Kramer Ausenco Samoa has developed an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient design for the proposed Samoa Commercial Bank (SCB) building.
“Ecologically Sustainable Design principles are an integral part of our design rather than a token box ticking exercise,” Architect Athol Greentree said of the project which will receive KA’s full suite of geotechnical, structural, civil, architectural and building services.
The bulk and size of the building are based on the client’s requirement for a site layout that would allow roughly 3000m2 floor area, maximise customer parking while complying with local planning requirements. Due to the Apia Waterfront Development being implemented, the client requested a proposal for the portion of the building that fronts onto Beach Road (North elevation). All building developments along Beach Road will now attract more attention from the planning division of the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment because of the Government’s plan to transform the waterfront over the next ten years (see http://www.apiawaterfront.ws/images/FinalPlan/Part1.pdf).
“The SCB building form, ‘asoa laufa’i or banana leaf garland, is a symbol of service carried out with humility, and is reflected in the design of the front façade. This is a ‘nod’ to the superior service the Samoa Commercial Bank is renowned for, as well their clientele, most of whom are rural farmers. The deep green tones take its cues from the mountains that form a backdrop behind the proposed building and the ocean that lies before it,” Mr Greentree said.
The client’s main aesthetic requirement was for large expanses of glass. To minimise solar heat gain within the building, KA Samoa proposed vertical shading on the east elevation, and a double skin façade on the north (open top and bottom). Use of low level concrete walls here together with a service walkway behind the outer glazed façade, ensure that high angle sun does not enter the building or heat up the inner line of glazing. The low level walls will also provide fixing points for the outer skin structural frame.
“We are working closely with the Building Services team throughout the design process to ensure the building preforms well and that it’s pleasant to be in at all times of the day,” Mr Greentree said.
KA Samoa put together two designs for the client when awarded the contract. The SCB’s board selected one of the concepts which was considered much better than the original developed for the bank by others.
Project construction is expected to start in the latter part of this year.