Orientation of Green Office Buildings for Efficiency and Functionality
The orientation of a green buildings to be constructed is the position of the building on the site or the plot of land selected for the project with respect to the sidewalks, the roadways, and the landscaping features. The physical shape of how the building will appear to us forms the shape of the structure.
There are many options and choices when it comes to shape of office building construction. We can have a square, rectangular or even triangular shapes. These three are on the top list as these offer the strongest support systems than any other shape. The top logical positioning helps in determining the building orientation.
The choice of orientation largely depend on the space that is available. For example, in the case of building construction in a city like New York, there is only space for large tall and slim high rise construction.
Most of the entrances of buildings face to the main street of the area. This is because the city has no room to accommodate the choice of orientation.
But if we are into the construction of green building, the orientation and shape have a great role in the efficiency and building functionality.
Good Orientation for Green Buildings
Managing the natural elements mainly the sun and wind features helps to evolve a building that have good orientation features.
If we let the largest part of the building to face towards the sun then the area can receive maximum natural daylight. This is a type of natural ventilation that is earned without any power source.
But certain hot regions asks for less sun exposure at a particular period of time. This condition varies based on the geographical location of the building.
In Northern hemisphere, the plan to make the building orient towards the sun means letting the largest sides of the building to face the south. This side must have the maximum number of windows.
Fig.1. Building Orientation Based on the Sun Exposure
The sun stays long for southern walls of the structure. Hence this orientation helps to have maximum exposure to the sun that is not direct and harmful.
The arrangement of surfaces with more windows facing the east or the west lets the entering of excessive heat that makes the air conditioner work very hard. This also cause glare problems.
Maximum exposure to sun have daylight provisions and heat and energy. This reduces the HVAC system dependency.
Another important factor that has to be considered is the wind energy. This is of greater importance if we have a plan to utilize the wind turbines for power generation.
The wind has a great role in bringing the building to additional stress. These also have an important role in the effective heating or the cooling of the building structure. This effect can be explained through certain examples:
- The Shanghai Tower in China make use of a curved shape architecture. This shape will help in the reduction of lateral loads that is coming from strong wind action.
- The Jie Fang Daily News and the Media Building too make use of a circular arch or a kind of indentation in order to reduce the production of wind that will affect the building as large loads.
When it comes to tall or short building feature, it is always advised to have tall thin buildings than wider & short ones. This is because tall buildings will have less space requirement and they don’t affect the surrounding environment drastically.
These shapes have less space for the rain and Stormwater runoff problems and related pollutions.
Shapes and Orientation of Green Buildings
Both the factors of shape and orientation must move hand in hand during the construction of a green building. The shape and the design plan selected for the building have to be evolved such a way that it will support an optimum orientation.
It is a wrong idea to believe that the facing of a building towards the sun is just enough to have a cost saving in the building performance. Improper provision of windows both in numbers and location also affect the energy efficiency.
The main concept is to make the building perform optimally within the designed orientation.
Mainly the concept of green building focus on taking large consideration on the needs of the occupants of the building. They also focus on how the shape of the building enhances the green environment.
This idea asks for larger open spaces, having appreciable access to the windows and the use of daylight efficiently.