Is Shimizu Corporation's Headquarters in Tokyo the world's greenest building project?
A new commercial building has been completed by architecture, engineering and construction firm Shimizu Corporation in Kyobashi, Chuo-ward, Tokyo. The complex serves as the practice’s Tokyo headquarters and is being touted as one of the most sustainable construction projects in the world, Shimizu stating that it’s new base ‘emits the world’s least amount of CO2’.
Every aspect of the design has been conceptualised with sustainability in mind, its architects very aware of Japan’s lack of natural fuel resources. One of the most extensive eco-features is the air conditioning system which makes use of radiant heat. Water hoses run under ceiling boards like capillary vessels. By controlling the temperature of the water circulating in the hoses, the temperature of the ceiling board surface is controlled.
2,000 sq m of photovoltaic panels on the exterior façade generate much-needed green power which provides daytime lighting throughout the building. This façade system is also coupled with intelligent shading devices which angle themselves automatically depending on the sun’s movement to optimise natural daylighting; a system which reduces CO2 emissions by 90% in comparison to regular lighting systems.
The completion of their new Tokyo headquarters - opened 1 August 2012 - is an example of Shimizu’s pledge for sustainable architecture. They explain: “By the end of the year 2015, Shimizu will reduce CO2 emissions down to 70% through fine tuning of air conditioning and lighting facilities as well as adopting further energy saving systems. Finally, Shimizu will offset the remaining emissions by creating emission rights to realise Zero Emission Building (ZEB).”