Tropical Low-Cost Sustainability
Bühler is a global market leader in the supply of milling systems for flour production plants, pasta and chocolate production lines, animal feed manufacturing installations, and aluminum die casting systems. To serve the growing Southeast Asian market, Bühler built a new plant in the Greater Hoh Chi Minh Area in Southern Vietnam. VIRTUARCH was commissioned to work with Bühler’s team to do the Programing of the new Facility and to provide a smart Concept Design for a factory which should be built at low cost, but be a sustainable building matching the sustainability strategy of Bühler.
A big roof sheltering the delivery areas and the production offices designed as an elevated box within the factory building
After a careful study of the requirements of Bühler and of the local situation, VIRTUARCH came up with a design consisting of an optimized production hall with delivery and shipping zones as well as the production offices located on the North side of the building. To reach a higher density of the plant, while having all production areas located at ground floor level, VIRTUARCH placed the offices as ‘hanging’ box under the big factory roof, while the ‘roof’ of the box serves as an open canteen area with a terrace.
The main façade facing North: The only air-conditioned areas are the production offices inserted as a box under the big factory roof. Fixed louvers provide outdoor shading for the office windows
Hot. Humid. Wet.
Extreme humidity, heavy rains and high temperatures: These are the challenges of a tropical environment. VIRTUARCH’s concept is consequent in its application of the foremost function of a building: Providing shelter. The insulated white colour roof is reducing the heat load from sunshine, and the generous roofed areas over the delivery and technical area is protecting from rain. Carefully set ventilation openings in the façade and the roof of the production building are guaranteeing a constant air flow through the building, providing for a comfortable working environment in the building.
Natural ventilation and illumination of the production hall guarantees good working conditions. The building is optimized for the production needs of Bühler Vietnam
Showcasing Bühler’s technology and sustainability
Showroom offering a panoramic view into the production building
Bühler sees its factory in Vietnam not only as one of its many production sites all over the world, but as an important step to show its presence and competence in the growing market of Southeast Asia. Therefore, the building was designed not only to provide the best possible production environment and work conditions, but also to show the visitors the quality of Bühler’s products and Bühler’s commitment to sustainability. VIRTUARCH carefully designed a visitor experience path connecting the lobby, the showroom and a panoramic elevated walkway overlooking all production areas.
Elevated walkway from the showroom into the production hall. Crossing this bright, flexible and efficient production space offers a great experience to the visitors
Sustainability and social responsibility
The generous ‘loft’ style canteen located on top of the production offices under the big factory roof: A naturally ventilated and illuminated space for the staff
Creating a space with good working conditions considering the habits of local staff is making this project a good example for sustainable planning – in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emission, but also in terms of social responsibility.
A good example for the spirit of VIRTUARCH’s design is the canteen area, which was inspired by local restaurants along the streets of Southern Vietnam. People like to gather in shaded areas and they like having a rest in hammocks during lunch break. VIRTUARCH has designed a space which accommodates these customs and allows integrating them in a modern and productive factory environment.
Terrace in front of the canteen located on top of the production offices: A generous, naturally ventilated area for the Bühler community
Engineering with Production in mind
An important aspect of today’s work environment is communication between the people and the vicinity of the engineering offices to the production areas, making sure that ideas are exchanged easily and that the rich experience gained on the shopfloor is actually interlinked with the engineering processes designing the products.
VIRTUARCH designed efficient open space offices for the engineering department, with meeting rooms, breakout zones and Bühler’s special ‘Just Do It’ area conveniently located next to it. The offices are located just a few steps from the shopfloor.
Flexible open space offices for the production and engineering offices are the only fully air-conditioned area in the building
PROJECT NAME: BÜHLER, HOA BINH
CLIENT: BÜHLER VIETNAM
LOCATION: HOA BINH INDUSTRIAL PARK, LONG AN PROVINCE, VIETNAM
INDUSTRY SECTOR: FOOD / FOOD PROCESSING / FOOD TECHNOLOGY
PROJECT SIZE: 9,000 m2
PROJECT DATE: 2013
SERVICES: PROJECT PREPARATION, ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN (CONCEPT STAGE), DESIGN REVIEW, SITE VISITS