- LDI: Tianjin Huahui Architecture & Engineering Ltd
- Site Area: 53 000 m2
- Design Team: Wang Zhenfei, Wang Luming, Li Hongyu, Thomas Clifford Bennett, Wang Yiliang, Tang Xiaohuan, Yin Guodong, Li Renzhong, Liu Jiawei
- City: Tianjin
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. Binhai Xiaowai High School is located in Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, a low energy consumption high school with 36 standard classes and National Green Building Label-3 rated. Since the site area is limited, the architect tried to compactly position various functionalities in order to save space. On the north side of the site is the multi-use building, including classrooms, laboratories, offices, libraries, presentation rooms, dining halls, exhibition halls, parking space for bikes, and etc.
The attention paid to sustainability is consistent throughout the design. As a National Green Building Label-3 rated architecture, the application of energy saving materials and energy saving infrastructures is indispensible, including the high efficiency external structure, high performance air conditioning sets, smoke extractors, water pumps, elevators, intelligent lighting system, energy recycling ventilation system, use of renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and purification system, usage of untraditional sources, and recycling varieties of new types of materials.
Aside from the proactive energy saving schemes, passive energy saving, rather, is the strategy that interested the architect. All of the standard classrooms are positioned on and above the second floor and south facing, with window/floor area rate averaging over 20%, ensuring interior lighting. Atriums are installed in courtyard in the multi-use building, leading in natural lighting, and increases natural lighting in the corridor’s space, making it possible for the classroom to receive sunlight from both sides, creating a healthy and comfortable interior light environment for students. The north side is positioned with small size classrooms and auxiliary rooms to maximize the use of space. The office area is positioned between two teaching areas, convenient for teachers to commute between offices and classrooms. The laboratories are situated at the north end of multi-use building, connected with the teaching area in parallel, convenient for teachers and students to commute in between.
The multi-use building is orienting south by east at 37o, as the eco city’s summer wind is predominantly southeast wind, the prevailing wind in the winter is southwest, therefore the multi-use building is able to fully take advantage of prevailing wind direction during the summer season for natural ventilation. In the winter, it’s able to avoid the prevailing wind to minimize heat lost. From simulations of outdoor wind environment, this project’s maximum wind speed in pedestrian area is 3.29m/s, the maximum wind speed amplification is 1.00; this project is maintaining a pressure difference above 75% in the front and back of the building during summer and transitory seasons, in order to avoid vortices and blind angles in partial areas, ensuring interior natural ventilation during these seasons by keeping open windows and interior doors.
The library is situated on the south end, first level, accompanied with well equipped presentation space and cafeteria, the presentation space is situated on the ground level’s north end and lower level space. The sunken plaza brings natural lighting to the lower level. The zigzagged shape of the architecture encompassed two plaza spaces, on the front and rear, the front plaza as the entrance plaza, for traffic and evacuation, the lower level under the plaza is bike storage spaces, and light pipes are leading in natural lighting to the underground space, providing lighting for the garage. The rear plaza is also the roof platform for presentation rooms, providing students outdoor activity spaces.
In regarding to space coordination, in order to let students at all floor levels be able to walk in and out of the classroom during the valuable 10 minutes in between class sessions, the architect tried to set up more public activity spaces, for example enlarged corridor spaces in partial areas, outdoor platform spaces, providing students with outdoor activity spaces for their convenience; cork boards are set up in the corridors to stimulate conversations between students. The southwest side of the site is dormitory building, with five levels above ground and one level of basement underground, including roofed playground and 25 meters short course swimming pool, offering students a place to exercise without having to exit the dormitories, and unaffected by the weather. In order to save the usage of land, the roof of roofed playground is designed to a basketball field, directly reachable from the dormitory building. South end of the dormitories is designed together with the stadium’s grandstand, increasing volume and saving usage of land. The school is equipped with 400m standard track and international standard soccer field, the lower underground parking lot is able to accommodate an approximate of 500 vehicles, open for the community, in hope to alleviate parking congestion in the community.