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Universidade Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola

Monday 31 Dec 2012

A beacon for sustainable design in Angola

James Steinkamp Photography 
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Award Entry

New university in Luanda complements the arid climate and the country's culture 

This project is the first phase of a university campus on the outskirts of Luanda, Angola. It consists of a central library of above and below ground components surrounded by classroom buildings housing Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Computer Sciences. To lower energy and maintenance costs, only the Library is air conditioned and classrooms be naturally ventilated.

The guiding principle of the university is to create a low-maintenance sustainable urbanism. Development maintains as much of the existing vegetation and river washes as possible, so seasonal flash floods are naturally contained and replenish the habitat. A ring road between the washes differentiates natural landscape from the campus. Classroom buildings are naturally ventilated bars in a grid 19 degrees east of the north/south axis, mediating the ideal solar orientation and the need to be perpendicular to prevailing southwest breezes to maximise natural ventilation.

Landscaping channels wind through 'tree-belts' in the southwest quadrant which compresses and filters the air while the Savannah heat in the opposite quadrant draws the air, increasing airflow. An undulating louvered roof over the classroom buildings was calibrated through computer fluid dynamics to minimise solar gain and enhance cross-ventilation by maximising pressure differentiation to draw breezes into courtyards, open-air corridors and classrooms. The classroom buildings have a layer of sunscreening on their north and south elevations due to the site's proximity to the equator. The campus is a model for using high-tech analysis to produce low-tech, low-energy educational environments for developing countries.

Key Facts

Status Phase 1: Complete // Phase 2: Design Development
Value 0(m€)
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