More than skin deep

07 Oct 2011

Building envelope goes beyond aesthetics and helps enhance performance

The city of Bangalore in southern India has become a prominent home for various multinational and specifically technology related companies. To continue the momentum of economic growth in the country, the government has setup ‘Special Economic Zones' (SEZ) that provide tax benefits to companies exporting products and services abroad. Karle Town Centre SEZ is one such development and is part of a larger 72 acre development being developed by Karle Group of Bangalore.

Situated along the northern edge of the city, Karle Town Centre sits along the ‘Outer Ring Road' and directly across from the scenic Navagara Lake. As part of the overall mixed-use development, approximately 2 million sq ft of commercial development is designated as an SEZ. Within the existing framework of the master plan, the first phase of SEZ includes two buildings; Pyrus and Aquarus. The two structures at roughly 360,000 sq ft each are speculative office buildings; each around 55 metres tall (12 floors) with the floor plate size of 30,000 sq ft. A core and shell project, the double height ground level comprises of lobby, retail and amenity spaces. Three levels of below grade provide space for required parking and mechanical spaces.

With the building massing nearly fixed, façade design became a primary goal and were established. It was determined from the onset that the design would address and find the right balance addressing three critical issues; performance, aesthetics  and constructability / financial feasibility. An integrated design approach specifically for the façade helped achieve a design that addresses all of these issues. Modular design ensures repetition hence keeping a control on cost, variable parameters such as window wall ratios allowed for changing façade within the module creating an environmentally responsive skin. While the aesthetic aspects of the façade were being evaluated, solar and day lighting studies were done simultaneously to assess its impact on the performance. The end result at this stage is a building performing roughly 28% above ASHRAE 90.1 baseline where the façade design, through its self-shading impact contributes to roughly 4% energy savings.

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