Mangosuthu University of Technology

Natural Sciences Building





* as Design Consultant to SVA(Durban)

The design addressed these issues by harnessing integrated passive environmental considerations through orientation, building form and organization. The design of intelligent responsive facades were developed, which maximize natural daylight, optimize natural ventilation and control of solar gain and loss. Integration in the design of shaded window openings, incorporating light shelves together with automated high level glass louvres brings light and ventilation into the deep laboratory space. The automated louvres within the façade, provide natural ventilation to the laboratory spaces. Heat generated internally during daytime use, is absorbed by the deep concrete soffits and dissipated by night flushing of the absorbed energy. The automated control system incorporates rain and wind sensor on the north and south elevations of the building to ensure an active system over the full diurnal period. Artificial lighting incorporates the use of dual function motion sensors, ensuring that energy consumption for lighting is only utilized when light levels drop below the required level as well as when the laboratories are occupied. This provides an anticipated savings of 50% - 60% of the normal energy cost. The application of a “green roof” insulates the building from external solar radiation and provides the natural sciences with an active growing medium, which enhances the overall environment of the campus.