Malaysia’s Diamond Building, Designing Shading System in a Tropical Climate

suruhanjaya tenaga

Tropical climate and its abundant sunlight could be considered as treasures in building design if used with strategies. Sunlight provides a natural lighting and can lead to energy saving. But, as mentioned before, it should be utilized with thorough considerations to eliminate the disadvantages. For instance, if a building utilizes sunlight as its day lighting, it should be designed to prevent the heat that comes along with it. Otherwise, the building will be exposed to direct heat and as the consequence, the temperature inside the building will climb drastically.

There are two ways to tackle this problem concerning energy efficiency; preventive technique and heat dissipation technique. The preventive technique provides a protection and prevention from heat. It covers all kinds of techniques to minimize the impact of direct solar heat through building envelope. These techniques are applied according to the building orientation and local climate. In tropical climate countries such as Malaysia, self-shading system is suggested to be a potential solution to prevent solar radiation.

The ST (Suruhanjaya Tenaga) Diamond Building in Malaysia has implemented these strategies together with other energy saving techniques. As a result, this office building carries two Platinum Certificates of green building. These certificates came from Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI) and Singapore’s Green Mark. Later on, the regional ASEAN Award 2012 and the second place of global ASHRAE Technology Award 2013 have also been given to ST Diamond Building for its innovative design.

Self-Shading and Dynamic Shading System in ST Diamond Building  

In tropical regions, a lot of office buildings are built without considering the solar heat. The common design of building envelope leaves the building exposed to direct solar radiation. When office jobs force employees to spend most of their time inside, cooling systems should be set up to provide a comfortable environment. Hence the high demand of energy to cool the rooms inside the building. The 7-storey ST Diamond Building has a particular shading system to prevent it.

In accordance with its name, the building adopts a diamond shape. It slants downwards and inwards. This shape was designed in concern to the climate and solar path of equatorial Malaysia. The solar studies for this building showed that the North and South facades could be fully self-shaded throughout the year if tilted by 25⁰. Along with that, the technique also reduces the solar impact by 41% for the East and West facades.

Additionally, ST Diamond Building is completed with dynamic shading system at the crown of the atrium. The dynamic shading system takes the form of an automatic roller blind with six different configurations. Each configuration reflects the suitable day lighting levels at all times while the blinds also serve as a sunshade. The 30% transmittance blinds are adjusted every 15 minutes. They change following three different control strategies for morning, mid-day and evening.

Above all, energy saving in an office building is related with many systems, such as lighting, cooling, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning. However, cooling system takes a big part in energy consumption. Therefore, heat reducing shading systems could undoubtedly reduce the use of air conditioner to cool the offices. Subsequently, it will save much energy. Until now, The ST Diamond Building has cut the energy consumption down to 1/3. Looking at the building performance, the building should have a payback in only 3.5 years. (AGB.com – YTA)

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