This article is the eighth part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. The book came out in 2013 and was based on buildings that had been created before that date and could provide a years’ worth of utility data. Despite this, there is still a lot that can be learned from these buildings and best practices in sustainable design that can be made standard practice.

Keio University Hiyoshi Campus Fourth Building, Yokahama

This week we will be looking at the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus Fourth Building in Yokahama, Japan.

This building stood out for its commitment to place making. Buildings have the opportunity of being a destination in themselves, but they also have the opportunity of uplifting and contributing to the enhancement of their surroundings.

I don’t know if the name got lost in translation, but it is a bit dull. Despite this, the building looks excellent and has a number of interesting sustainability features that allow it to produce superior performance.

Like a lot of the buildings on this shortlist, it was designed with an atrium. This is maintained with stack effect ventilation and wind-driven ventilation, which provides a continuous flow of air with minimal use of fossil fuels. In winter it is sufficient to close the skylight ventilation windows to maintain a comfortable temperature in the atrium.

During the course of the development, the project removed a 8m high retaining wall that previously divided the campus. Removing this created a significant open space that has benefited the town greatly.

The project created further space, which is open to the public and is lined with newly planted trees. When creating the boundary for this new area, demolition arisings from the building that was previously there was used in the new construction.

The building was also designed with vertical double louvers. These work to abate the late afternoon sun to prevent mechanical cooling of the building and also reduce noise and increase privacy for the academic institution.

The building is equipped with a whole host of water efficient features, that includes automatic faucets, low flow faucets and sensor systems. The building captures the rainwater from the large roof area and uses this for the toilets and urinals.

The building is also equipped with a heat recovery ventilation system, this reduces the outdoor air thermal load and contributes to its strong energy performance.

In terms of overall energy performance, all of the passive and technological features combine to allow the building to report an energy intensity of 158 kWh/sq m.

What you need to know   

This article is the eighth part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus Fourth Building in Yokahama, Japan.

This building has delivered a very strong environmental performance and contributed to the uplifting of its surroundings. Place making is a challenge that many developments struggle with, but this university buildings has managed to make a great success of this.

In terms of looks, I think that the building has a very striking look, that is appealing. There is a good combination of features that all contribute to its low energy intensity.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

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