Generating renewable energy to power sustainable buildings is just one side of the coin, with the other one, and perhaps equally important, is a system to store excess energy for use when the energy generation system isn’t producing the peak output. Designed by Mierta & Kurt Lazzarini Architekten, the Islas Commercial Office Building does both efficiently.
The office building is actually an energy storage facility, which like a battery, stores electrical energy in the form of heat. The office building features the use of concrete floors, underground water tanks and a large solar energy generating system on the roof to produce energy and store it as well for later use. The building’s façade is covered with a wavy rusty-looking iron sheet and glass to reflect the surroundings and the ever-changing light. The four-story tall structure offers room for a central atrium and a circulation core for each of the four businesses inside it.
The energy saving building is integrated throughout the building and intelligent controls are included to manage the equipment. The energy generated by the photovoltaic panels on the rooftop is stored in water tanks placed underneath the building. Similarly, concrete floors act as thermal mass to store sun’s heat during the day for use after dark. The unique arrangement of systems makes sure that the building requires very less artificial heating even during the winter season.