Due to the creative cooperation of our architects and our HVAC engineering workshop our studio has several LEED certification buildings. In the case of the International School of Debrecen, which is expected to be completed at the end of summer, we are also planning a wide range of environmentally conscious and energy efficient solutions.
We are convinced that smart designed energy gained straight and gently from nature is the highest efficiency mechanical equipment.
Form and Light
The International School has cogwheel-like proportions. The interconnected cogs are shifted horizontally and vertically from each other so natural light can flow though the interiors. This way light comes not only from the skylights but also from other directions creating a sense of freedom in the inner aisle ways. The classrooms are open towards the interior and the garden alike. Because of the balanced proportion of light, the harsh boundary of inside and outside is blurred that makes an elevating impact on the people using the spaces.
Efficient and comfortable cooling and heating system
A structural cooling and heating system provides the required temperature in the classrooms. This means that the roof slab is heated or cooled based on the actual season. The even temperature of the entire slab creates the thermal comfort that is gained from the cold or hot water circulated in the pipe system that is installed in the reinforced concrete structure. This way there is no air flow created so there is a lower risk of allergic conditions.
During the summer we used the lower temperature night air to cool down the aisle way areas with the use of gravitation technology. The floor vents let in cool air, the skylight window surfaces let out warm air and the whole system is run automatically.
Geothermal heat in the gym
In order to utilise geothermal heat we sank the gymnasium part of the building 5 metres under the ground. During the summer the massive, 12 Celsius degree earth volume that envelopes the section provides a passive cooling for the gym. The nearby forest provides other useful techniques too: the cool air arriving from the direction of the woods is blasted on the floor level and sets the temperature naturally. During the winter the soil protects the structure of the gymnasium from temperatures lower than ten Celsius degrees.
We installed glass surfaces all along the long sides of the gym so the top four metres of the space can provide plenty of natural light. The roof structure of the gym overreaches the walls of the building so as to provide the shading of the glass surfaces. The large roof also provides perfect place for a basketball court and other relaxing facilities.
In order to sustain rainwater, it is collected from the green roofs and instead of directing it in the drain system, it is gathered in infiltration basins to be released into the soil.