New energy-efficient structure unveiled in Santiago

The opening comes as Chile’s government announces plans for more buildings in the future that will reduce consumption.

The building in Vitacura, Santiago is surrounded by a lagoon which supports its cooling system.
The building in Vitacura, Santiago is surrounded by a lagoon which supports its cooling system.

A building 70% more energy efficient than other conventional ones has been unveiled in Santiago’s Vitacura neighborhood.

The new office of private equities investment company Empresas Transoceánica is being inaugurated as the Chilean government announces that 10 more structures will be built which will save about 30% of energy. They are scheduled for construction in the regions of Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Copiapó, Valparaíso, O’Higgins, Maule and the Magallanes, Chile’s leading newspaper La Tercera reports.

In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (Minvu) is also signing an agreement with Chile’s Green Building Council that will see future buildings incorporate measures to reduce consumption, water and operating costs. The plans are part of a movement toward sustainability in the country.

“We are committed to promoting sustainable building in these regions, and these buildings are designed to intervene under these characteristics,” said Eduardo Contreras, head of the Technical Division of Housing and Development Studies of Minvu.

The three-storey tall office in Vitacura officially opened on Oct. 26 and meets a high standard in terms of sustainable buildings. It will receive a LEED Gold certification from the non-profit Green Building Council in the United States – a good score from an internationally recognized certification system.

Among its features is a geothermal system for air conditioning, central heating and ventilation that also can adjust the temperature of the building based on water temperature readings in a well 90 meters underground. The circulation of clean air is expected to reduce the spread of colds and other illnesses.

The building is surrounded by a park and lagoon, creating an artificial wetland that supports the cooling system for the offices, according to the Santiago-based company Douglas Leonard Lighting, which was involved in installing the energy-saving lighting system for the structure.

Lights will automatically adjust to maintain appropriate levels of light intensity in the building’s large hallways and interior offices, while a wooden lattice covering the exterior of the mostly glass building and curtains that close automatically  will deflect the sun.

This post is also available in Spanish