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.
ZCB Zero Carbon Building in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong by Ronald Lu & Partners
January 8th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ronald Lu & Partners
ZCB, the first Zero-Carbon Building in Hong Kong is developed as a platform for promoting low-carbon living to foster cultural shift, as well as showcase low/zero-carbon design and technologies.
PROCESS: Clearly defined vision and targets, early and continuous engagement of stakeholders and integrated teamwork are pivotal to the 15-month fast-track delivery from inception to completion of this pioneering project. To cater for the fast-evolving zero / low carbon technologies and changing needs, ZCB is designed with high spatial, structural and building system adaptability with allowance for plug and unplug of building systems. On-going monitoring and evaluation of the building performance shall be shared for knowledge transfer to stakeholders.
PLACE: ZCB is designed with flexibility to switch from a tightly sealed air-conditioned environment to a highly porous cross-ventilated mode with low thermal storage to address the often high humidity of Hong Kong. Building orientation and form are designed with thoughtful consideration of the site shadowing and wind environment.
The site was formed in a balanced cut and fill manner and with a strategic undulating profile to help buffering against environmental nuisances from surrounding traffic. High greenery coverage (about 50%) provides amenity, mitigates heat island effect and provides shade within the site as well as along its perimeter.
PERFORMANCE: Potential energy demand is reduced by implementing climate-responsive passive design and highly energy-efficient active systems, which are expected to reduce ZCB’s energy consumption by 20% and 25% respectively as compared to the current building industry benchmark. On-site renewable energy is produced by tri-generation system using locally produced bio-diesel from waste cooking oil, photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar thermal.
The surplus energy will be exported back to the electricity grid to offset the embodied energy of materials and the construction process. Continuous post occupancy studies will also be conducted to gain research data on building performance.
PEOPLE: Open to the public, ZCB and its landscaped area is expected to cater for 40,000 visitors per year. To this end, ZCB is the first building in Hong Kong that requires compliance of “Cool Biz Dress Code” to foster cultural shift towards sustainable way of living.
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