Extranet
/
Select the country:
En Fr De Nl Es It Pl Cz Ru

Latest news

Check archive ‹ Previous page



Energy-Generating Algae to Power 1960s-Era GSA Office Building in LA

Architects and engineers from HOK / Vanderweil showcased their creativity and sustainable design expertise with a winning net zero building retrofit design in Metropolis magazine's Next Generation Design Competition 2011. Young designers were challenged to develop net zero energy solutions for a 46-year-old federal office building in downtown Los Angeles. In alignment with President Barack Obama's mandate that federal agencies lower their greenhouse gas emissions, the building's owner, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), has a goal of reducing building emissions 30 percent by 2020.
 
 
HOK / Vanderweil's "Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution," a retrofit design process, reduces the building's overall energy demand by 84 percent while generating the remaining 16 percent on-site. The design uses proven energy conservation and renewal strategies, including atria and light wells that bring daylight into workspaces, integrated louvers for natural ventilation, a new facade with 35,000 square feet of photovoltaic film, 30,000 square feet of rooftop solar collectors that circulate water through floors to help with climate control, and office equipment operated by a cloud computing system.
 

The design team's breakthrough idea, believed to be an architectural first, uses energy-producing microalgae to help power the building. The biomimetic-inspired design proposes a 25,000 square foot microalgae bioreactor system that generates 9 percent of the renovated federal building's power supply. A modular system of algae tubes wraps the building and absorbs the sun's radiation to produce lipids for fuel production on-site, simultaneously shading interior office spaces. This photobioreactor transforms the building into a living entity.

"What is particularly remarkable about this solution was how a large, interdisciplinary team collaborated on a comprehensive plan that not only achieves net zero, but also deploys its design and technical solutions in a humanistic and contextually integrated way," said Metropolis Editor-in-Chief Susan S. Szenasy.
 
 
"Existing buildings come with a multitude of permanent and adjustable conditions," said HOK Sustainability Expert Sean Quinn, who led the Process Zero design team. "We set out to create a retrofit process that has the potential to be replicated for all existing buildings."
 

GSA Chief Architect Leslie Shepherd said he and other jurors were impressed by "the sophistication of the winning entry, and of the many other inventive submissions. With appropriate testing and validation, certain Next Generation strategies could be replicated across a wider swath of our Great Society-era buildings."

The HOK / Vanderweil team will reinvest its $10,000 prize as seed money for further research and development of its proposed renewable energy technologies. "Our solution suggests that designers, energy researchers and manufacturers partner to develop high-performance, aesthetically appealing building technology," said Quinn.
 
 
Inspiration for this building retrofit came from nature. The bio-inspired design aligns with HOK's move to use sustainable systems thinking. In 2008, this strategy led to a formal alliance with Janine Benyus and The Biomimicry Group, a bio-inspired innovation company. The two organizations are currently working on a new planning and design methodology called "FIT." This Fully Integrated Thinking tool is rooted in life's principles and draws from nature's proven design solutions.
 
 
 
 
Source: Dexigner
Related links: HOK




 
Headlines
16-09 Shigeru Ban to Construct Tainan Museum of Fine Arts
12-09 Argentina to Build Latin America’s Tallest Skyscraper
11-09 London Science Museum Taps Zaha Hadid to Design Maths Gallery
10-09 Back to school... with a colourful new campus by Henning Larsen Architects in Kolding, Denmark
09-09 b720 arquitectos designs spanish pavilion for expo milano 2015
08-09 COBE’s Adaptive Reuse of Nordhavnen Silo Marks Beginning of Redevelopment
05-09 La Tour Tower by 3XN
04-09 Foster + Romero Alliance Wins Competition to Design the Mexico City Airport Expansion
03-09 Erick van Egeraat’s Incineration Line in Roskilde, Denmark is officially inaugurated
02-09 Victoria One: Melbourne's Tallest Residential Tower Will Feature a Botanic-Like Green Glass Facade
01-09 Tate Modern Extension by Herzog & de Meuron
29-08 Construction Begins of Mecanoo’s Three Cultural Centers & One Book Mall in Shenzhen
28-08 UNIT creates sky street for shenzen bay super city competition
27-08 Taichung Metropolitan Opera House by Toyo Ito
26-08 Fernando Guerra Captures Álvaro Siza’s First Project in China
25-08 Phase one opens at bangkok central embassy by AL_A.
22-08 Studio CTC Imagines Terraced Twin Skyscrapers in Hong Kong
21-08 Massive Floating Sails Could Harness Wind and Wave Energy to Power Copenhagen’s Electric Grid
20-08 Lotus building by studio 505

Archi-Europe Archi-Europe Group Building Solutions Press Releases Links

Premium partner

                    

Institutional Partners

                              

International Exhibitions & Events

                                                                                     

Media Partners

                              
Partners
               
designed by infoweb