Revised version of project completed
The design of the Enkyo medical and social center was praised for its potential to become a benchmark with regard to energy efﬁciency, geothermal pre-cooling and rainwater harvesting in the urban context of Brazil. Due to economic constraints, the design led by Shieh Arquitetos Associados and consultants from Universidade de São Paulo was revised. For the time being, the building was completed without some of its original sustainability features.
Last updated: April 23, 2014 São Paulo, Brazil
The design of the Enkyo medical and social center received a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize in 2008 for Latin America, and was praised by the jury for its potential to become a benchmark with regard to energy efﬁciency, geothermal pre-cooling and rainwater harvesting in the urban context of Brazil. Enkyo – an organization that has provided healthcare services to the Japanese Community in Brazil for more than 50 years – conducted an architectural competition for its new headquarters in São Paulo. The selected design was then revised due to economic constraints and completed in August 2009.
The original concept reflected not only Japanese elements such as the bridge walkway through a garden entrance – but also modern architecture and many elements of energy efficiency. The complex requirements of the new headquarters of Enkyo were addressed by some well-defined strategies: vertical zoning functions with separate elevators, lower ground floor for vehicle arrivals, and exclusive areas for in-patient care. In addition to its service program, the concept led by Shieh Arquitetos Associados for the Enkyo medical and social center was designed to be one of the most energy efficient buildings in São Paulo – which also contributed to its selection as winner of the architectural competition by Enkyo.
Economic conditions lead to adaptation of design
“Unfortunately, we had to change many aspects of the original design due to economic forces. Many of our strategies towards energy-efficiency could not be implemented the way we intended because of economic reasons”, explains architect Leonardo Shieh of Shieh Arquitetos Associados. The perforated metal pre-shading device at costing was over budget and therefore was not implemented. Also implementation of the cooling system was postponed.
“Even thought the sustainability concept that received the Holcim Awards Acknowledgement has little resemblance to the sustainability concept as implemented, the hope remains that the original scheme and all its research behind can serve other professionals addressing similar climate issues,” notes Leonardo Shieh.
Shading system for optimum energy efficiency
The collaborative design of the building for optimum energy efficiency leveraged consultants from Universidade de São Paulo (USP) such as Jörg Spangenberg, Rafael Brandão, Rita Buoro and Bruna Light. The proposal included shading from perforated metal screens on the outside of the entire building envelope. They also developed a chimney effect natural ventilation system using geothermal cooling of the basement. Only laboratory areas, concentrated around the core of the building had provision for mechanical air-conditioning. Cooling of airflows through contact with groundwater, solar water heating panels, a green roof, rainwater reuse, and related strategies projected savings of up to 30% on energy consumption.