Architectural design firm Arup Associates recently completed work on BSkyB‘s headquarters, which has been hailed as the greenest broadcasting studio in the world. The massive new facility at the outskirts of London features an advanced building envelope and was developed to take advantage of every available on-site resource while reducing energy consumption. The project is also the first production studio in the world to be cooled with good old-fashioned natural ventilation — this is no small feat, as the studio and computer servers in the facility generate a whole lot of heat. The building is being called a “creative factory” for the 21st century due to its industrial look and innovative design.
Arup Associates’ Harliquin 1 building has a very industrial look due to the large vents that run up the 100X50 meter complex. The idea was not to be pretty but to work really well — Arup Associates went through ten design schemes before settling on this remarkable design accomplishment. Naturally lit offices with operable windows wrap the perimeter, which holds 1,300 people. The core consists of three distinct sections– the studios at ground level (make), the computer servers in the middle of the building (shape) and transmission platforms at the top (share) . Together make, shape and share compose the scope of what is being called a 21st-century creativity factory.
Natural ventilation is the holy grail of HVAC in green building. Before air conditioning made it easy to build anything and make it comfortable, buildings had to ventilate naturally. Now many commercial buildings gobble up a lot of energy and have very poorly designed envelopes as a result. This design uses convection and the stack effect to draw hot air out and displace it with cooler incoming fresh air from the floor.
“Free-cooled” data rooms hold more than 400 computer servers and a trigeneration — or combined cooling heating power (CCHP) — plant, pushing efficiency standards. The building attained BREEAM Excellent certification and “has exceeded the minimum requirements set out by Part L2A 2006 by 67%; and has joined a very elite group of 0.15% of buildings of this type achieving an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘A’ rating.” The design also includes on-site wind generation, for which feasibility studies are now underway