Transoceánica headquarters use a system of energy efficiency that incorporates passive design and solar reflection. The new headquarters for private equity firm Empresas Transoceanica in Santiago looks nothing like a conventional commercial set up. But it is expected to use just one-fifth of the energy of a comparable Chilean office.
A wood-wrapped north facade deflects solar radiation, while allowing for natural light to pour into the office space, and a 75m-deep ground source heat pump uses naturally cooled water to lower internal temperatures. Alex Brahm, the lead architect from Chilean firm +arquitectos, explains that the local climate makes cooling, rather than heating, the main energy burden.
Much of the energy efficiency gain is achieved thanks to passive design principles aimed at reducing exposure to sunlight (rather than intensifying it, as is the aim with such designs in colder latitudes, including northern Europe). Additionally, the passive systems incorporate design elements that are highly energy efficient like location, orientation, solar control systems, use of natural Light, renewable materials, local plants, deck insulation, facades and thermical bridges analysis.