your more relevant working experience?

I would like to start this interview by saying that I participated in this challenge with another engineer, Pedro Ibarra Chacón. I am part of the Ennomotive community and I usually follow the new competitions. In this particular challenge, I saw the possibility to participate and so I looked for the best team possible.

Pedro is a mechanical engineer and an expert in HVAC systems, and I am a structural engineer with experience in rehabilitation and some knowledge of the new standards of the passive building with (almost) zero consumption.

My name is Álvaro Pérez Garay, I currently live in Plasencia (Cáceres) and I’m from Murcia, Spain. I studied Industrial Engineering with a specialization in construction at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and I worked for 8 years as a civil engineer at a Spanish engineering company, undertaking projects of electric central (combined and nuclear cycles). After a graduating from a Master’s on Projects Leading at the IE Business School, I jumped to a Spanish industrial multinational, where I managed most of the industrial civil projects.

What challenges have you participated in? How well did you do in them?

Actually, I’ve only participated in the Mercamadrid challenge. I remember the two Pacadar challenges (flagstone design and temporary ships) and I regret not taking them. I would have really liked to participate in both, but I didn’t have time because of personal circumstances.

What kind of challenge do you like most? Why?

I really like the challenges that look for out-of-the-box designs, that search for different solutions to what we normally do. Because of my education, I’m interested in challenges related to construction, energy efficiency, and resources optimization. I believe that engineering exists to get better results in the most efficient way as possible. Research and engineering must be the base over which we achieve to minimize our impact on the planet.

What is your motivation for participating?

My motivation to participate is triple and, if Ennomotive wouldn’t offer them all, I would find it very hard to participate. We must have in mind that it takes a time we could spend with our family and friends:

  • The personal satisfaction of the recognition of our ideas and proposals by the client
  • The public recognition and visibility that Ennomotive gives to their website
  • The economic reward for the effort and time

Did you have any experience with this kind of challenges? Have you solved a similar challenge in the past?

Our working experience and the knowledge about the new construction standards made me realize there was an opportunity in this challenge. In the past, we had applied different aspects as the improvement of the wrapping, the double skin or more efficient equipment, but never all of them at the same time.

How did you come up with this solution? What was your inspiration?

We were inspired by the “new” concept of passive construction (it actually is a turn back to the origins we had forgotten). Until now, it’s been used a lot in the construction of offices and residences, but not in refrigerated storages (it’s not very extended in the industry).

It was very clear to us that it had to reduce the power demand from the building, minimizing the losses and reusing as much as possible those resources that are “free”. We checked different design guides from many countries for this kind of storages, we looked for the most recent references (Tokyo, Seoul, Melbourne, New York), we analyzed what was done, why they did that and which part we could add to this challenge. We saw that there were parts very well thought and other ones that could be better so we put ourselves to work.

The solution we proposed was based on the three aspects previously mentioned: the wrapping improvement with new materials, the new climatization equipment that is more efficient and the exploitation of the exterior conditions for the ventilation and climatization of the storage at zero cost.

We proposed vast alternatives that, with the determinants of the challenge, we dismissed when we realized they were not possible. Finally, the storage is managed by a smart switchboard that activates some types of equipment and others in function of the necessities of the storage itself and the exterior determinants.

How did you like this interview? Is there anything you would have done differently for this engineering challenge?

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