| Case Study Index |
|1. Basic Data|
|2. Architectural Concepts|
The building is intented to provide the University with a specialist laboratory building, designed specifically to house departments of the University engaged in the research and teaching of biological science, including the Zoology, Botany and Ecology & Biodiversity departments, and the later added Facilities for the Institute of Molecular Biology.
The architect, along with the project's structural, civil, geotechnical, acoustic, fire and building services engineer engineers, began the design process with the aim of fulfilling seven key criteria: functionality; flexibility; safety; energy efficiency; sustainability; lifetime economy; buildability; and ease of maintenance.
The first two floors are allocated for undergraduate teaching, while levels three to eight house the research facilities. The use of the floors are flexible and may be changed as when required. The 9th floor is a shared-use space for plant, roof store, greenhouse and aquarium.
The facilities are housed in two very stiff multi-storey concrete boxes
that are lifted ten metres above the site and supported on upturned pyramidal
columns that limit the foundation supports to just four piles for each
box. The boxes are connected at each level by a central core and form highly
flexible and highly serviced lab spaces, all with controlled environments.
The Kadoorie Biological Sciences Building is the first building in Hong Kong to fully exploit the green possibilities of a second skin: an external glazed screen which is 2.5 m away from the external wall.
The building is clad in a combination of silver grey ceramic tiles and glass and steel double skin. The north and south facades are clad in ceramic tiles and the windows are protected by sunshading devices. External maintenance walkways surround the building at each floor level, providing safe and easy access for maintenance personnel. According to Leigh & Orange's Associate, Ms. Gabrielle Tsui, the horizontal projections of the sunshade are calculated to strike a balance between solar control and daylight penetration to the interior.
The east and west facades are clad in a double-skin curtain wall which serves several functions. It acts as a screen for the building services installations distributed around the exterior of the building in order to provide a flexible interior for the laboratories. Having the building services installed on the exterior means maintenance can be carried out without disturbing laboratory users and laboratories are less likely to be contaminated. The security of the laboratories is further enhanced by the provision of access to the building services through external ducts and staircases.
The outer skin is made of fritted glass, which is a cost-effective means
of reducing solar radiation. In order to allow natural light into the laboratories,
the engineer calculated the angle at which sunlight would enter the building
and had the fritted glass fitted accordingly, alternating with bands of
clear glass, which allow natural light to pass through.
With building services installations moved to the perimeter of the building, the interior space is completely freed up for laboratory facilities, which are served by a central core which, in addition to connecting the two multi-storey laboratory structures, also functions as a circulation core.
According to the architect, maximum flexibility and adaptability governed the design of the laboratory suites. Thought was also given to energy efficiency and waste reduction. Each suite is a 3 m high, 24 m by 24.6 m shell with smooth, flush and easy to clean surfaces. The suites are subdivided into 600 basic units using easily removable metal partitions, which are pressure-fixed between the floor and the suspended ceiling.
The partition supplier, Clestra Ltd, developed a partition, which offered the required rigidity and acoustic performance at a thickness of 60 mm only. The partitions not only offer flexibility and rigidity, but also great functionality. Aluminium wall rail channels fixed on the partitions allow light switches, power sockets, shelves, cupboards, whiteboards and coat hangers to be simply hung while remaining movable. Smaller fixtures such as picture hooks and task lighting can be placed anywhere on a partition by using magnets. This provides further flexibility and adaptability to the need for change of usage in the internal space.
The floor is paved with linoleum which, unlike artificial vinyl, is
a natural, biodegradeable material. The design concept of flexibility is
consistent throughout, including the internal fitting works. The modular
design extends to the laboratory benches, which are in the form of pre-plumbed/serviced
spine units, which can be bolted together in various combinations according
to the layout.
|3. Building Services Design|
3.1 System Design Concepts
Between the Double Skin
The space between the double skin is not only used to accommodate the building services, but also used as an external buffer zone between the two layers of glazing, which acts as a stack that channels hot air upwards for discharge into the air, thus reducing the building's solar heat gain. An open metal grille installed at each floor allows free air circulation while serving as walkways for maintenance access. Heat gain is further reduced by locating heat emitting equipment in the external services zone outside the building, where they release their heat into the void rather than the interior. The design means that the building's air-conditioning system is used only to cool the space and not to overcome solar heat gain, thus dramatically improving the system's energy efficiency.
By locating heat-emitting equipment in the external services zone and using an external glazed wall as a sunshading device, without taking into account various other energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design features in the building, the architect estimated that savings of 53,360 kWh of energy per year, or 2.67 million kWh over 50 years, can be achieved. Carbon dioxide emission is expected to be cut by 37.6 tonnes per year or 1.88 million tonnes over 50 years.
The suites inside the building are subdivided into 600 basic units, but eh configuration is entirely flexible. All services are routed through the ceiling, which consists of a 3m by 3m ceiling grid containing all necessary services for laboratory functions, including compressed air, gases, electricity and telephone outlets.
Services are routed into the 1.5 m deep ceiling void on each floor from the services spine. Flexible connectors distributed according to the 3 m grid allow all the services needed to be hooked up easily for instant "plug-and-play".
Drainage provisions in the floor are also provided according to the 3 m grid. With ease of maintenance in mind the engineer designed a vacuum drainage system which sucks all drained material to a temporary store in the ceiling before final removal via ducting connected to the service core.
The building is equipped with two types of fume cupboards: one which extracts hazardous fumes directly through the roof ; and a recirculatory fume cupboard for non-hazardous vapour.
The latter kind is a particularly green feature of the building, which
only became commercially available recently. Developed by the British Atomic
Research Authority, the fume cupboards utilise vortex fume scrubbing technology
which, together with built-in carbon filtration, make them recirculatory,
thus cutting down on the air-conditioning load of the building. Since they
are moveable, these fume cupboards also contribute to the layout flexibility
of the laboratories. As they do not require a fixed rooftop scrubber and
extractor, a whole floor of plant space was freed up, which allowed the
architect to produce additional space to accommodate the later added Institute
of Molecular Biology. The re-designed roof also accommodates greenhouses
and an aquarium.
3.2 Building Services Drawings
Plumbing & Drainage
Other Utility Services
Combined Services Layouts
|4. Structural Design|
|(* Extracted from a presentation by the structural engineering designer.)
|5. Photo Galleries|
Design Models and Concepts:
|6. References and Links|
Sincere thanks are expressed to the following persons for providing us the project information.