07 Jul 17

Working Harder to Meet the Environmental Needs of Now

Relevance is mission critical

There is a new direction towards facades and systems that respond to place, climate, and expression. Such technology offers more than simply a ‘window’ or weather barrier that activates its shades in sunlight. It can help buildings generate energy and manage outside air, too. And that’s just the start. As more data is generated, connected buildings will serve as platforms that help us better understand the impact of different behaviours and factors in the environment.

The immediate payoff, of course, is in the bottom line. Buildings that identify waste can eliminate it. Those that can adjust their energy needs to shifts in the environment can consume less. With data will come new opportunities for revenue growth and productivity improvements. More important, technology can help transform the building from a symbol of urban excess and energy waste into a beacon for addressing climate change.

The world can’t afford to wait. Even dumb buildings can often do more in the climate fight, starting at the top. Green roofs not only reduce energy needs by covered a heat-absorbing dark surface with vegetation, they create another opportunity for shared space and connections with nature. As developers look to technology that can help them integrate operations and reduce energy costs, they shouldn’t forget the power of design.

Dynamic Conditions

  • Understanding of optimization processes, fabrication processes, and lateral thinking through the use of associated design technology to generate optimal use of materials, solutions, parametric facades and innovative responses to place.
  • Multiple analysis techniques that enable a heightened understanding of passive environmental responses.
  • Buildings can generate more energy than they use through improved materials and design, as well as features like solar panels, geothermal wells, and wind turbines.
  • The building facade or envelope is designed to recover heat and generate electricity. Commercial facades (in particular) will not simply seal artificial environments. They engage with the context.

1 William Street

Located in a hot, humid sub-tropical environment, the parametric design process considered building orientation, passive sun shading as well as well as the use of high performance glass as essential ingredients to ensure energy usage was thoroughly considered 1 William Street links the public service workplace visually to the Parliament House of Queensland and also provides a direct visual link from the city into the social spaces of the building, creating a workplace environment that is directly visible and transparent in Brisbane.

The ground plane creates city connections where none existed and provides a compelling gardenesque link from the City Botanical Gardens to the Brisbane River. 5 individual pedestrian links are provided from the city to the river ensuring that the site plays its part in recreating an important part of the city that was previously disconnected from the river and under utilised.

Parametric Design has been used to optimise the use of sun shading and energy usage, balanced with opacity of the glass and visual clarity of the façade, optimising the sense of well-being of the participants.