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Effective office spaces
Eurochem headquarters sets new paradigms in Green building designs

This 25,268.71m2 13-storey commercial and industrial property stands out in the International Business Park as a landmark within its context and sets new paradigms in green building designs. A gold medal winner under Singapore's Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Award, which conducts stringent reviews based on both energy related requirements and other green requirements, Eurochem headquarters marries aesthetics with architectural effectiveness through enhancing energy and environmental performance, creating livable spaces, and urban integration.

An exemplary building, this project aims to spearhead responsible and sustainable architecture amongst commercial and industrial buildings in the region. This conveniently located (37m from the nearest bus-stop) business park building has many well-planned and thoughtful features with environmental conservation as the top priority. The strategic massing of the architecture and positioning on the site distinguishes the building from its surroundings while also allowing for a public park to exist within the site boundary, activating the site both publicly and privately. The abundant green areas: communal landscape

areas provided on the first storey and roof gardens on both 12th and 13th storey seek to expound the theme of harmony with nature in this concrete jungle.

Green elements such as energy conservation, reducing CO2 emissions, preserving water and reducing heat gain is also incorporated into the design and construction process to make the building eco-friendly while working within budget constraints and building code expectations.

Social A holistic approach was adopted for this project to create liveable spaces by taking into consideration the impact of built environment on both human health and the natural environment. Buildings need to harmonise with their surrounding landscape. By integrating nature into the architectural design, it allows them to gain a better appreciation for the surrounding context, community and even geography. This brings forth the idea that for buildings to be truly effective, they need to interact with people, educate people, and sustain people through a two-way dialogue between the architectural design installation and the person engaging with it.

As such, a public park is incorporated within the boundary of the building premises to provide a much needed open space for the working community – both within the business park and the neighbourhood surrounding it. The façade of the building facing the public park on the north is meant to achieve a planar mirror effect reflecting the gardens and surroundings, while acting simultaneously as a frame to the activities inside the building, creating a dialogue between the occupants inside the building and the people outside the building.

The public park also creates pockets of spaces for establishing social contacts, isolation and escapism from urban life, aesthetic enjoyment and most importantly, a greener environment for the community to interact in. The site boasts of a total green area of 33,414.47m2 and a Greenery Provision (GnP) index of 4.18, far higher than the GnP requirement of 3.00 to score full marks under the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark initiative.

Another highlight is the inclusion of adequate bicycles parking lots to encourage a greener mode of transportation while at the same time, foster a healthier nation in line with the Singapore’s Health Promotion Board to promote healthy living and exercising amongst the population.

Economic Although the initial construction costs of the building is increased due to green features added into the architectural design, the potential savings after the 7 years payback period is significant. Financial incentives granted by the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark incentive scheme further highlights the economic viability of green buildings. The full incentive is awarded over two phases – the first upon receiving the Green Mark Award (Gold Medal), and the final upon review of substantiated energy savings as posited.

Environmental A flagship element in the design of Eurochem headquarters is to significantly reduce the carbon footprints generated by the building occupants to achieve a more eco-friendly environment. The design incorporates a number of sustainable strategies including resource conservation during construction, shading devices, energy-efficient water consumption, lighting/ventilation accents that help maximise natural daylight while controlling heat gained through wind dynamics, and recycling initiatives.

“Resource conservation starts even before the building is occupied.” This is what New Space Architects believes in and actively acts upon via effective environmental friendly programmes that include monitoring and setting targets to minimise energy use, water use, and construction waste during construction. Specific actions included separating construction wastes for recycling and using recycled water for washing bay.

Another key green strategy employed was the use of double-glazed low-e glass for curtain walls and external windows to enhance the overall thermal performance of building envelope while minimising heat gain and reducing the overall cooling load requirement. The orientation of the building with respect to this location is also given great consideration to maximise energy efficiency. Morning and afternoon sun exposure is minimised via sun shading louvers at the west façade to reflect away afternoon sun while the use of glass is reduced on the east façade to reduce morning sun exposure. This acts as a very effective shading strategy that makes possible the controlling of building temperature with external air, significantly reducing carbon footprint from excessive air conditioning usage given Singapore’s tropical climate. Furthermore, the louvers also act to funnel air through the façade, dissipating heat and further reducing the energy load for additional cooling systems.

For the building materials used, special attention was noted to use products with at least 30% recycled content. This parallels other conservation efforts undertaken in the building of Eurochem headquarters.

Other environmental friendly provisions include installing water-efficient taps and mixers for showers, basins, bibs and urinals, using energy-efficient light fittings, installing motion sensors and energy efficient elevators and escalators with sleep mode to reduce stand-by energy consumption, and fitting carbon-dioxide sensors to regulate the demand for mechanical ventilation.

These green initiatives together reduce an estimated 724,104.05kwh of energy consumption, 362 tonne of CO2 emission, and 8956.53m3 of water annually. Energy and resource conservation plays a vital part in lessening climate change and this goes to show how smart building design, with a deep understanding of the context and surrounding elements, contributes to the overall betterment of our environment and society.

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