Super Futuristic Noain City Hall is a Plant-Covered Building That Boasts Passive Energy Saving Systems

by , 07/21/11

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Noain City Hall, Zon-e Architects, metal exoskeleton, natural light, passive architecture, energy saving architecture, radiant floor, geothermic energy

Since energy conservation is the theme and focus of the building, almost every aspect of the design reflects this. The first step that Zon-e took to conserve energy was to maximize the usage of natural light, cutting down on electricity costs.  The plan of the building is a series of layers, which let light flow freely from space to space. A central north facing skylight stands over an open air space in the middle of the building, which is surrounded by offices and staircases. The light from the skylight reaches the offices, as the walls were designed to not reach the ceiling in order to let sunlight through.

Additionally, the entre façade, aside from the windows, forms a translucent skin, which glows at night and lets filtered light in during the day. The exoskeleton encases the translucent skin, and acts as a sun shade to reduce solar impact. The grid comes alive with varying colors of foliage that weave in and out and will eventually overtake the façade. These plants act as a natural filter on many levels, absorbing solar radiation in summer and insulating in the winter and at night. They also provide fresh air, moisten the breeze and infuse nature into the work day.

The active systems are just as impressive. Geothermal energy is the main power source for the City Hall, exchanging heat with the ground and water. Heat and cold inside of the building is maintained with a radiant floor and the help of a small boiler system on the roof that is only used sporadically. Ventilation occurs via the double skin, as well as the skylight which acts as a solar chimney. Altogether, this smart building has been estimated to have a 60% energy saving rating.

+ Zon-e Arquitectos

Via Arch Daily


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  1. DiogoFreire July 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    The building looks amazing. I’m glad they’ve incorporated energy conservation measures in its design and construction. Some of these can and should be considered for existing buildings and houses – you don’t need a brand new futuristic home! I know for a fact geothermal systems can be used to provide heating and cooling in single family homes. My friend Howard recently installed his and posted a video on youtube to share how it turned out

  2. lazyreader July 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Super futuristic indeed. Don’t confuse that webbing of bars as a trellis, there not. It’s prison simulator. It looks more like the not so secret headquarters of Orwell’s thought police.

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