Green Building: ZEO, a Research Lab for Tomorrow’s Buildings | ecogreen4us

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@ eco-sTrEAMs [Green Building in Tropical Climate] (Malaysia): Green Building: ZEO, a Research Lab for Tomorrow’s Buildings

The PTM ZEO building project was realized with support from the UNDP and GEF as well as by the EC-ASEAN Energy Facility in Brussels and Jakarta.

ZEO building uses integrated design concepts where active energy and passive energy systems are interwoven into the office building. Several building elements also serve as energy systems of the building. The methods help in bringing the extra costs of the building down.

ZEO is lit primarily by daylight or passive lighting and only assisted by electric lighting during very dark and overcast periods. Extensive active energy efficiency measures are implemented in the building to reduce the need for electricity to an absolute minimum. Comfortable temperature, humidity and adequate lighting are maintained although the electricity is reduced. High efficiency pumps, fans and energy efficient office equipment are used in the building as part of energy efficiency measures.

ZEO is powered by its own BIPV or Building Integrated Photovoltaic system. The building’s PV system is connected to the grid. Solar electricity is distributed to the grid during daytime, when there is maximum draw of electricity from the grid. During night time, the electricity is bought back and used to run the building’s chiller.

Cooling is stored from nighttime to daytime in the building’s concrete floor slabs and in the building’s phase change thermal storage tank. Embedded tubes within the concrete floor slabs release cooling effect to the rooms above and below them minimize the usage of air conditioning systems for the building.

The other energy efficient features of ZEO are orientation of the building, vegetation, double-glazed windows as well as a thermal wall at its east- and west-facing facades. In tropical climate strong sunlight could heat up the interior of any building if it allows penetrating directly. In order to avoid this high performance glazing and sealed double glazing are used in the building.

These materials allow natural daylight with tolerance (high visible light at low infra-red and ultra-violet). This means without absorbing unnecessary heat radiation into the building.

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