Project Profile: Prototype building features natural thermal stabilization concept and Icynene
Motivated to replenish the Earth with what we take from it as well as taking inspiration from the story of Noah’s Ark, Czech licensed Icynene contractor, LIKO-S embarked on the development of a high-performance commercial building that is in complete harmony with nature and its surrounds.
The building’s concept and operation is based on the idea of ‘natural thermal stabilization’ where the building functions with energy from natural sources and without the need of special machinery or equipment.
Reversing traditional trends
Within the Czech Republic, large scale manufacturing and storage facilities have been constructed on fertile and arable land. It is estimated by LIKO-S that over the past 20 years, more than 90,000 hectares (222,394 acres) have been developed this way across the country. With estimates of more than 10 hectares (24 acres) being built upon each day, the LIKO-S team calculated that 58 million cubic meters of usable rain water is lost annually. Seeking to reverse this trend, LIKO-S sought to create a net-zero style commercial building with waste water cleaning capabilities. The team approached renowned Czech architect Zdenek Fránek, dean in the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Liberec, to help develop the concept and the building itself.
Creating a functioning building
In addition to the natural thermal stabilization concept where the building amasses energy from the sun or the earth, the building also is designed to work independently with water. A special root-based waste water treatment facility and a retention lake wetland allows the building to use water effectively and sustainably.
Primarily wooden, the building’s external cladding is stabilized by green façades to allow for the growth of plants, grass and other vegetation - a concept used in a similar LIKO-S building - the ‘Living Building’. As a licensed Icynene contractor, it was a natural fit for LIKO-S to incorporate Icynene’s highperformance spray foam insulation products into the design of the building prototype. Both medium-density Icynene ProSeal and light-density Icynene Classic were used throughout the building design.
Icynene ProSeal was applied to the exterior walls and along the base of the building to help provide structural reinforcement and act as a moisture barrier for the water reservoir next to the building. Icynene Classic’s vapor permeability supports bi-directional drying of the wall assembly while its flexible composition maintains an air seal even after seasonal expansion/ contraction of the building.
The inclusion of large windows allow for natural light to flood into the space reducing the need for artificial lighting. Acoustic and climatic chambers were also included into the design to allow for future development and testing of Icynene spray foam insulation products, and other building materials, in the Czech Republic.
Encouraging education, testing and product development
Although the building prototype is destined to be a shining example of sustainability and eco-conscious design, LIKO-S suggests that uniqueness of the building is really underlined by its use. Designed for further development, testing and European certification of spray foam insulation and other building material products, the building will play an important role in driving change within the Czech, and European, building industry.
LIKO-S’ international team will include young, burgeoning engineers who will be given the opportunity to participate in major projects that will encourage their professional and personal development.
With its roots firmly planted in changing how we think about buildings, how they perform and how they function, the LIKO-NOE prototype is truly a stunning example of creative, innovative and conscious design.
For more information about this unique project, visit the LIKO-NOE website.