Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Green Building in Almada, Portugal by Forward Architect
July 24th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Forward
Green Building – Madan Technology Center stands as a benchmark for sustainability and energy efficiency within the national context. The project makes recourse to innovative solutions to meet the demands of a new environmental paradigm.
Green Building – Madan Technology Center was planned by the Forward architectural firm following a commission by the Association of the Almada / Setúbal Science and Technology Park – Madan Parque. Located in Portugal, on a site nearby the Faculty of Sciences and Technology – Nova University and is designed to host the Company Innovation program and a Data Centre serving the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region. Given its characteristics, the infrastructure shall serve as a pole of attraction for high technology companies.
The project strives to reflect an architectural approach able to establish deep roots in its space, diluting the border between the building and its surrounding environment in order to convey the existing simplicity. This furthermore seeks to establish a relationship between the building and its context, the artificial and the natural and enabling the facility to lead and maintain a dialogue with its landscape and the new environment paradigms.
This responds to a functional program with appropriate solutions while simultaneously introducing differentiating factors that make the architectonic object a contemporary and innovative proposal capable of ensuring its status as a benchmark in energy efficiency and sustainability. This building aims to guarantee its classification as a “Nearly Zero Energy Building”.
The building contains two distinct usages, distributed over its four constituent floors. The basement houses the Data Centre that serves the entire pole and potential third party entities. On the remaining floors, there are various service areas made up of offices, meeting rooms and a multimedia amphitheatre in addition to various support structures.
The specificity of the set stipulations, in both architectonic terms and as a benchmark facility are demonstrated, for example, by the concrete flowerbeds with recycled aggregates, which, given that this is a region of high seismic risk, endow strength and support to the building through their integration into its structural network and endowing a unique character on the inner spaces and stamping them with the rhythms of fullness and emptiness that qualify the environment. Furthermore, their role stretches far beyond any formal artistic intention.
The flowerbeds play a fundamental role in the energy performance of the building given that they serve a cooling purpose in summer due to the evapotranspiration effects of the plants that foster a favourable microclimate. They further contribute towards boosting the thermal stability of the building and shading the transparent beams. Given how the geometrical layout works simultaneously as a rainwater collection system to be later used for irrigating the surroundings and the building.
At the level of the Data Centre, there are unprecedented solutions incorporating cooling systems with recourse to subterranean water and the recovery of the heat produced by the equipment here for the building’s heating and water system and inclusively extending to supplying other buildings in the Madan Park complex. This recovery enables the energy efficiency of the Data Centre to be boosted and thus contributes towards sustainability and integrating a solution truly innovative in worldwide terms.
Despite the demands inherent to infrastructures of this type, especially as regards refrigeration, the energy efficiency targets set for the Data Centre contain the PUE<1. 45 index (the first ever in Portugal with this type of energy consumption) in conjunction with Uptime-Tier 3 certification of its performance levels.
The building’s energy efficiency also includes, among other solutions, micro-generation through photovoltaic panels, recourse to efficient solutions for equipment and the installation of LED lighting technology throughout the interior and exterior.
As a sustainable building, the objectives extend to taking out LEED Certificate and ensure it becomes a reference in Portugal: Green Building would be the third in the country with this certification type and the first in the south of the country.
In addition, the solutions adopted for the buildings pre-empt all the regulatory requirements set out in European Union legislation for 2020 (Energy Performance Building Directive, recast, May 2010).
The uniqueness of the program, allied with its guidelines deriving from the issues of energy efficiency and sustainability, ensure this building results from the combining of knowledge and professional skills that shall be indispensable to sustaining the balance between the built and the natural environments planned for the future.
Contact Forward Architect