The Kuggen building / Wingårdh Arkitektkontor
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The Kuggen building / Wingårdh Arkitektkontor

The Kuggen building was built between 2010 and 2011 in Lindholmen campus. It has become one of the most emblematic modern architectural pieces of work in Goteborg and an example of sustainability.

The architectures Gert Wingårdh and Jonas Edblad from Wingårdh Arkitektkontor firm, designed this building, which reminds of a gearwheel. That is why it is called Kuggen because ‘kuggen’ in Swedish means tooth. It is over 5,350 square metres distributed in 5 stages, which host business meetings for newly created enterprises at University of Technology in Chalmers.

Its current efficient design allowed it win the MIPIM Sustainability prize in 2009 besides being nominated for the IABSE award, due to its exceptional structure and it was also nominated for the Learning category prize in the World Festival of Architecture in Barcelona (2011).

 

Efficient and sustainable design

 

The Kuggen building is a truly efficient construction, which also uses cutting edge sustainable building procedures in regards to lighting and climate control systems.

 

– Use of natural light: the windows that surround the building have been designed to take advantage of the day light in the interior. It notably reduces light and heating costs. Moreover, the triangular shape of the windows and the subsequent limitation of the glass area also help keep the heat up inside the building.

– High thermal capacity materials: the façade was built with reinforced concrete and covered with terracotta glass panels which not only have a long useful life but also keep the heat inside the building and isolate it from the rough Swedish winters. Because of the windows design, the temperature in the offices remains around 22 degrees Celsius all year round.

– Energy generation:  projection of upper floors over the lower floors not only extends its useful area but also avoids the uncomfortable Sun light directly projected into the offices. In order to avoid these problems in the upper stages, a rotating screen has been installed with photovoltaic cells, which moves following the move of the Sun around the building and it provides shade as well as generating electricity. Furthermore, solar collectors have been installed on the roof so that it allows heating up drinkable water in an economic and sustainable manner.

 

The main goal of these solutions is to adapt the lighting, heating and refrigeration systems to natural resources in the environment, guaranteeing the energy will be only used when it is really necessary. In fact, energy consumption of the Kuggen building is lower than 55 kWh/m2 a year, including all the mechanical systems.

In this case, efficiency systems have been smoothly used to be integrated in the building design so that is what it makes so special. The most remarkable example is the terracotta cover of the façade, which is able to use up to six different colours depending upon the vision angle and light conditions. That is why the Kuggen building is so visible when one walks around the area.

 

Do you know any other building, which uses similar efficient energy systems like the Kruggen building? Feel free to leave a comment below!

 

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