In Tune with Nature: A Low Energy Office Building in Tropical Colombo

  • Upendra Rajapaksha
Part of the Palgrave Series in Asia and Pacific Studies book series (PSAPS)


Nikini Automation is a multi-level medium size urban office building completed in 2008. In tune with nature, the office building harmonises its three-dimensional geometry with its microclimate as a solar defensive building form for heat gain control and thus energy conservation. Both its form and the placing on the site contribute to a dynamic feel. The open podium at the entrance subtly connects the building to the road creating a forecourt. The forecourt combined with the building’s cubic form and sleek horizontal lines generate a lively atmosphere for its occupants.

The building is located in a tropical urban setting in Colombo City, Sri Lanka. Colombo is located at latitude 6.5 °N with an average temperature of 27 °C and daytime maxima reaching 33–34 °C. Nikini Automation sets an innovative design trend for environmentally sustainable architecture in Sri Lanka. The design illustrates climate control plus engineering systems for on-site energy and efficient integrated automation technology. The climate control interventions aim at reducing heat in and around the building and heat transfer from outside to inside. The architectural design theme centres around a daylight-sensitive layout but solar-defensive built form, including a lightweight double skin to the east and west facades, reducing cooling loads and then meeting the balance of demand through building-integrated solar energy.


Microclimate Solar energy Vernacular Sri Lanka 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Upendra Rajapaksha
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MoratuwaMoratuwaSri Lanka

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