Cairo’s ultra-green complex to feature energy efficient technologies

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The upcoming Cairo’s Gate Residence has taken the use of energy saving and technologies in buildings to another level. Construction of the complex is such a way that it will minimize environmental impact using a host of technologies. It will feature windcatchers, wind turbines, geothermal cooling, solar panels, solar heater tubes and wind turbines.

Construction of the complex is set to commence in March 2015, with the completion expected in 2019.

The designers of the building – Vincent Callebaut Architectures (VCA – have before this undertaken similar projects with focus on environmental sustainability. They designed the Dragonfly concept that proposed a vertical farm for New York and the Agora Garden, a “self-sufficient building” which is under construction in Taipei, China. The garden is designed to use the same technologies as the Dragonfly and Agora, but at a deeper extent.

The Gate Residence will feature a total of 1,000 apartments spread across nine levels with commercial, retail and residential spaces. According VCA, the project combines Passivhaus principles with renewable energy technologies aimed at reducing energy usage by 50%. They add that the building has been designed with bioclimatic rules in mind, such as the solar cycle, prevailing wind directions and endemic plant species. VCA adds that its main objective is to raise awareness of green architecture.

The building is designed to regulate its own temperature with the windcatchers used to direct external airflow into the building’s passive cooling system. The building will also be able to regulate its temperatures using the surrounding environment; air passing through pipes buried in the ground before it enters the cooling system, enabling cooling in the summer and heat in the winter.

Electricity in the building will be generated through photovoltaic panels as well as vertical axis wind turbines. Water in the building will be collected in glass-metal tubes on the roof that are exposed to sunlight and will help warm the water.

Gate Residence2

The mixed-used complex will also feature a rooftop garden for growing fresh produce and will double up as a recreational area for the residents. Its green walls will help to keep the internal temperature of the building down besides being an aesthetic feature. The residents will be provided with various home automation options with lighting, temperature and ventilation all being controllable.