Canadian Consulting Engineer
CTBUH awards BioSkin cooling and Singapore Interlace complexBuildings Building Envelope Building Structure
A "BioSkin" that is said to reduce the surface temperature of a building by 12 degrees C and the micro-climate by about 2 degrees C has won the Tall Building Innovation Award from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) this...
A “BioSkin” that is said to reduce the surface temperature of a building by 12 degrees C and the micro-climate by about 2 degrees C has won the Tall Building Innovation Award from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) this year.
The BioSkin system consists of water-filled ceramic pipes that are fixed to the side of a building. They absorb heat through rainwater evaporation, mitigating the urban heat island effect.
CTBUH says: “The potential implications of this are substantial: if a large number of buildings in a city used such a system, ambient air temperature could be reduced to the point that cooling loads for many buildings, even those without the system installed, could be reduced.”
Made by Nikken Sekkei, the pipes have extruded aluminum cores attached by an elastic adhesive inside a highly water-retentive terra-cotta shell. On the NBF Osaki office building in Tokyo, their first application, the pipes are incorporated as balcony railings. Rainwater collected from the rooftop is drained to an underground tank, filtered and sterilized, and then pumped up and circulated to the pipes. The rain seeps out through the porous ceramic, evaporating from the pipe’s surface.
Juror David Scott of Laing O’Rourke in London, U.K. said, “This is a remarkable facade solution, both in its concept and how it has been beautifully detailed.”
CBTUH also instigated a new award this year. The “Habitat award” recognizes that tall buildings have a big impact on the urban realm and highlights projects that make a positive contribution to the surrounding environment and to social sustainability.
The inaugural award is given to the Interlace residential building in Singapore. It is a massive complex of 31 blocks, with a total of 1,040 apartment units. Each block is six stories tall and 70 metres long, but they are stacked in hexagonal arrangements around eight large-scale, permeable courtyards.
The irregular way the volumes are stacked is “more reminiscent of a landscape than a typical building,” incorporating an extensive network of communal gardens and amenities between the blocks and on their roofs, which provide plenty of opportunities for social interaction and recreation.
The chair of the jury, Jeanne Gang, said that the Interlace inverts the ‘towers in the park’” typology in favour of the tower as park.
The awards will be presented at the CTBUH 13th Annual Awards Symposium which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago on November 6.
To read more about the BioSkin Innovation award, click here.
To read more about the Interlace project, click here.
The CTBUH Best Tall Building awards for 2014 have also been announced. Click here.
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