The built environment is one of the highest energy consumers in the world. South Africa has only recently started forcing designers of the built environment to implement sustainable measures, in order to use less energy according to the SANS 10400 and SANS 204 Building regulations.
In the following construction design criteria will be used to decrease the use of energy in the building. By introducing passive solar design principals the energy efficiency of the building can be enhanced.
With these passive considerations kept in mind in the conceptual process of the design, both the orientation and also the view and visibility of the building was considered. This site is particularly challenging as it has a slight northwest orientation to the corner. The western sun in the late afternoon presents a problem, which we have addressed with large overhangs and louvered shading devices. To control lighting levels and heat gain. The form creates a focus on the central core. This area of the building appears to be suspended above a series of cross – shaped columns to create a floating glass features in the center to emphasize the entrance an create a covered entrance. With this orientation the use of shading devices and the shading of windows of opening and windows was considered. The roof of the building has a large overhang to protect the top windows from the northern sun in the summer but allowing the lower winter sun to penetrate into the building. The use of the correct insulation in the building envelope will provide us with a building that complies with the new sans 204 building energy efficiency regulations. This includes low e glazing to regulate the heat penetration into and out of the building as well as ceilings boards to reduce radiation and solar heat penetration.
The exterior spaces between the buildings will become a single cool courtyard with a predominant the use of indigenous vegetation, which reduces the solar heat gain and temperature in these areas. It has been shown that with the correct design the temperatures in these planted areas can be reduced by up to 7 degrees Celsius to the surrounding environment. Further to this large water features was introduced which will also assist with the cooling process as well as visual feature to all building located on this green area, that will allow for control of solar exposure.