This branch of Hatton National Bank (HNB) in Pittiduwa, Sri Lanka, incorporates a number of green design features and achieved a LEED gold rating. It represents the first green bank building in the country.

The main architectural concept was to create a Built Environment where the user feels that he is attending to his banking needs outside, under the shade of a tree, instead of in an enclosed building. This was realized by retaining the huge Kone tree at the centre of the site and the designing the building to wrap around three sides of the tree. With a huge canopy that spreads over the roof of much of the building, and framed views of the tree trunk from many indoor locations, the tree is at the heart of the design concept and the finished building. To develop the idea of working outside, there is an 80ft long, double-height atrium, with a full-length skylight, designed as a central pathway off which the banking activities take place. A high performance glazing system was imported from the US to minimize solar gain. Furthermore, to maximize the views of green areas and also to merge internal and external areas, full height tempered glass panels were used.

Floor levels inside the building were formed considering the natural contour levels that existed in the original site with minimum disturbance to the soil. An Erosion and Sedimentation Control (ESC) plan was instigated in line with 2003 EPA Construction General Requirements.

Materials were chosen to reduce the need for finishes and re-use old materials where possible. These include exposed steel, natural rubble slats for retaining walls, salvaged railway sleepers, cut cement floors and steel offcuts for the railings. 40% of materials were sources locally and during construction. All timber was FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified.

90% of construction waste was diverted from landfill and a waste storage area was created to encourage storage and segregation of recyclables during operation.

A number of measures were put in place to minimize the water demand. A rainwater harvesting system was fitted, capable of handling 34,000 gallons per annum, with rainwater used for flushing toilets and watering the landscaped areas. Low flow fittings Regal and Key Group Three were fitted to reduce demand. As a result, there is a potable table water saving of 54,000 gallons per annum, considered to be a 70% saving.

To improve the energy efficiency, main working areas have very high daylighting levels due to the full height openings, the main sky light and a large number of solar tubes. As a result, all regularly occupied spaces are daylit. Electric lighting is operated by daylight sensors. The entrance and car parking areas are lit with solar-powered street lamps. As a result of these measures, there is an energy saving of 30% compared to the baseline. This can be continuously monitored through the electricity metering system fitted.

In addition to conserving the kone tree, many roof areas and terraces are covered with planting. These hold only native plants, including ehela, komarika, ranawara, wara, kitl and wetakeiya.

The project achieved 45 credit points and 7 prerequisites, far surpassing the minimum requirement of 39 points for a gold rating.

The building was designed by ARCHIFORM DESIGN CONSULTANTS and the LEED assessors / environmental consultants were ENERGYSOLVE INTERNATIONAL.


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