November 2011 | b-panel Team Visit to The Green Austrian Embassy Jakarta

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 b-panel® team visited to the Embassy of Austria in Jalan Diponegoro 44, Central Jakarta. This building is the first building in Indonesia to get Greenship Certification from the Green Building Council of Indonesia (GBCI). B-panel team consisting of 8 people was welcomed by Mr. Michael Jan Swoboda, Counselor and Consul of the Austrian Embassy. The team was invited to the auditorium for a brief presentation and question and answer session about the environmentally friendly embassy building. After the presentation, Mr. Swoboda brought the team around the building to witness the energy saving features used in the building; ranging from office staff, kitchen, up to the attic, and roof, where there are water chiller which is used instead of A/C. Here is a brief description of the embassy building.


Figure 1 – b-panel team with Mr. Michael Jan Swoboda in the backyard of the Embassy of Austria

The building design was the result of architectural competition hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria. The competition was won by the architectural consultant ‘POS Architekten’ which is based in Vienna, headed by Fritz Oettl. He worked closely with local architect, Jatmika Suryabrata and local contractor, PT. Pembangunan Perumahan (PP). This design can demonstrate the traditional techniques, local materials, and modern technology in tropical climates, so that the environment of high quality, thermal comfort, and sustainable architecture can be achieved. The project, worth 1.7 million U.S. dollars was started in 2010 and operated in June 2011. Two-story building has an area of approximately 1100 m2. This building consists of offices for the embassy staff, several meeting rooms, and an auditorium.

Pandhit Wirawan from PT. PP said that the application of green technology can reduce energy use by up to 75%. The conventional building uses energy 110 kVA (kilovolt-amperes), whereas this building uses only 60 kVA energy. This building design uses the principle of effective shading (as a result of the hanging roof and wooden screen) that allows natural sufficient light and temperature for every room. In addition, the windows are carefully oriented to the north-south direction to reduce the thermal load from the sun. It can be seen in Figure 2. Most rooms do not use A/C, but relies on the radiant cooling system, in which the surface temperature of walls, floors, and ceilings was cooled to remove heat. The outer surface the building is maintained with an integrated. This building uses gold foam insulation (made from extruded polystyrene) as thick as 15 cm (see Figure 3) and double-glazed windows that reduce the load transmission from the tropical heat. The building is airtight to prevent entry of moisture and heat into the room. (www.jakartapost.com and booklet ‘The Green Austrian Embassy Jakarta’)


Figure 2 – Effective shading principal on the building ( source: www.pos-architecture.com )


Figure 3 – Gold foam ( source: www.datragroup.com )

This building uses concrete core temperature control (CCTC), which creates cooling. Cold water circulates through pipes in the concrete on the ceiling. The outside air is filtered and dried. This building does not use conventional air conditioner, but it provides the perfect conditions at room temperature of 25oC and 60% humidity with no air flow (draft) which is unpleasant. Other effort in energy conservation is the use of water collected from rain water. Rainwater is stored in the tank that are also used in septic tank and garden irrigation. The concept of green features used is described in Figure 4 and green system can reduce CO2 emission per year by nearly 85% of which is attached in Figure 5.

Solar panels covering an area of 96 m2 generate electricity to heat the water and dry the air. Final energy needs for the overall operation of the building which includes cooling, dehumidification (the reduction of water content in the air process), ventilation, hot water, lighting, and auxiliary power can be reduced up to 31.25 kWh/m2. The merger of these systems and the use of heat insulation and air tightness have an amazing effect to reduce energy consumption, which is 17% of conventional buildings.

Pandhit said the concept of green was not only applied to the design of building, but also during the construction period. No waste was generated on the construction process. Liquid waste from mixed concrete was recycled and use of wood was reduced. During the construction process the workers were encouraged to ride bike from the temporary office in the Bonang Road to the project site. The workers also used aluminium flask, instead of a plastic cap as a place to drink to reduce waste. In front of a temporary office, there were lots of potted plants to create a greener environment. The engineers also said that no tree was cut down for the project. ( www.jakartapost.com ).


Figure 4 – Green features in the embassy building ( source: www.pos-architecture.com )


Figure 5 – Reduction of CO2 emission ( sumber: www.pos-architecture.com )

From this visit, the b-panel® team gains new knowledge about environmentally friendly technologies applied in the building to reduce electricity cost and reduce CO2 emissions and directly feels the effect, such as thermal comfort and tranquility on the building applied these green technologies. In addition, the team can learn the beauty of minimalist tropical architecture applied on the building. This experience is a pleasant journey; to create new generation of buildings in Indonesia with sustainable modern technology in the future.

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