The purpose of this report is to evaluate the influenceof the use made of a building envelope on its energy performance.
In thisreport I will be studying two buildings that have recently been constructed andconvey sustainability factors. As our world changes it is important that theway we construct and maintain our buildings to accompany and sustain ourenvironment. This report will go into detail as to how buildings are now beingconstructed and maintained in order to work alongside our ever changing climateand to accommodate human occupants and the buildings surroundings. My first chosen building is ‘The Edge’ located in Amsterdam which first opened in September2014, it is a 40,000m²office building in the Zuidas business district in Amsterdam. It was designedfor the global financial firm and main tenant, Deloitte.
It has been winner ofmany different awards but primarily was given BREEAM Award for Offices New Construction in 2016. Three significantbuilding fabric factors that influence the buildings energy performance are: · Energy Reuse· Solar Panel Roof· Smart Lighting The energy reuse is located mainly in the atrium as it acts as a generatorbetween the workspaces and the external environment. Excess ventilation airfrom the offices is recycled to air condition the atrium space.
The air is thenventilated back out through the top of the atrium where it passes through aheat exchanger to make use of any warmth gained. The Solar Panel Roof is made up of 65000 sq ft of solar panelsand are located on the facades and roof, and remotely on the roofs of buildingsof the University of Amsterdam which is located across the motorway next to’The Edge’ which in turn makes use of neighbouring buildings. The building’sEthernet-powered LED lighting system is designed with 30,000 sensors to constantlymeasure the buildings occupancy, movement, lighting levels, humidity andtemperature, allowing it to automatically adjust energy use. Thestructural components of the building were also well thought out to boost thesustainability of the building and its future use, the arrangement of large floors organised around agrand 15-storey north-facing atrium allows natural daylight to reach most ofthe office spaces, while the load-bearing structure and smaller glazed openingsof the south facing facades provide thermal mass and shade. The atrium is thelung of the building, ventilating the office space while providing an exchange withthe exterior which reduces energy use in both summer and winter. The buildings design tookinto major consideration its workforce and believes that happy, comfortable andhealthy workers are more productive because of the environment they work in.This then led to an app being developed which each employee has access to.
With the app they can find parking spaces, free desks or other colleagues,report issues to the facilities team, or even navigate within the building. Employeescan customise the temperature and light levels anywhere they choose to work in thebuilding via the mobile app. The app also remembers how they like their coffee,and tracks their energy use so they’re aware of it. The shape, orientation andlocation the building was thought out in detail as each facing façade has arole to play such as the load bearing walls to the south, east and west havesmaller openings to provide thermal mass and solid openable panels forventilation. The louvers on the south facing facades are designed to the sunangles and provide shading for the office spaces, reducing solar hear gain. Thenorth facades are used up of thicker glass to dampen noise from the motorwaybut to also keep out the cold air. The overall atrium façade is transparentallowing a steady north natural light into the main hub of the building. Overall it is clear to seewhy this building was winner of so many sustainability awards as it hasdeveloped so many different initiatives to keep the building running for manyfurther years and make use of its surroundings and employees.
My second choice ofbuilding is the NASA Sustainability Basein California and was completed in 2012. The base is used as an office buildingand is 50000 sq feet in size. The building site is designed to be regenerate energy.Through the two methods of optimizing energy demand and providing the neededsupply through renewable sources, the Sustainably Base’s overall goal is torely only on renewable forms of energy as they become cost effective. Althoughnatural daylighting and ventilation is maximized, the building still has anactive heating and cooling system to maintain comfort throughout the year. The two-storey buildings have a narrowwidth of 54ft, which ensures more daylight reaches workstations on both floors.
The base includes open space for administrative offices, conference areas, aglass-walled atrium and dining areas, and can accommodate 210 people. Threesignificant building fabric factors that influence the buildings energyperformance are: · Intelligent,High-Performance Lighting Systems· Solarand Thermal Panels· Waterreuse The base has LEDfixtures in many areas of the building and the sophisticated lighting controlsystem automatically dims lights to adjust for conditions and time of day.Floor-to-ceilingwindows, skylights on the upper floor and computer operable automated windowsreduce the requirement of artificial lighting to only 40 days in a year. Energyconsumption of the building is displayed in real-time on an LCD screen in thelobby. The Solarand Thermal panels mean that thebuilding consumes 75% less energy than a typical office building and generatesexcess power. Photovoltaic (conversion of light to electricity) panelsinstalled on the roof and across the site contribute to 30% of the total energyrequirements.
A small wind turbine and a solid oxide fuel cell generate theremaining energy. Single-ply cool roof and radiant cooling panels on ceilingsreduce the cooling requirements. The solar thermal panels provide domestic hot water forthe building. About 90% of the potablewater consumption is saved through dual plumbing, ultra-low-flush fixtures andusing recycled grey water for irrigation to its green areas. TheStructural components of the buildings were not only thought out to provideenergy but to also think about its demolition.
Most of the materials within the building are recyclable orrecycled, salvaged, or rapidly renewable. This also ensured it could bedisassembled or repaired quickly. An external braced frame made of lightweightinsulated metal was chosen to reduce the amount of steel in the building, andit also reduced the amount of material needed for construction. The basealso benefits from insulated exterior metal panel systems with high performanceglazing provides a tight, warm envelope for cool mornings. When the interiorgets too warm, operable windows controlled by users and building managementsystems create gentle cross-ventilation. Thecomfort requirements for the staff was also given consideration not onlyinternally but externally as outdoorpatios in the exterior gardens and trees have wireless internet access and actas staff meeting place. The column-free interiorspace that facilitates workplace flexibility also has a raised access floorthroughout the open area which is connected to a dedicated outdoor air systemto provide fresh air distribution when the building’s windows are closed.
Theopen office floor plan is divided into areas of 25-30 people, linked by commonservices and aligned along an interior street to provide team-building andcollaboration. The Sustainability Baseis situated at the centre of the Nasa Ames Campus. The building has a lunarshape with two identical wings. It completes a geometric circle in line withother buildings which are around the campus. The curvy buildings in the campusare also oriented to take advantage of the natural sunlight and wind comingfrom the San Francisco Bay. Thebuilding’s orientation also means that for 325 days out of the year, noartificial lighting is needed during working hours. The landscape surroundingthe base also features native plants, flowers, and trees, a majority of whichare drought resistant Inconclusion NASA wanted the facility to showcase its culture ofinnovation and exceed LEED Platinum standards.
The result is unlike anygovernment building ever created. It’s furnished with materials that are beneficialto your health. A building so smart and intuitive it knows exactly how muchenergy is consumed and adapts itself based on weather, season and workpatterns.
My two building choices are in completely different locations but itsclear to see that each project has been built in such a way that it isconsidered all the aspects of its natural surroundings and itsenvironment which is something all projects going forward are continuing todevelop.