Thailand: The green concept of Pearl Bangkok

Green and intelligent building is the main concept behind the design of Pearl Bangkok, a newly launched Bt3-billion office building by Pruksa Real Eastate at Soi Aree, Phaholyothin Road. The project is owned by TCT, a company that is wholly owned by Thongma Vijitphongpun, who is also a major shareholder in Pruksa.

“The idea in designing this building is that we want it to be iconic; its inspirational shape is that of an oval pearl because we want the building to be a landmark of Bangkok, which is one of the pearl cities of Asia,” Thongma said during a recent interview with The Nation.

Since Pruksa’s establishment in April 1993, the listed developer has had to rent office space in the capital, where it now has four offices to house its 3,400 staff.

Thongma therefore decided to build the company’s own office building in order to get its operations and workforce under one roof.

However, he did not want Pruksa to invest in the Pearl Bangkok project itself as it would take a long time to break even on the investment, so he decided to put his own money into the development, via TCT.

In line with the goal of giving the city an iconic building, Pearl Bangkok has also been designed under the energy-saving building concept, of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), which is the standard of the US Green Building Council.

The company has applied for Gold LEED certification for the building’s core and shell.

Pearl Bangkok floor plan is designed as an oval curve, and the building will use insulated low-E and low-iron glass, which comprises a ceramic-frit silk screen, to reduce outside heat entering the interior while allowing natural light to enter the work space.

This design concept reduces the amount of electricity required for both the lighting and air-conditioning.

Meanwhile, the lighting around the building will be LED (light-emitting diode) with a daylight sensor system, he said, adding that this reduces electricity consumption from lighting by about 60 per cent when compared with the use of fluorescent lamps in a similar-sized building.

Under the energy-saving programme, Pearl Bangkok will reduce overall electricity usage by about 1 million units a year, or 18 per cent, when compared with a traditonal building of the same size.

The building will also use a chiller air-conditioning system, reducing electricity consumption and the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

It will also comprise a CO2-detector system that creates fresh air from CO2, accounting for up to 30 per cent of the building’s air usage.

The electrical and chiller air-condition systems combine to reduce net CO2 emissions by 592 tonnes per year when compared with a traditional office building of the same size.

The building will also comprise a water-recycling and treatment system, thus reducing net water usage, which ties in with the building designers’ environment-friendly goals, said Thongma.

According to the plan, the building will reduce water usage by an average of 4,686 cubic metres a year, or 40 per cent, when compared with a normal building of the same size.

Modern, dynamic design

Alongside the energy-saving theme, the architecture is also designed to be modern and dynamic, serving the idea of creating a truly iconic building for Bangkok, said Thongma.

He said the oval-pearl design was chosen for the main 25-storey building, while the smaller building in front was inspired by a two-thirds-cut pearl.

The main building facade also uses diamond-shaped quadrangular glass panes, creating lines around the edifice that give it the dynamic effect of a diamond.

“We believe that when the building is completed in August 2016, it will be an iconic landmark of Bangkok ,” he added.

Up to 60 per cent of the office space of 30,000 square metres will be rented by Pruksa, and the remaining 12,000 square metres will be open for rental by other companies or organisations for between Bt750 and Bt800 per square metre.

Pearl Bangkok will be managed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Name: Pearl Bangkok

Owner: TCT Co Ltd, which is wholly owned by Thongma Vijitphongpun

Architect: Palmer & Turner (Thailand)

Interior designer: Leo International Design

Building type: Office building

Height: 25 floors/150 metres

Office space: 30,000 square metres

Applied for: LEED Gold Certificate for core and shell

Source: The Nation

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