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London City Hall Case Study

Key facts: Appointment: 1998 Construction start: 2000 Completion: 2002 Area: 19 814 m² Height: 45 m Client: More London Development Ltd. Structural Engineer: Arup Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon & Everest M+E Engineer: Arup Landscape Architect: Townshend Landscape Architects Lighting Engineer: Claude Engle Lighting Additional Consultants: Montagu Evans Award Institution of Civil Engineers London Association Merit Award – City Hall Related Press Releases City Hall officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen 23.07.2002 City Hall handed over to Government Office for London on time and on budget 17.05.2002 New Headquarters for the Greater London Authority submitted for Planning 08.06.1999 Foster building chosen for the New Headquarters for the GLA 26.02.1999

Index 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.


1. Intro The London City Hall is ranked to be one of the country’s most reputable buildings as it has a protrusive stature as well it is a building that embodies high ecological strategies which benefit the environment tremendously and are imperative in the building profession practice. The ecological building aimed to lower the carbon dioxide emission by decreasing the usage of energy . The Sophisticated structure also known as ‘glass gonald’, London City Hall symbolizes modernism,futurism and progress of a modern city and government. Situated in south side of the river Thames the centre of London, at London Borough of Southwark, the city hall was designed by an English 77 year old, 190 awards winner Architecture phenomenon Norman Foster and partners whom are remarkably recognized worldwide for the simplicity on detail in their complex designs. This structure which begun to be executed in 2000 and inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 was mainly designed because the GLA authority needed a place to congregate. Highly recognized for its controversial shape, the structure often described as bulbs shaped, is part of a development called ‘’more London’’ and it was constructed at a cost of 65 million pounds. Foster opted for this particular shape because it reduces the surface area exposed to direct sunlight therefore it augments the efficiency of the energy of the structure as it was designed to save and reduce the energy load by 75 percent unlike other buildings of the same calibre. The London City hall contains 17,000 meters of interior space which is subdivided in various departments ranging from public facilities(Unicorn Theatre, Ernst and Young, Red Bull, TNS Research International), spacious offices, committee rooms and a meeting chamber with seating that can accommodate 250 members of the public.

Location: This Map shows the situation of the city hall and the its surroundings . Tower bridge of London

London Bridge station

There are several crucial factors that the city hall such as, The position of the the cold ground system.


influence the ventilation system used by building on site, the shape, facades, and

Position: The London City hall is position in what we can call heating islands

City hall

An island is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by water. So what are heat islands? These are a particular part of land where there is a steep temperature variation between this part and its surrounding land. Usually heat islands in cities have a mean temperature that is 8 to 10 degrees more than the surrounding rural areas. The temperature difference is greater at night than in the day and larger in winter than in summer. The reason for maximum temperature difference at nights are for the reason that the rural areas gets cooled faster than the urban areas. Thus the temperature difference is maximum at 5 to 6 hours after sun set.

Double skin ( façade): Skin is the interface between organism and environment. People and even our planet Earth has a skin. Skin regulates temperature the outer elements (or the vacuum of outer space); it allows the regulated environment.

have skin, buildings have skin, and moisture, it protects from internal system to function in a

The city Hall ‘s skin system is one prominent factor to its ventilations covered by glass. The skin of the building plays a major role in the

system as the city hall is mostly temperament of the building as

Ventilation: The London city hall has a spherical shape which means that the surface area is less than a cube of the same volume thus the less surface the less gain of cooling or heating in the building.

The city hall is naturally ventilated with open windows in all office spaces and the heating is generated by computers. Natural ventilation minimises the energy consumption of the building . Natural air enters the office space through grills on the floor allowing the structure to be more ecological and economical . Facade vents were incorporated in the external offices for natural ventilation. Local cooling and heating systems are deactivated When the windows are opened.

Cold ground water system : Natural air enters the office provided in external offices for When the windows are opened During winter a device called moisture from the outgoing air When heating is needed the convector heaters in the offices, units, warming up incoming air.

Floor Heating :

space through grills on the floor. Vents in the faรงade are natural ventilation. local cooling and heating systems are deactivated. Hygroscopic Thermal wheels is used to recover heat and and use it to condition incoming ventilation. ground water is heated by two gas-fired boilers for use in the water undergoes through heating coils in the airhandling

Fig.1 The fascinating digital imager above is other parts of Floor Heating Systems. Posted at December 22nd, 2013 11:12:43 AM by Debbie Hockley


This diagram showcases how the system it-self works posted at December 22nd, 2013 11:15:51 AM by Debbie Hockley

The system used in the city hall is a simple system yet very efficient and environmental beneficial, Foster opted to use the system because of its environmental efficiency and beneficial features of recycling energy and use of other sources of energy which contribute for the environmental theme of the project.


This is a section of Floor Heating Systems written piece which is listed within Home Design, floor heating systems reviews, floor heating systems cost, floor heating systems for concrete and published at December 22nd, 2013 11:15:51 AM by Debbie Hockley.

How it works: The heating features or pipes are placed underneath the floor, which is termed as dry process. In the meantime, the sub-floor procedure utilizes heating things hooked up directly towards the wooden sub-floor. Moist system occurs when the heating components are forged in ground slab. The heating method will not be turned on all day long given that it expenses substantially vitality. Some business properties, which utilize the floor heating method, turn on the program all through off peak hour. The method is turned off all through the working day. Flooring heating programs consist of hydraulic process and electric programs. The hydraulic flooring heating systems use only h2o or combination of drinking water and anti-freeze substance these types of as propylene glycol. The chemical is utilised given that the heat transfer fluid to flow into in between the floor and boiler. Qualified designers are essential to setup this hydraulic system. The designers ought to be capable during the process of ground heating and familiar with circulators, boilers, and temperature and fluid pressures. This heating program employs electrical power or oil as its electricity sources of heater. The warmth pumps use electrical energy which in the city hall comes from the Photovoltaic system which because of its position in relation to the sun, the photovoltaic solar panels are directly facing the sun thus more energy is recycled into the building

Source: Debbie Hockley, Design Ideas website


The source of radiation of radiation in the city hall is mainly light and heat as the building was specifically built facing direct sunlight. The london city hall’s babulous shape is a great contributer for the natural heating of the building as it is a shape favourable for the building is naturally heating and light. The diagram bellow explains the

This diagram represent the distribution of radiation in this that is directly proportional to the sunlight reaching it.

Convenction : This Diagram explains the movemnet of heat surroundings the city hall

levels and distribution of radiation within the build

building, amount of

2.LIGHT: This building represents a radical rethink of architectural form. Its shape achieves optimum energy performance by maximising shading and minimizing the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. The city hall is mostly naturally light as it is surrounded by glass through the main faรงade that faces the sun.

The following satellite maps show the sun path around the building, intensity of sunlight and shadows during different times of the day during spring.

The city hall artificial lighting Natural Lighting Artificial Lighting Layout





3.EARTH The london city hall consits on a diagrid system which is a system that abides of vertical beams parted longitudinally witithout any vertical columns for support. A substantial part of the london city hall is constructed with concrete, steel and glass

Concrete The concrete is vital to the inner design of the London city hall as it formed 13,100 sq m of the inner core of the building as it shows in fig1, Further more concretre features prevalently in separation of walls and supporting structure of the ramps .


STEEL Steel is in mainly used in the structural frame of the bars of steel are very vital to the structure as it holds The London city hall contains 2100 tons of structural of reinforced steelwork.

London city hall. The Strong the structure together. frame steel work and 1950 tons

GLASS: The city hall is covered with7300 SQ M of triple glazed/ coated clear glass, incorporating shading devices in For the facade in this building is used three separate

double glazed low faรงade. glazing packages:


, Norman and foster opted to use a triple glazed Low-E glass type because it is a low-emissivity glass, which prevents the ultraviolet light to enter the building and heat the surfaces. It is covered with thin-film coating which is design to allow only certain wavelengths to pass through while restricting others.

4.WATER: The GLA uses a cold-water ground system to cool and heat the building. This is system uses energy conserved by the solar panels to pump the water that circulate through the 130 m boreholes that are pierced to the ground which heat and cool the building This system is incorporated into the structure of the building too which acts in saving space and materials because it works as part of the framework. The water is pumped out of the ground at 53-57°F and then runs through the structural beams in the City Hall. There is a highly technical side to the pumping system, which acts to save energy and resources. They have the ability to work at multiple speeds and functions. This allows for them to pump exactly how much water is needed depending on how hot or cold the structure is. This means that water is not needlessly pumped around the building and isn’t wasting energy on heating excess water. After heating the building, the water is then moved and not wasted by being used for the plumbing systems and in the toilets and urinals of the building.

ENERGY Because of the frontal positioning facing the sun and having 25% less surface Area than a cube of the same volume The London city hall conserves major amounts energy as the building is naturally ventilated, heated and also naturally light. The london city hall uses Photovoltaic system has been specially designed to complement the rounded shape of the Foster and Partners designed building. The panels will provide 70kW of renewable energy, generating 3.1million kWh of renewable electricity over their lifetime. The panels will reduce the CO2 emissions of City Hall by 3,000 tonnes in its lifetime – enough to fill 3,000 hot air balloons.

The figure shows Greater London Authority profile before & after Powerstar installation. The above graph illustrates the difference in energy consumption before and after the Powerstar install. The blue line represents energy consumption pre Powerstar installation and the pink line represents energy consumption post Powerstar installation. The graph clearly shows a distinct difference in consumption.

ELECTRICAL CONSUMPTION As a result of using the Cold-water ground system the electrical consumption has considerably decreased as the graph bellow shows. Furthermore in areas of artificial lighting Norman and foster implemented censored lighting as it automatically switches off when not habited. The buildings reuses the water that’s is used to climate the building as toilet flashing water which also contributes to the ecological efficient building’s aim to re-use recycle and save. Also, the boiler plant lagging improved to help minimise heat loss. Reference:


This diagram shows The rain water path passes through the plumbs, how it is purified throughout the building and where it is utilised.

Water One of The London city halls mains recycling method the recycling of water as the water is reused in many areas and manners. The water extracted from the river and the rain is pumped into the boreholes that climate the building and then this water is then used as flashable water for the toilets and afterwards it’s used outside as water fountains .

Reducing carbon emissions Reducing carbon emissions was another recycling method used by the GLA. ‘’ The Mayor committed to reducing carbon emissions from City Hall. The CO2 emissions in the city hall In 2009/10 City Hall emitted 2,100 tonnes of carbon. This is from City Hall’s consumption of electricity and gas. In 2010, City Hall achieved the Carbon Trust Standard (external website). What we're doing to reduce our CO2 emissions

The Mayor has signed-up City Hall to the 10:10 initiative (external website), committing to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2010. City Hall has already undertaken a number of activities to achieve this goal, and plans to do even more. Progress to date • In 2007, solar photovoltaic panels were installed, generating energy for City Hall with zero carbon emissions. • Voltage optimisation technology has been installed to reduce the voltage requirements for City Hall’s equipment and reduce its energy use. • Lighting improvements have been carried out. • Movement sensors on all floors at City Hall help ensure lights are switched off when not occupied. • Occupation times of the building have been reviewed to ensure optimal plant operation timings. • Boiler plant lagging improved to help minimise heat loss. •

Further activities Our Environment Champions programme encourages staff to save energy at work, with teams competing against each other to reduce their energy use. • Smart meters are being installed which will allow energy use at City Hall to be measured on a floor-by-floor basis, helping to target further energy efficiency improvements.” •



The london city hall is a great demonstration of making it possible, what I meant by that is the fact that a building the such a calibre is able to function such a great ecological system, reserving re-using or recycling. To me its not just a building with remarkable architecture but it is also a building that represents the the new London, it’s a building that steps away from the obsolete ways of traditional English architecture and design .


London city final  

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