EXPO Pavillon 2015 - BREATHE. AUSTRIA, Milan, Italy
The pavilion represents a beautiful integration of nature and architecture: A wooden building rests on a long, slender concrete plinth and contains a piece of dense Austrian forest. The idea to produce good air quality came from Team.Breathe.Austria and the climate engineering experts Transsolar.
The forest project for the Expo pavilion demonstrates a selection of outdoor comfort design strategies by transporting the visitor from hot, urban Milan to a cool Austrian forest within a matter of steps.
A visitor exits the hot, crowded roadway and gently ascends into the lush vegetation in the pavilion. The air is noticeably cooler due to the shaded environment. The deeper the visitor penetrates into the pavilion, the more intensely this cooling effect will be felt. To reproduce the sensation of being in an Austrian forest, an active evaporative cooling system with complementary forced air is used. Sensors embedded amongst the vegetation allow precise control of high-pressure nozzles and fans which allow the production of fine ground-level mist or cool air curtains. The fans are juxtaposed with the trees, deliberately exposed to the visitors. These active strategies were designed with the support of a Transsolar thermal simulation tool. This tool allowed the Austria pavilion team to predict outcomes of various climate-conditioning measures and refine their design and implementation.
Although Transsolar mainly applied active measures for this pavilion, the project is sustainable and energy-efficient: The total energy demand of the pavilion, including electricity requirements for artificial lighting, a cafeteria, high-pressure nozzle systems and fans, is generated by a roof-integrated photovoltaic system (41 kW) and a Grätzel cell (flexible PV) sculpture with (1.6 kW) on the roof. Of course, the trees play a role in sustainability too: The project initiators calculated they produce 62.5 kg of oxygen per hour which is the oxygen requirements for 1800 visitors breathing for one hours.
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