Flourentzos Flourentzou, Dickon Irwin, Margarita Kritioti, Tasos Stasis, and Nicholas Zachopoulos
Bibliographic info:
33rd AIVC Conference " Optimising Ventilative Cooling and Airtightness for [Nearly] Zero-Energy Buildings, IAQ and Comfort", Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-11 October 2012

The new Nicosia Town-hall is a very particular building. On the site where it is built, important antiquities were discovered during the first day of construction and the whole design was completely modified to fit to the new situation. The archaeologists continued to excavate 2/3 of the entire site and created an archaeological park in the centre of the town. The building area was constraint to the remaining land, and co-exists with the uncovered findings.
As a consequence, the building was split into 5 smaller units, 4 office and public service buildings and a municipal hall. Foundations were changed to a combination of piling between findings and large raft slabs sitting above the level of undisturbed ground. The design of office buildings followed the rules of bioclimatic architecture to meet the passive standards and the building is on process for Minergie® (Swiss) labelling. Massive buildings, naturally ventilated and cooled, offer a natural comfort with minimum energy consumption.
The hall follows completely different design principles. Above a large slab, sits a light structure and glazed fa├žades, allowing maximum view and contact between the interior- where the municipal council meet- and the surrounding archaeological park.
According to good practice design rules, this building would be a bad building, especially in a hot climate. A completely glazed cube would certainly overheat and consume a lot of energy. To avoid this, the design proposes a hybrid ventilation system using a sophisticated natural air path to cool naturally the building. Several distinct air streams using smart stack effect path ventilate the building differently according to the time, to the use of the building and to the external climate, in order to reduce mechanical ventilation and air conditioning hours of use to the strict minimum. Ventilation system shifts automatically from natural to mechanical offering maximum comfort with minimum cooling, heating and fan energy consumption.
This original hybrid ventilation and cooling system made possible the particular architectural expression of the building with low energy consumption. The whole building complex makes a harmonious eco-neighbourhood with low-energy-consumption, confortable interiors and friendly shaded, wind-protected public spaces, open to the town, where urban life meets cultural heritage.
The article explains the ventilation concept, bioclimatic principles and the simulated comfort and energy performances.