10 Year Award of Excellence: NBF Osaki Building, Tokyo

Kosuke Kato
General Manager of HQ Corporate Workplace Solutions
Sony Group Corporation, Tokyo

Tomohiko Yamanashi
Design Principal
NIKKEN SEKKEI, Tokyo

An Innovative Skin Creates a Cool and Comfortable Urban Oasis

The headquarters for a major electronics company, NBF Osaki is surrounded by innovative safety and adaptability measures. Balconies and escape routes wrap around the building to secure it against seismic activity, and an environmental system called “Bio Skin,” in which rainwater flows through water-retaining ceramic balcony railings, drawing heat from the surface, mitigates the urban heat island phenomenon. To develop this technology, the design team collaborated with Tokyo University to conduct evaporative cooling experiments using ceramic louver samples to collect data on surface temperatures and surrounding air temperatures. Simulations were then performed using that data, and a maximum temperature reduction of about 2°C in the area surrounding the building was predicted.

After construction was completed, a study was conducted using a thermal camera on a clear summer day. The results showed that compared to surrounding buildings, the measured surface temperature of this building was more than 10 degrees Celsius cooler, and even the surrounding buildings registered a cooling effect of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius, in line with predictions. By keeping the building’s footprint compact, a generous green area was able to be implemented at its base, routing it from Osaki Station to the residential area located behind the building. The synergistic effect of the "Bio Skin" and the park results in an enjoyably cool and comfortable urban oasis for people of all ages.

View Building Information on CTBUH.org