Studio Bruno Stagno Architect

  • by Bruno Stagno
  • /
  • 2019-05-29 00:28:08
  • /
  • International
  • /
  • 3905 / EN


  • Building Type : Office building < 28m
  • Construction Year : 1986
  • Delivery year : 2014
  • Address 1 - street : 32 Street, 0 and 1 avenue 1007 SAN JOSé, Costa Rica
  • Climate zone : [Aw] Tropical Wet & Dry with dry winter.

  • Net Floor Area : 287 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 135 000 €
  • Cost/m2 : 470.38 €/m2

Certifications :

  • Primary energy need :
    20.79 kWhpe/m2.year
    (Calculation method : Built before those regulations )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

The building is located in a neighborhood of San José, Costa Rica, whose buildings date back to the second half of the 20th century.The vast majority of them are houses, but some of them have been transformed into shops and offices. Paseo Colon Avenue is 50 meters to the south.

San José is at an average height of 1,200 meters above sea level and has an average rainfall rate of 2,800 mm per year. Concentrating on rainfall is between the months of May and November. The predominant winds come in the rainy season from the Northeast. Their are more than 40-60 kilometers per hour. Occasionally there are gusts that exceed 80 kilometers per hour. The temperatures oscillate between an average of the lows of 17 centigrade to an average of the highs of 27 centigrade.

The lot has an area of 145.44 m2 with a front of 9.42m. and is oriented east-west.

The building was built in 1986 for the office of Bruno Stagno Architect and was remodeled in 2014. From its conceptualization a bioclimatic design was made using passive energies to achieve an adequate level of comfort. Local materials of low maintenance were selected. For a good natural lighting we designed horizontal windows and a central skylight.

The building was remodeled in 2014 with the purpose to get the RESET Seal of Conformity, granted by INTECO (Institute of Technical Standards). RESET (Requirements for Sustainable Buildings in the Tropics) is the National Standard of Costa Rica.

In the remodeling, perforated metallic sunshades were added to the east façade of the 2nd and 3rd floor (the most exposed in the morning) and a Warema shutter, controlled with an intelligent sensor, was installed in the window of the West façade. The rest of the windows are in shade to reduce the temperature by radiation.

The horizontal part of the eaves serves to capture the breeze of the Northeast and lead to the interior of the building. This gentle breeze that goes out by the central skylight generates a pleasant ventilation of the working spaces.

The change of sanitary fittings and faucets has produced an important saving of potable water, from 12m3 to 4m3 per month.

A graphic that indicates, in a section, the concepts of lighting and natural ventilation is attached.

Data reliability


Photo credit

Sergio Pucci


    Bruno Stagno Arquitecto y Asociados S.A.

    Arq. Bruno Stagno,, San José

Construction Manager

    Bruno Stagno Arquitecto y Asociados S.A.

    Arq. Bruno Stagno,, San José

Contracting method

General Contractor

Owner approach of sustainability

The climate of San José allows to design buildingswith bioclimatic architecture and to reduce electricity consumption and wateravoiding the installation of air conditioning system. A good management of theair flows in the internal spaces guarantees comfort in working spaces.

In the design stage it is necessary to avoid heatingthe building. This is possible with protections on facades and propermanagement and control of air flows. Having windows with devices that allowthem to be opened, in sections, facilitates a comfortable internal temperature.

Architectural description

The architecture studio is located in the city of San José, on a land of 145 square meters, measuring 9.5 meters wide and 15 meters deep. The building has three levels with two bays that revolve around a third that serves as a central atrium-garden. This patio, with a large palm tree as a focal point, links all the spaces vertically.

On the outside, local and straightforward materials form stripes that accentuate the volumes that compose it. Inside, exposed concrete and painted metal, contrast with the greenery of the plants sown in the garden. Natural light is filtered through the skylight of the central atrium, illuminating all the spaces according to the subtlety of daylight or the passage of white clouds typical of San José’s sky. The structure of this skylight lets in a permanent breeze that ventilates and refreshes the spaces. The opening of the studios and workspaces on each side of the atrium allows visual communication and spatial continuity. The architecture studio is a built manifest that illustrates the possibilities of a compact architecture and the possibility of working in an urban area to the beat of nature, without air conditioning and with high comfort standards product of natural lighting and cross ventilation. In 2018, the project was certified under the Inteco Standard of Conformity, and the National Standard: Requirements for Sustainable Buildings in the Tropics, RESET.

If you had to do it again?

Because of cross ventilation, some noise coming from the street go inside the building. Noises coming from the vehicles, but also sounds from nature (tropical rain) and tweets from birds. To reduce noise from vehicles soundproofing surface were added to the building.
We learn that bioclimatic architecture fulfill comfort in the climate of San José. To get comfort through climate is a challenge that can be achieved if architect master the variables involved. This kind of passive building for active people, can be built at no extra cost.

Energy consumption

  • 20,79 kWhpe/m2.year
  • 45,00 kWhpe/m2.year
  • Built before those regulations

  • 26,13 kWhpe/m2.year


    • No heating system
    • No domestic hot water system
    • No cooling system
    • Natural ventilation
    • No renewable energy systems

Water management

  • 48,00 m3

Health & Comfort

    In the building there is no installation of air conditioning because in a climate with these variables of temperature, wind, rain and humidity is not required if the design of the building is appropriate. In very few hours of the year humidity exceeds 80% and the temperature exceeds 28 ° Celsius. When these 2 data coincide, you feel drowsy. People who live in this type of tropical climate begin to feel displeased when these 2 variables coincide and are overcome.

    The introduction of an internal garden allows, increases the humidity, specially in dry months. The presence of vegetation next to the work areas is an excellent psychological and health contribution.


    Bricks Walls

    Gros œuvre / Structure, maçonnerie, façade

    Excellent thermal isolation

Urban environment

The height of the building fit with the near environment. The neighborhood provides the public transportation, restaurants, banks, retail shops and services. At 300 meters is La Sabana Park, the most extended green area of the city. 

70% of employees use public transportation.

Land plot area

145,44 m2

Built-up area

70,00 %

Green space


Parking spaces

The building has two parking spaces.

  • ​Bioclimatic conception
  • Metallic sunshades and Warema shutter
  • Lighting concept
  • Vegetation next to the work areas is an excellent psychological and health contribution
  • Technology only if it is necesary
  • Passive building with no extra cost

Contest categories

Health & Comfort

Health & Comfort

Users' Choice

Users' Choice

Green Solutions Awards 2019 - Buildings

Author of the page

  • Other case studies



    Green Solutions Awards 2019 - Buildings