SIEEB, Sino-Italian Ecological and Energy Efficient Building

A project in symbiosis with the context and climate

Sino-Italian Centre for Education, Training and Research in Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation

Built as a joint venture between the Italian and Chinese governments as part of their commitment to the Kyoto agreements and in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, the SIEEB building illustrates a range of design and construction practices for the realization of energy-efficient buildings, with the aim of helping to meet worldwide objectives for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Its design took into account the extremely dense urban context, the typography of the site, the local environmental conditions, and the climate of Beijing, which is characterized by hot humid summers and cold dry winters, with cold winds arriving from the Gobi Desert to the north.

The form of the building is the result of careful analysis, conducted by means of numerous tests and simulations, aimed at optimizing energy performance and reducing the consumption of electricity produced by active systems for artificial lighting and other power needs.

Where electrical power from active systems is necessary, it is produced using renewable energy sources.

Study model: detail of the terraces

MCA archive

Inspired by the photosynthesis of leaves, the SIEEB building is oriented in the north-south direction. The south-facing façade has an unusual “C” shape that permits natural light to enter in the morning and evening. Stepped levels with hanging gardens are integrated into the shading system of the façade, which also supports photovoltaic panels. The windowless matte blue wall of the north façade is highly insulated to protect against the cold winter winds. The landscape architecture of the interior courtyard, which features a small waterfall and numerous vegetative elements, symbolizes the cultural relationship between Italy and China.

The reference model for the project is the leaf. The south side of the building, with it’s staggered traces with integrated photovoltaic panels, was inspired by the way leaves are distributed on plants in order to capture light.

The building was conceived as a shell that protects the north side while it opens up toward

the sun on the south side. The main access from the university campus is through the north façade, which was designed as an almost blank, highly-insulated wall to protect the building from cold winter winds.

The south-facing façades, more transparent, are shaded by projecting floors and other cantilevered structures.

The ventilated façade system of the east and west sides consists of a simple, continuous structure with a play of opaque and transparent modules and screen-printed exterior glass panels.

©Daniele Domenicali

Particular attention was paid to optimizing natural light by integrating light shelves into the façade. In the offices and laboratories, special electronic ballasts with automatic light regulation were installed in the light fixtures. The ballasts are controlled by light sensors (presence and luminescence detectors), to regulate the luminous flux required in the various rooms. The artificial lighting can also be controlled manually by means of dimmers capable of providing the required amount of light for specific activities.

©Daniele Domenicali

The bioclimatic project

Graphic Design by ZUP Design

©Daniele Domenicali

  • Key Info
  • Team
  • Collaborators
  • Awards

Copyright 2022 MCA.