The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has published MAS Intimates Thurulie – Clothing factory in Sri Lanka – adding another example of sustainable architecture from around the world to its series of monographs. The book explains how within 13 months MAS Intimates created a building that respects the balance between environmental, social, and economic performance whilst also providing a functionally, culturally, and aesthetically appropriate response to its unique setting.
MAS Intimates Thurulie is a visionary departure from a standard factory. It claims to be the world’s first clothing factory powered solely by carbon-neutral sources. Energy consumption is 25 percent lower than that of comparable factories, and consumption of potable water about half the norm. To reduce embodied energy in the building, the main exterior walls are made of compressed stabilized earth block manufactured close to the building site. The architectural design responds to the tropical climate with a full array of passive cooling measures and a clever cooling system to economically achieve a comfortable indoor environment.
The factory creates an environment that is conducive to lean manufacturing. The production floor is divided into separate areas where workers collaborate in teams, enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction. The factory is profitable to operate, displaying energy efficiency, operational efficiency, and high productivity, with the payback period for the extra cost of making the building sustainable is only five years.
MAS Intimates Thurulie – Clothing factory in Sri Lanka / Daniel Wentz
Published by Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, 2009
88 pages, 107 illustrations, 15 x 21 cm, in English