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.See more
An energy-efficient medical and social center in São Paulo was one of six recipients of the Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prizes for Latin America.Media release – Holcim Awards honor sustainable construction in Latin America » Más información (Spanish) » Leia mais (Portuguese) »
The Enkyo medical and social center located in the Asian Quarter of Liberdade close to downtown São Paulo will be thoroughly computer-simulated with regard to its surrounding urban context for observations of aerodynamics, thermal behavior and natural lightning. This is a pilot project for computer-simulation in Brazil. Based on sound analyses, all traced strategies were meant to be economical and simple rather than high-tech in order to keep life cycle costs low.
As a result many passive measures were integrated into the design such as an optimal building orientation and shading elements on the façades without affecting high daylight penetration. Geothermal pre-cooling as an entirely new strategy for the subtropical region of Brazil was developed, bringing naturally available groundwater as cooling ﬂuid to standard fan-coil units of conventional air conditioning systems. In addition 100% of the rainwater will be collected for non-potable use, also improving storm water management. The jury has commended this project because it has the potential to become a benchmark with regard to energy efﬁciency, geothermal pre-cooling and rainwater harvesting in the urban context of Brazil.See more
In the planning of this Energy-efficient medical and social center, computer simulations played an important role – aerodynamics, thermal behavior and natural lighting were traced to minimize building costs and improve eco-efficiency. One sustainable measure is harnessing ground-water to cool intake air before standard air-conditioning systems are needed – known as geo-thermal pre-cooling.Download project entry poster (PDF, 2.05 MB) »
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