New Lands Commission’s National and Regional Headquarters Building, Ghana
Environmentally friendly design
CLIENT: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
VALUE: € 4,300,000.00
3TI ITALIA, with Cityförster and Atenastudio, has worked on preliminary design for the New Lands Commission's National and Regional Headquarters Building and has won design contest organized by Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. Furthermore, 3TI has worked on detailed design and has the charge for operations management.
The project objective is to design, construct and equip an administrative building covering all units, divisions and agencies for the New Lands Commission in Accra where the Government of Ghana has allocated a plot of 11,73 acres. The new headquarter aims at symbolizing the new spirit of transparency and efficiency.
The client wants a building appropriate to accommodate the New Lands Commission and to present a monument of its own. The office spaces will be of a flexible open plan nature to allow for the dynamic nature of the Commissions development and in accordance with changing technical requirements of office usage.
The building has been designed environmentally friendly, using renewable energy sources. The buildings basic shape, a rectangle oriented to the compass axes is a response to the tropical climatic conditions. The long sides of the building face north/south, the short sides face east/west, thus few areas are exposed to the lower angle sun radiation in the morning and evening that are difficult to shade.
The building is lifted from the ground, creating a large shaded area underneath and allowing for the landscape to flow under and inside the building. This, in combination with landscaping measures creates a pool of cooler and cleaner air that can be used to ventilate the building.
Investigation about local materials have led to individuate "lightened earth", a modern evolution of the traditional "torchis", being the most insulating mass and transpiring material, appropriate to ensure a high efficient external envelope: this technique provides prefabricated panels made up by a mixture of ground with "inert" consisting of vegetable fiber or lightweight materials. The landscaping of the site is as much an ecological machine as it is a pleasant spatial experience. A system of hills, planted with helophytic plants that can be used for the treatment of waste water, will provide clean water for irrigation and cooling of the site. Combined with rainwater harvested from the roofs of buildings this water is collected and gradually released into the large pond underneath the main building.