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Arup Community Engagement

Project overview

Project overview

  • Support to Fundación Lucas Koch, a non-profit foundation in Spain to design home for seven severely disabled children.
  • Full detailed and tender design documents for structural, mechanical, electrical, public health (SMEP), facade, fire, sustainability, and lighting.

The Madrid Office supported the Fundación Lucas Koch in designing a home for seven severely disabled children. The one storey building surrounds an internal patio and consists of three main parts: the residential wing including the rooms of the children and bathrooms, the common area with kitchen and living room, and the therapy centre including an indoor pool. The Foundation envisions a low-energy house while guaranteeing the comfort and safety of the children and satisfying their enhanced needs.

Arup staff provided full detailed and tender design documents for structural, mechanical, electrical, public health (SMEP), facade, fire, sustainability, and lighting. The deliverables included drawings, design reports, specifications, bill of quantities, and advice on many areas. To meet the design brief, extensive studies were undertaken by our Sustainability and MEP team. Photovoltaic (PV) and solar panels were incorporated into the design. A simple and robust structural system was developed considering the seismic requirements of the region.

As a charity project the Foundation’s 'business' objective was clear: getting a building that can be used safely in the future, not too complex, and within the limited budget the Foundation had. The service we have provided has helped the client in achieving this goal. Construction is finished and the building will be opened in late 2014.

The team were able to provide what the client expected, which proved more difficult than what was anticipated. There were three major challenges:

  • To understand the requirements (and restrictions) of a one-family house, since usually Arup is involved in larger scale projects.
  • To coordinate a design team involving many disciplines when a large part of the work had to happen in non-working hours.
  • To collaborate effectively with a strong but inexperienced client and a young architect; managing their sometimes diverging expectations.

Fundación Lucas Koch is a private, non-profit, foundation-structured entity in Spain, which was created in 2009 with the purpose of contributing to improve the quality of life of those with multiple severe disabilities and that of their families. Given the situation of 100% dependence of this group, the foundation hopes to provide support for them and those who surround them by offering all types of resources, guidance and information, whilst creating public awareness of this problem.

Some of the Arup team were able to use the opportunity to learn new software and undertake different kinds of calculations and designs to that in their non-charitable work. Also, it was a great opportunity for graduate and junior engineers to be involved in a multi-disciplinary project and develop design experience while supervised by senior staff.

The best thing about being involved in the project was the inter- and multi-disciplinary coordination experience the team has gained. From a personal point of view, the team gained knowledge about the lives and needs of severely disabled people, and at the end received the warm appreciation and gratefulness of the Foundation for the help.

Young people with severe disabilities will live in a real home that is adapted to their special needs and will also be sustainable.
Elena Guembe, Patron of Lucas Koch, Spain



6 October, 2014
Opening ceremony Lucas Koch Foundation Centre

After 4 years of hard work, Lucas Koch Foundation's Home for severely disabled children is now officlally open.   

22 August, 2013
Start on site

On 22nd August, Lucas Koch Foundation partnered with Arup to start the construction of Home for severely disabled children in Spain.

3 September, 2012
Final submission detailed design for tender
The Arup team submitted the final detailed design of the Lucas Koch Foundation. The detailed and tender design documents for structural, mechanical, electrical, public health (SMEP), facade, fire, sustainability, and lighting.Lucas Koch
11 March, 2012
Project Kick off
The Lucas Koch Foundation in association with Arup started the project of building a home for seven severely handicapped people in Spain.
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