BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

BRAC University

This project achieves the impossible: it adds both built and open space to the city. The site is a polluted swampland within Dhaka. Working with the client, an NGO-run university by BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities), the project team proposes a building that floats above the pond. First, the water itself is remediated into a bio-retention pond. The whole ground level of the project is opened to the public. Above, sustainable thinking permeates the design of the university building. Brise-soleil and planted facades optimize the interior climate, reducing cooling demand by 40%. The building is designed with plenty of open breezeways creating about 40 % of the area as natural ventilated semi enclosed informal interaction spaces. Only where needed, decentral mechanical systems are located floor by floor and central mech rooms and shafts are reduced to a minimum. Water recycling and rainwater collection reduces water use by nearly 50%. Photovoltaic panels and beekeeping transform the roof into a productive environment. The new university building will host about 11,000 people in one single building of about 130,000 m² on 11 floors.
Transsolar developed a mission statement for a sustainable design and implemented an innovative climate concept based on Adaptive Comfort and Hybrid Ventilation. The concepts combine an excellent indoor air quality with good thermal comfort. Leaving paths of conventional MVAC design with overly cooling of sealed spaces, for the BRACU project Adaptive Comfort concepts have been consequently verified and implemented in the design. With air movement by fans, spaces are designed for extended temperature and humidity ranges. Fresh air is supplied as tempered air, stripping off excessive humidity when required. The system efficiently keep indoor carbon levels low with a minimum of investment cost. About 75% of the enclosed areas are designed for Adaptive Comfort and Hybrid Ventilation. The total electrical energy demand is reduced by about 40% compared to conventional design. About 25% thereof will be covered by photovoltaics harvested on the overarching roof.

2017 LafargeHolcim Award Bronze – Asia Pacific for Sustainable Design:
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