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Taiwan Architecture & Building Center

Outstanding Projects in Taiwan

 NCKU Y. S. Sun Green Building Research Center

Magic School of Green Technology

Architect: LIN Hsien-te, NCKU Architecture Professor /SHIH Chao-Yung Architect

Location: Xiaodong Rd., Tainan City

GPS: 23.00166, 120.21621

Structure: Reinforced concrete

Height: 1 story below grade, 3 stories above grade

Site Area: 80283 m2

Building Footprint: 1397.88 m2

Total Floor Area: 4799.67 m2


1.Noah’s Ark Sets Sail

The Magic School of Green Technology at National Cheng Kung University an ark or a flying ship, with a flexible photovoltaic leaflet on its roof as a rudder. The building features ultra-efficiency green building technology, drought-resistant and water-saving green roof, wind power generation, solar ventilation, energy-smart lighting and walls cast with recycled aggregate. An amalgam of cutting-edge green technology, it is expected to achieve 40% energy saving, 30% water saving, 80% green building materials, 30% CO2 reduction and a 100-year building life. The construction cost is comparable to a regular building of the same scale at an average of NTD87,000 per ping (1 ping=~3.3 m2). The project obtained the highest Platinum rating of the American LEED green building assessment system, receiving full scores for energy use, water use and innovative design. Naturally, it has also been given the highest Diamond rating by Taiwan’s EEWH assessment system.

2.Rigorous Scientific Analysis and Design Lead to Best Green Building Recognition

In order to explore possibilities in applying energy saving and other green building technologies, NCKU Architecture Prof. Lin Hsien-te led his research team in conducting several experiments and simulations in the design process. A key product of this research is the three vent flues enable the lobby, auditorium and exhibition hall to operate with only natural ventilation most of the time, thereby reducing use of air-conditioning to accomplish both energy saving and healthy living objectives.

3.A Charming Rooftop Garden

The first thing that catches the eyes of visitors to the project is probably the lush and colorful roof garden, which garnered the highest accolade by the World Green Roof Congress for excellence in vertical greening in a zero-carbon building. Out of a dozen drought-resistant species, nine native perennial grasses and shrubs resistant to barren soil, wind, salt and pollution were chosen to compose this visually appealing and eco-friendly roof garden. Exemplifying best environmental practice of waste recycling and reuse, ceramsite made from recycled reservoir sludge provide the soil base and makes it possible for the drought-resistant plants to survive without watering for an entire week.

4.A Subtropical Green Building Museum with Tropical and Subtropical Perspectives

A subtropical green building museum is located on the ground floor of the project. A traditional fishing boat of the Tao people (also known as the Yami) with exquisite red, white and black carved totems rests in the center of this hull-like space. There is also a multi-media exhibit of fine green building projects from East Asia and the rest of the world.

5.Ecological Design

A 0.7-hectare subtropical rainforest is created to the north of the site. An elevated boardwalk penetrates this miniature natural forest through subtropical trees and shrubs like the common Schefflera, giant elephant ear, Cyathea podophylla and shellflower, as well as piles of dead wood that serve as habitats for small creatures. To the south side next to the sidewalk, more small-creature habitats acting as “condensed nature” with bird- and butterfly attracting plants serve an educational purpose. With regards to site water retention, extensive green space and a pond are allocated on the site for their superior water retention and infiltration capacity. The hard surfaces use permeable pavers made from recycled tires and high load-bearing permeable paving constructed using “JW” techniques.

6. Daily Energy Saving Indicator

The ventilation design of the project includes three vent flues. The tops of the flues resemble the recessed blowhole of a flute because according to fluid mechanics principles, any horizontal draft passing through such an opening would suddenly accelerate and generate powerful suction to quickly draw air upward. This is similar to quickly blowing air horizontally with a perfume bottle to eject the liquid inside. Each of the three vent flues has a glass wall for absorbing heat. Buoyancy is created after air is heated, helping to draw air from downstairs outward. Every 1 m2 of this heat-absorbing panel can exhaust air at a velocity of 30 m3/min on average, and increasing the panel size will also raise the velocity. One of the flues lies directly above the open-design lobby, meaning it is ventilated with fresh air without any air-conditioning. Another flue is built into the wall of the subtropical green building museum. The last one is placed inside the 300-seat international conference hall on the second-floor. Year-round air-conditioning is usually necessary for an auditorium this size. But here, three intake vents coupled with a venting stack that exhausts hot air satisfy the ventilation requirement without any air-condition at least four months out of a year. This design keeps the hall cool in the summer even without air-conditioning.As for lighting design, fixtures mounted on the 2-meter high walls cast light toward the white ceiling; the light is then reflected several times to become evenly diffused over the auditorium. The absence of ceiling lights translates to remarkable savings in wiring, and the wall-mounted fixtures are glare-free and easily accessed when they need to be repaired or replaced.The B1 parkade also uses light wells to bring in natural light and cut down on electricity use by artificial lighting and exhaust fans. In addition, aviation technology is used in the design the wind turbine; its low start-up wind velocity and ability to swing to the optimum orientation for wind interception enhances its power-generation efficiency.

7.Construction Waste Reduction

Ceramsite made from reservoir sludge is used as synthetic soil for the roof garden, in interior partition walls and as aggregate for pre-cast pavers on the rooftop walkways. Eco-friendly textile is used in the interior finishes, including recycled nylon carpet in the international conference hall and, in the meeting room, curtains made from recycled pet bottles.

8.Healthy Design

Efforts made in this project toward conserving water include with foot operated pedal faucets and an exterior staircase that collects and recycles rainwater for watering plants. The inclusion of the Magic School of Green Technology as one of 20 Asian case studies in The World’s Greenest Buildings, to be published in 2012, is great acknowledgement of the design team and the extensive research applied to actual building practice.

This project will be included in The World’s Greenest Buildings due to be published in 2012



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