Žali is translated from the Lithuanian language as “green”, which optimally suits for a shopping center building, which gained the highest BREEAM efficiency assessment.
The BREEAM international standard of sustainable buildings’ assessment envisages a wide range of environmental criteria and assesses much more than the requirements of construction norms. The BREEAM certificate confirms that the building is well-managed, energy-efficient, and environment-friendly. Žali Shopping Center in Lithuania united the latest design, construction, and renewable technologies. In this case, the building is recognizable and excellently fits the landscape.
According to the developer’s calculations, the costs for construction of the shopping center comprise 1/6 of its total operation costs throughout its whole life. That is why, during materials selection, special attention was paid to energy efficient building envelope.
The BREEAM environmental rating maximum indicators were achieved largely due to application of highly energy efficient Ruukki sandwich panels. The building meets high requirements to air-tightness of premises, which ensures optimal usage of heat. According to Marius Matejka, the architect of Baltisches Haus – the developer of Žali, Ruukki sandwich panels ensure the best effectiveness of costs for heating and air-conditioning, as well as have excellent noise attenuation.
The green roof created on the building, insulates heat inside the shopping center in winter, does not let the sun rays heat the premise in summer, as well as allows avoiding the unpleasant smells from bitumen roofing. To ensure sufficient bearing capacity of the green roof, Ruukki bearing corrugated metal was applied, capable to bear load of up to 1.1 t/m2.
Ruukki products were chosen because of the best price/quality ratio, while their production was certified according to EU standards, which helped to gain higher BREEAM assessment.
Žali is equipped with a geothermal heating system, which uses underground heat from 140 m deep boreholes.
Near the shopping center, there is a car park for 140 spaces with electric cars charging stations, bicycle paths are equipped, as well as bicycle repair shops, showers for cyclists, as well as areas for pets and electric bicycles charging stations. The first cycling park was created near the shopping center.
The impact of construction onto the environment was compensated with building birdhouses, nesting places for bats, and houses for insects.
In time, the southern wall of the building will become green due to the planted vegetation, thus the neighbors would not have to observe a long bare wall, while leaves would protect the building from heating in summer.
The Žali project was built using a detailed BIM model integrating all the materials applied, and this enabled creation of the model of the project life cycle. Information modeling was especially useful in calculation of the precise quantity of the necessary materials, allowed avoiding inconsistencies in the design, and led to budget economy as well as reduction of the construction timing.
In the course of operation of the building, its energy needs are controlled in real time mode by the intelligent BMS (Building Management System). The shopping center is equipped with a sensor technology, with sensors for control of heating, water and power consumption, lighting, and even sewage. The management systems allow to constantly track the condition of the building as well as to quickly and efficiently eliminate the shortcomings. Even a burned-out lamp is quickly ordered and replaced in accordance with the BIM model data. Such an approach ensures cost-effectiveness and accelerate the maintenance process.
The project architect notes that energy-efficient construction is becoming a stable European trend and is actively supported by international companies investing into construction of new buildings.