Excerpt: VTN architects designed the administration building of FPT university using the concept of sustainable design with a passive cooling strategy in the composition of a cube with trees to establish the connection between students and nature.
[Text as submitted by architect] The FPT Technology building is part of the first stage of a larger master plan to convert the university to a globally competitive environmentally conscious university. The building acts as a gateway to the campus and the green façade clearly dictates the future direction of the campus. Since FPT University offers Information Technology (IT)-related courses, the campus is designed to maintain a healthy balance between the physical and virtual environment, as well as to improve our relationship with nature. As the building is the first stage of the expanding university it has been designed to be adaptable in its program to accommodate the varying programmatic requirements of the future.
This University is situated in an area of Vietnam that experiences frequent energy shortages. Passive design is employed to reduce the building’s dependence on active systems so that during blackouts the building is able to function on minimal generated backup power. A shallow plan allows copious natural light into the building reducing the need for artificial lighting. The trees within each window opening operate as green skin to reduce direct heat transfer through the windows. The building is orientated to the prevailing breezes and employs cross ventilation for cooling. The green skin of trees and adjacent lake help to reduce the air temperature.
The façade has been designed as simple modules that express the simplicity of sustainable design. The structure is built out of affordable concrete construction, the standardized modules allow the higher quality finish to be achieved together with economical time. The increased urbanization and densification of Vietnamese cities are having a large impact on urban vegetation and what was once the urban population’s strong connection with the environment. Due to the current situation, the building design ensures that the students are exposed to greenery and maintain a connection with nature even when they are away from home. The trees in each room and outdoor gardens allow a constant connection with nature. And there are also trees beside open spaces with voids, students use these spaces freely. The landscape is also integrated at the top of the building to form a public stepped garden for the students and staff members. This connection helps raise awareness of the environment through the constant reference and experience of the benefits of a sustainable passively designed building.