“EEC Academy” Building was constructed in 2016, or 40 years following EEC establishment, to be an institute of learning and a strategic point during the free trade era and the backbone of “International Thai Engineering Consultancy Firm”
This building is built with superior safety and energy conservation standard compared other buildings in general and received the green building certification of Thai Green Building Institute at GOLD level. It also comes with some highlighting features including passive and active design measures that promotes the effectiveness as previously described in this article.
1. Project Overview
The Project covers approximately 3500 square meters of construction area and is located adjacent to The Promenade, Fashion Island Shopping Mall. It is completed with facilities and convenient access to public transport system. Building façade is facing toward northwestern direction.
Building typology is a combination between architecture and engineering in terms of anatomy and physiology. Its inside-out engineering design is based on organizational structure and operation.
The highlighting feature of this building is the façade area which is designed with greenhouse vent, a large water pond, a grand stairway, a large and shady activity zone and lastly zigzag rooftop.
The design of this buildings allows for adequate daylight exposure to nearly every section within the building to promote better quality of life and ensure that it is always in ready-for-use condition.
The Reception Hall and Conference Rooms on the 2nd Floor are designed to enable natural daylight exposure while the overhanging section on the upper floor, the stairway hall and elevator shaft are used to provide shades. The 3rd Floor is mainly an open area used as Operating Hall with zigzag roof structure to allow northern sunlight exposure. Here, solar cell panels are installed to collect heat from southern sunlight.
Apart from the use of natural sunlight, the Building’s passive design measure also consists of natural air ventilation, Greenhouse Vent which acts as cooling tower through induced draft and heat absorption to enable ventilation throughout the building, including building envelope which has 35 Watt/Square Meter of OTTV. Indoor planning is divided into separate sections for effective control of air-conditioning system, building access and fire protection. The development of this particular design is to ensure that the available workspace is always in ready-for-use condition.
Active design measure, on the other hand, mainly highlights energy conservation by focusing on using energy and water saving equipment such as high-performance water chiller, natural draft cooling tower, DEECS aerator, energy recovery ventilator (ERV), high-performance water pump, lighting control system using LED bulbs, water-saving sanitary ware, recycling water treatment system, rainwater harvesting system and air-conditioning wastewater harvesting system, etc.
Environmental measure mainly prioritizes the arrangement of green space, ecological water well, wet garden, recycling of treated water for garden watering, waste management, maintaining cool and suitable climate surrounding the building, preventing pollution from reflective light, noise, odor, dust particles and sprays from the cooling tower, etc.
Safety Measure mainly prioritizes fire escape planning, smoke and fire spreading protection zoning, automatic sprinkler system installation across the building, fire hose and fire extinguisher system, CCTV system and building access control system. In addition, building structure has been elevated to prevent flooding and is designed with earthquake resistance structure.
Health measure includes indoor air quality control, indoor air pressure control, indoor lighting level control, drinking water production system, outdoor smoking area, etc. Moreover, indoor traffic flow planning has been developed to promote walking, avoidance of accidents deriving from changes in floor level and elevators for the elderly and the disabled.
Key highlights of the design principle of this building are as follows:
2.1 Consideration of Building Direction
Due to limited availability of land, the façade is facing toward northern, eastern and western directions. For this reason, the building is designed with heat protection from sunlight exposure along the eastern, southeast, southern, southwest and western directions by limiting the window size and conducting indoor area planning.
2.2 Determination of Utility Space
The principle applied in determining utility space is as follows:
- • Separating indoor areas into different levels including public and semi-public zone and controlled zone accordingly.
- • Internal Communication
- • Direction of Utility Space
1st Floor: is public zone which consists of car, motorcycle and bicycle parking, bathroom and toilet for the disabled, garbage room, water tank, electricity room, water pump room, wastewater treatment tank and rainwater tank. The area has been elevated higher than public road by 0.40 meters to allow for water drainage and flooding prevention. Visitors can reach the Reception Hall on the 2nd Floor by stairs and the disabled by the provided elevator.
2nd Floor: is semi-public zone with access control system consisting of reception hall, four conference rooms, seminar room for 40 persons, spacious toilets, BMC Head Office, “Korapin” bag café shop and entertainment section. Since this zone is most frequently used by visitors as well as used for holding meetings and seminars, the main toilets are therefore located on this floor. The seminar rooms, coffee shops and entertainment zone are facing away from sunlight and are interconnected to accommodate activities and parties.
3rd Floor: is a controlled zone with access control system and consisting of operating hall, computer room and printing room. The majority of employees is working on this floor since it has a large, open office to accommodate interconnection convenience and even allows access to the 2nd and the 4th floors by simply walking up or down a single floor. Here, heat is controlled along the eastern section by limiting window size whereas the western section is provided with a set of stairs and service area.
4th Floor: is a controlled area with access control system and consisting of the Managing Director’s office, Accounting Department, Human Resource Department, EEC Academy, library and Think Tank Room.
5th Floor: is a controlled area with access control system and consisting of Fitness Room, Leisure Room, Chiller and Cooling Tower.
Building Core consists of elevator shafts and stairways which are positioned to prevent heat along the southern, eastern and western sides of the building which are extensively exposed to sunlight. The occupants can access the stairway within 30-meter distance. Both sets of stairways are naturally ventilated using aluminum louvers which are installed along the height of stairway. Fireproof rate for one set is 2 hours. Loading capacity of the elevators is 800 kilograms with single-door opening and door width of 1.10 meters to allow for transport convenience.
Although internal communication and connecting areas are emphasized in determining the above mentioned utility space, such utility space are divided into various zones to facilitate the control of space utilization at different periods, including the use of electricity, air-conditioning system, air condition control, security control, fire protection, insect, cockroach and mouse control, etc. In addition, every entrance-exit door is installed with access control system and are all air leak proof doors.
2.5 Maintaining of Shady and Cool Building Environment
Shady and cool building environment can be achieved through the following elements:
- • Greenhouse Vent
- • Big Ass Ventilator
- • Green space
- • Vertical Garden
- • Wet Garden
- • Shading
Greenhouse Vent is made up of 10x8 meter glass vent locating at the front of the building and stretches along the height of the building. It functions as a natural air passage with heat absorption capability to help reduce both direct heat from southwest and the west and indirect heat from all corners of the building. Heat which is retained in the vent will cause the inside air to rise up and replaced by cooler wind, creating what is called a “Chimney Effect”. This acts as natural ventilation to the area surrounding the building and acts as a “Cooling Tower” by naturally absorbing and removing heat.
Inside the Greenhouse Vent are large trees planted for heat absorption and evaporative cooling. In addition, an ecological water well located on the 2nd Floor also acts additional evaporative cooling to ensure that the environment inside the vent follows comfort zone criteria according to ASHRAE 55 Standard.
Big Ass Ventilator is installed within leisure zone which is located in the façade area to produce airflow at 0.7 meter/second and cooling down the temperature by 5-6 C.
Despite of land limitation, green space is accounted to as high as 5% of the project’s total area. Also, vertical gardens are planted along three sides of the fences whereas the remaining portion of green space is planted with wet garden to help absorb rainwater, maintain humidity level and soil ecosystem and to be used as cooling pond.
Most outdoor areas are well shaded by the building itself and surrounding trees which helps to lower surface temperature and therefore creating of shady and cool environment.
Green space and vertical garden also contributed to the cooling of surface temperature through evaporative cooling process. Meanwhile, wet garden helps to promote soil water absorption which in turns help to maintain surface ecosystem and minimize the risk of flooding.
Building envelope materials used must possess the following properties:
- • Window to Wall Ratio
- • OTTV
- • Thermal Resistance Value (R-value)
- • Waterproof and Rainproof Capacity
- • Fracture Protection
- • Surface Roughness
- • Weight
- • Fireproof Rate
- • Durability
- • Soundproof
Based on the aforesaid criteria, full filled composite walls (R-6) are used for constructing the exterior walls and BB wall composite walls (R-2.5) for constructing the interior walls. Aluminum composite cladding and fiberglass (R-10) are used for constructing the façade walls. The rooftop is constructed from steel assembled with insulation system and Armstrong Acoustic (R-20) ceiling.
2.8 Engine Room Positioning
Main Electric Room, Municipal Water Supply Tank, Rainwater Tank, Water Pump, Wastewater Treatment Tank, and Grease Trap Tank, are located on the 1st Floor for installation and maintenance convenience. Cooler Room and Cooling Tower are installed on the 5th Floor to allow upward heat extraction without causing any disturbance to nearby buildings.
Indoor Air Quality Control System is as follows:
- • Aeration and Ventilation System
- • Indoor Air Pressurization System
- • CO2 Level Control System
- • Air Flow Control System
- • Air-Borne Dust Particles Control System
- • Humidity Control System
- • Energy Conservation
Aeration and Ventilation System is controlled to ensure air ventilation standard requirement is met in order to maintain proper indoor air pressurization including prevention of external dusts and humidity.
The 2th Floor of the building is where spacious toilet zone with sufficient ventilation is located including conference room and seminar room which are often scheduled for use at different timings. Hence, separate aerators are installed within each room using Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).
The 3rd Floor of the building is where Operating Hall and office zone is located. Therefore, district aerator is installed by using Dedicated External Environmental Control System (DEECS) which acts as air treatment and supplying air according to functional purpose. Apart from enabling efficient indoor air quality control, this system also helps to save energy consumption. The aerator which is installed with heat pipe will aerate dry air and absorb humidity inside the room whereas aeration volume is controlled by CO2 Meter.
Air Handing Equipment is used for controlling air flow volume and air-borne dust particles as per the following details:
2.10 District Cooling System
Air-Conditioning System is a type of district cooling system to enable utilization of cooling load sharing of utility space at different periods of time. This allows efficient energy saving, reduces cooler’s capacity, convenience in terms of modification and improvement and requires only minimum refrigerant volume. Most importantly, it supports designing of Air-Conditioning System in combination with DEECS and uses local products.
Water Cooled Chiller comprises of three sets and weighs 20 tons of cooling capacity per set. It comes with plug in/ plug out module and central mechanical-draft cooling tower which allows for high-performance cooling capacity during normal operating period. Ozone Cooling Water Treatment is also applied to reduce the use of chemical substances and Energy Meter is used for measuring the volume of chilled water.
2.11 Terminal unit air-conditioner
Since indoor air temperature can be cooled down by DEECS through latent cooling, there is no longer the need for a large Air Handling Equipment on this floor and can be replaced by smaller air-conditioner or terminal air-conditioner. This small air-conditioner only provides sensible cooling. It is the system that can conveniently address various functional purposes and is easily adjustable. Most importantly, it requires only few ceiling space and therefore allows for ceiling elevation without the need for use of fixed Air Handling Equipment on the floor, including the ability to independently control of equipment use, temperature, wind speed, air circulation and air filtration. Moreover, it requires no or only few air-handling pipes which helps to lower construction cost and cleaning expenses of Air Duct and reduces energy consumption for air-handling.
Terminal air-conditioner is an air-conditioning system that is installed throughout the entire utility space and can therefore be independently controlled. This allows for more efficient air quality control according to the demand and usability condition and enabling comfort of the occupants. Despite the changes in weather conditions such as daytime, nighttime, sunny or rainy period, the above mentioned system is superior than the commonly used VAV Air-Conditioning System.
2.12 Water Treatment System for Recycling
Effluent Pipe System is classified into semi-wastewater and wastewater. After treatment, the said water is recycled for watering the garden through perforating pipe to allow water seeping into the ground.
2.13 Rainwater Harvesting System
Rainwater from rooftop is filtered and stored in Rainwater Tank and used as toilet flush water.
2.14 Air-Conditioner Wastewater Harvesting System
Air-conditioner wastewater which mostly derives from the Aerator inside DEECS is used in the cooling system within the toilet zone on the 2th floor and is stored inside the Water Tank for recycling.
2.15 Fire Protection System
Automatic Sprinkler System is installed across the building by sharing water pump with automatic water pressure controlled municipal water supply pump unit and having the same water supply volume as the water volume required for the Sprinkler System of typical large buildings. In addition, Fire Alarm System, Fire Hose, Dry Pipe, Portable Fire Extinguisher, Emergency Exit Signboard, and Emergency Lighting Machine, are also installed.
Both passive and active security systems have been set up since during building planning stage by classifying security level into several layers and dividing space into several compartments. Access Control System has also been installed in various zones such as Reception Hall. The number of entrances and exits have been limited. Active security system, on the other hand, consists of several systems such as Access Control, CCTV and Surveillance System.
2.17 Building Management System
Building Control System (BCS) is arranged to control the use of Air-Conditioning System and Lighting System. Chiller Management System (CMS) is applied to control chiller operation.
This project uses high-performance and energy-saving LED bulbs as part of its lighting systems which include general electric luminaire, electric lamp for emergency exit signboard, electric lamp for fire exit, and fire escape, electric lamp for illumination of building and landscape architecture, etc.
Lighting system in each zone can be separately controlled even under adequate sunlight exposure.
10 KW Solar Roof is installed to supply power for the electrical system of the building.
EEC Academy Building is dissimilar from other buildings in general by featuring designs and elements that are based on functional requirements. The construction of this building marks an important step for the EEC toward becoming a organization of learning and continuously developed in order to keep up with constant technological advancements. Energy consumption of this building is expected to be lower than 80 units/square meter/year during operating hours.