This green building beats the heat

Lucknow, India, is home to Bara Imambara, a building constructed in 1784 that contains what is believed to be the largest arched hallway in the world. 

Now the city may soon lay claim to another, more modern architectural marvel (though one with admittedly less of a tourist draw): the corporate headquarters of the Lucknow Industrial Development Authority (LIDA), which comes to us via eVolo.

The building — which was designed by Annkit Kummar to promote sustainable architecture principles in industrial buildings — makes extensive use of greenery. Terrace gardens on top of the building give employees a place to relax during their time off, as does a central courtyard. 

That green roof helps to keep temperatures within the building cool via its insulating properties, a key factor in a climate where summer highs regularly top a hundred degrees. But it also makes sense in this humid subtropical climate (which can receive over 35 inches of rain in its rainy season alone), for the way it slows, filters and treats storm water on site.

The building’s green roof, in conjunction with its internal vertical voids (which allow hot air to rise and depart from the building) aid in keeping it cool year round. 

The two voids on the façade and the central courtyard work to create a nice cross breeze through the entire central atrium, ensuring that temps within the building remain more comfortable than those without when the mercury starts to rise.  (The wind flow in the building moves through the front and side vertical voids, moving in the direction of the central courtyard.)

The flow of natural ventilation also helps the building function in an energy efficient way, cutting down on its cooling costs while creating a more hospitable environment for employees.

Another passive cooling touch: the entire solid mass of the proposed headquarters building is covered with horizontal louvers. This will give employees the ability to block out the sun when its heat becomes uncomfortable, rather than cranking up the AC.

Along with with the high-efficiency solar glazing on the building’s glass, this should all but prevent unwanted heat from entering the building, creating a cooler work environment in the heat of the (sub) tropics, sans electricity.

Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling