Bioclimatic Design of Katsantonis Park, Thessaloniki

Bioclimatic design of Katsantonis park and existing buildings, Thessaloniki (Municipality of Eleftherio - Kordelio), 2010



The project concerns the redesign of Katsantonis Park and perimeter roads and also interventions to existing buildings that house services of Municipality of Eleftherio-Kordelio: welfare (Center for Creative Children Occupation) and offices (Thematic Broadband Youth Park). The size of the intervention area is 13.000 sq. m. and the buildings 168 sq. m. (C.C.C.O.) and 500 sq. m. (T.B.Y.P.).
The aim is to upgrade, through a model for urban rehabilitation - environmental and bioclimatic design, buildings and open spaces - with ecological awareness and community mobilization and specific goals:
- saving energy and recycling
- application of Renewable Energy Sources
- thermal, visual, acoustic comfort of buildings and open spaces
- public awareness on environmental issues

Three studies were prepared: Architectural design (buildings), Landscape design (open spaces) and Energy study (total: park, perimeter road and buildings), including analysis, surveying, investigation of alternative solutions and simulations with special software.
The Architectural design concerns mainly the building shells. Aiming at reducing energy consumption and improving quality of life (natural lighting, ventilation, thermal comfort and microclimate), the design includes:

- Addition of external insulation to building T.B.Y.P.
- Creation of mass walls in building C.C.C.O.
- Thermal insulation of shell and special reflective materials (cool materials) in both buildings
- Alteration of existing openings or creation of new ones (in both buildings)
- Replacement of building elements (T.B.Y.P. dome) and creation of canopies in order to control heat gain (in both buildings)
- Replacement of all window frames and glazing with new ones of low-e technology and appropriate U values (in both buildings)
- Construction of effective sun protection devices (in both buildings)
- Construction of an external screen in selected areas and in short distance from the façades, in order to control lighting and cooling.

Landscape design concerns redesigning of the open spaces, taking into account existing uses, pedestrian and vehicular traffic and accesses. Existing compatible elements were preserved and new ones were introduced, according to the concept of intervention: thematic arrangement, redesign of playground and water route, parking areas etc. Thermal behaviour simulations were performed with special software based on accurate climatic data of the region, leading to:

- Location of activities based on the microclimate
- Planting of a variety of plants aiming at thermal comfort
- Shading, wind redirection and protection devices
- Selection of suitable floor materials, building elements and urban equipment
- Introduction of new technologies (recycling, renewable energy sources)

Simulation results after the interventions

The coordinated proposals of Bioclimatic design and Energy study lead to significant improvements:
Concerning the buildings, the interventions are targeted according to specific requirements. In building T.B.Y.P. focus on the cooling period and achieve 25% energy shaving in cooling/ heating, while significantly improve the natural lighting. In building C.C.C.O. , originally designed as showroom-workshops and completely unsuitable for the current use (children care), the first priority was the achievement of visual comfort and ventilation, sectors where the study focused. The relatively small (-1%) reduction in energy consumption is actually a significant improvement, given the building shell adjustment to the specific requirements of the new use, such as daylight, which increased 100%. All results are fully satisfactory considering the limited interventions - only to the shell - in existing buildings.
Concerning the open space, the results are impressive, with improvement of thermal comfort index (PMV) up to 50-100% (depending on season), temperature differences up to 2°C (refers to reduction only in summer) and optimization of wind protection conditions, with clear improvement of the microclimate in all seasons.