2013-01-22 14:21:26 - The new Green Energy Laboratory in Shanghai offers not only advanced studies on energy efficiency, but also a reference model, as evidenced by the LEED GOLD certification obtained
The collaboration agreement signed in November 2007 between the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Italian ‘Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea’ led to the construction of the GEL, which stands for ‘Green Energy Laboratory’.
The building, located in the Minhang Campus of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is a ‘green’ structure dedicated to the research on air treatment sustainable technologies and it is the first university building in China to be awarded the LEED GOLD certificate.
Designed by the architectural firm Archea with the support of the engineering studio Favero & Milan and a total construction cost of about 1.3 million (less than a thousand euros per square meter), the GEL was opened last May in the presence of the
Italian Minister of the Environment Mr. Corrado Clini.
Created as a research center and laboratory for analysis and spreading of low carbon technologies in the building industry and housing, the GEL is designed as a compact body with a central courtyard covered by a large skylight that can be opened according to the seasonal cycle. This solution has been chosen for its technical features in terms of distribution and energy optimization. The space, surrounded by galleries, appears as a vacuum, which can work both as heat storage for the optimization of energy consumption in sunny winter days, and as exhaust hot air chimney in Summer.
The building consists of three floors for a total of 1500 square meters above ground level and a maximum height of 20 m. The first two floors have laboratories, meeting rooms, a control room, as well as classrooms for students and an exhibition area; each room has a double view, one on the outside and the other one onto the courtyard. The third floor hosts two show flats: a two-room and a three-room apartments with a pitched roof covered with photovoltaic panels. They are both used as residential testing spaces for high energy efficiency plants and building materials. The building orientation and its rectangular shape, along with the glass facade and the inner courtyard are all designed to maximize natural ventilation and to control solar exposure in order to get the best indoor comfort with minimal energy consumption .
The new Green Energy Laboratory in Shanghai offers not only advanced studies on energy efficiency, but also a reference model: the front side, a distinguishing feature of the external building, is composed by a double skin.
An inner layer of stained glass window cells ensures waterproofing and insulation, while an external one made of bricks acts as a solar shading for lighting shielding and dimming in the working spaces.
Even the technological equipment has been designed to ensure maximum efficiency: solar thermal and photovoltaic cells guarantee, depending on the season, the heating and cooling of the rooms; cogeneration plants produce additional energy and heat, and the lighting comes from low power consumption devices manufactured according to the latest technologies; smart grids ensure maximum efficiency to the various plants of the property, including the ‘wind turbine’ placed in the garden.
The HVAC system was designed with a main system (CHPC / WHP) supported by dedicated smaller size plants, interchangeable on the basis of tests and researches carried out in the different laboratories. The heart of the system consists of a Climaveneta reversible heat pump with hydraulic circuit, type NECS-WH 0512 (HRHH0512-Z). The unit, with 43.4 kW cooling capacity and 50.5 kW heating capacity, uses the R-410A eco-friendly refrigerant and exploits the constant temperature of a small river that crosses the SJTU campus for the heat exchange.
According to the simulation, the massive use of renewable resources and bioarchitecture elements contribute to reduce operating costs of the property up to 70%, compared to other buildings similar to Shanghai Green Energy Laboratory.