Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor

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Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
LOCAL CONDITION
& VEGETATION
SITE ANALYSIS
LOCATION
The geography of Switzerland encompasses the
geographical features of Switzerland, a mountainous
and landlocked country located in Western and
Central Europe. It is surrounded by 5 countries:
Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, France to the
west, Italy to the south and Germany to the north.
Vals is a remote village located in the Penninicum
zone of the Alps and belongs to the Alpine,
continental climate zone, with the Alpine ridge
forming the climate line. Since Vals lies directly on
the border to the canton of Ticino, you can really
notice the Mediterranean influence.
Location of Vals
Summer
The village is located in the valley and the Thermal
Vals was set on the slope. It faces to the grand
mountain views which experiences distinguished
seasonal change over the year.
Switzerland has a maximum north-south length of
220 kilometres and an east-west length of about 350
kilometres.
Vegetation in Switzerland is derived from that of the
Winter
four European climatic regions that converge in the
country and has been influenced by the varied relief. During the summer time, the highest temperature
will not above 30 degree. Pasture covers the mountain as well as the bath roof. However, since they are
on the border to the south side of the Alps, Vals as well as northern Ticino and Engadine receive heavy
snowfall in the wintertime.
Our case Thermal Bath Vals is located in the canon
of Graubuenden, Switzerland. Sited on a slope of the
valley, the building was surrounded by 5 main hotels
and a traditional small village.
Location of Therme Vals
SUN ANGLE
CLIMATE
Noon (12:00pm)
According to the Koppen Map Climate
Classification, Vals, Switzerland is classified into
the group Dfb, which means the climate there is
tending to be colder than most countries in the
world. And somewhere on the Alps, it even has
polar climate(ET) due to the height.
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but
can vary greatly between the localities, from
glacial conditions on the mountaintops to the
often pleasant near Mediterranean climate at
Switzerland's southern tip.
March 21st : 43.5°
June 21st: 75°
Sep 21st: 45°
Dec 21st: 20°
Great difference of the sun angle can be found
between summer and winter time, which leads to
the large temperature and lightness difference.
Sunpath Diagram
Topographic map of Switzerland
In the summer the sun is almost 80 degrees in
altitude and is above the winter altitude for almost
12 hours. In December, the sun is quite low all day,
never rising above 20 degrees in altitude.
The ceiling of thermal vals has a wonderful ribbon of
light shafts running along walls – since all windows
are on the south east face of the building, these
ceiling apertures would really take off after noon
when there is no longer a eastern stream coming
through the windows.
Appealing Factors of the Climate:
- Cool, extremely dry
- Clean air, scarce clouds
- virtual absence of fog
- Prevalent and intensive sunshine
Sunlight Chart
Koppen Map (Europe Part)
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TEMPERATURE
& HUMIDITY
WIND
Prevailing Wind Direction: North-West
Average Wind Speed : 5
Temperature
The highest temperature average: 27°C
The lowest temperature average: -2°C
Annual temperature drop: 29°C
During the winter time (Dec-Feb), Switzerland
is under the control of Westerliesit. Adding the
effect of coriolis force, the wind direction and
intensity are sited on the North-West. West
wind brings the vapour from the Atlantic ocean,
together with the rainfall and wet weather.
Precipitation
Average Annual Precipitation: 933mm
The most distinguished precipitation features of vals
is that it rains a lot during the winter time( as well as
snow)
After the Spring Equinox, the Sun originally
overhead in the southern hemisphere moves
north gradually. West wind is weakened and
south-east wind grows.
Since rainfall tends to increase in direct proportion
to altitude, precipitation varies according to relief.
Thus, because of the marked variation in relief
that characterizes Switzerland, differences in
precipitation within short linear distances are often
very great.
The temperature is the same as the normal
temperate countries; however, the precipitation
of Switzerland is a little different from other areas.
Affected by the Westerlies, Switzerland Vals has
an average of 121.1 days of rain per year and on
average receives 1,185 mm of precipitation. The
wettest month is August during which time Vals
receives an average of <100 mm of precipitation.
During this month there is precipitation for an
average of 12.6 days. The month with the most days
of precipitation is May, with an average of 12.8, but
with only 129 mm of precipitation. The driest month
of the year is January with an average of 55 mm of
precipitation over 12.6 days.
Prevailing winds are mainly from the west, but in
valleys air currents are channelled into particularly
frequent or violent local winds such as the Bise,
a cold northeast wind that sweeps across the
Mittelland and funnels down Lake Geneva to the city
of Geneva. Foehn (German: Föhn) winds, which are
associated with the leading edge of a low-pressure
system moving across Europe north of Switzerland,
often blow for one or two days; though they may
occur anytime during the year, they are most
frequent in spring. Sudden temperature increases
occur because the foehn, which crosses the Alps
from south to north (it can also blow from north to
south, affecting Ticino), cools at a slower rate rising
over the mountains because of precipitation; it is
Annual Temperature
Winter(Dec-Feb)
Spring(Mar-May)
Summer(June-August)
Autumn(Sep-Nov)
Average number of rainy days per month and hours of sunshine per day
5DLQ\'D\V
6XQVKLQH+RXUV
then heated and dried as it
descends down the northern
valleys, thereby moderating
the climate on the northern
slopes of the Alps.
Sunlight:
Annual Sunshine Hour: 1541h
Vals rains a lot in spring. From the chart, it is easy
to see that May is at the peak of the annual rainy
days. And during this time, the sunlight reduced to
minimum.
http://www.windfinder.com/windstats/windstatistic_san_bernardino.htm&fspot=stafelti
http://www.holidaycheck.com/climate-wetter_Vals-ebene_oid-id_14811.html
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Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
Design--Site
Natural Surroundings
Humanistic Environment
Out of the eastern land of the basin-shaped valley
of Vals, a good 1200 meters above sea level rises
a spring. The site next to the spring was once
occupied by a modest spa hotel dating from 1893.
The hotel had a number of finely appointed bathing
cabins and shower rooms, and from around 1930,
its clientele dwindled. The committee decided to
bought the spa area in the name of the village and
further developed it.
The new thermal baths is an independent structure set into the sloping southwest corner of the existing
hotel. Access is via a subterranean passage leading from the hotel.
Historical Site
When the first spa resort was developed in 1893, an
ancient basin was dig out, laying just beneath the
foundation of Therme Vals today. People could not
make sure whether it was for religion or not, but at
least it announced itself as a site with a long tradition
in the relationship with the thermal spring.
The thermal bath is an independent structure. The building takes the form of a large, grass-covered
stone object set deep into the mountain and dovetailed into its flank. Working with the natural
surroundings the bath rooms lay below a grass roof structure half buried into the hillside.
It was designed to follow the role: The establishing of a special relationship with the monument
landscape, its natural power, geological substance and impressive topography. It tries to make us believe
that it is always standing there and seems to be the part of the landscape. It is probably profoundly
archaic heritage.
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Case Study Research
While looking for an architectural idiom to express
our “underground” baths, we noted several parallels
close by: the many tunnels and galleries constructed
between Ilans Vals to protect the road from rockfall
and avalanches, and the dam of the Zervreila
reservoir way back in the valley: all powerful and
impressive architectures, feats of civil engineering
built into the mountains to keep them in check
but also testifying to their might. And the interiors
of these structures are essential, quintessential.
Sometimes they are like cathedrals, as shown in the
picture taken inside the Albigna dam.
-------Peter Zumthor
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Design--Program
N
20m
5m
0
N
Plan
Program Layout
10m
The first idea consist of cutting gigantic tables
out of the blocks of our quarry, them joining
them together and stacking them on top of
each other in order to get the building that
we envisioned. But then the image of a great
monolith began to take hold.
Fire Bath, looking inside the block
The space in between them was there as well,
creating many places where certain functions
instantly nestled: pools of water, hot and cold
baths, runnels, waterfalls… The work in this
space-we call it a meander-played a substantial
role in shaping the blocks. But the blocks owe
their shape not only to the spatial wishes that
the meander had to fulfil. The bath is also
conceived in terms of the blocks. Above all, as a
construction. But also as a composition.
To enrich the visual experience and to
distinguish the expression of each of them, the
bathrooms are colored according to the warmth
of their water.
Program Layout
Secondary Floor: the primal act of bathing
Make-up room, changing room, Showers
Main Floor: a series of stones cubic volumes
The central bath, the outdoor bath, the terrace
This space was designed for visitors to luxuriate
and rediscover the ancient benefits of bathing.
The combinations of light and shade, open and
enclosed spaces and linear elements make for
a highly sensuous and restorative experience.
The underlying informal layout of the internal
space is a carefully modelled path of circulation
which leads bathers to certain predetermined
points but lets them explore other areas for
themselves. The perspective is always controlled.
It either ensures or denies a view.
Indoor Pool
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Ecology-- Daylight
Window--View
Window--Lighting
Orientation
Summer sun
rise at 05:48
Winter sun
rise at 08:18
Winter
E
Large openings are on the east side to
recieve the morning sunshine.
Summer 67°
Summer
Spring &Autum 43.5°
Winter 20°
N
Most of the windows, big or small, are facing down
the slope, in such way that they have an elevated
view of the mountain opposite and the village in
the vally. Grand views are availiabe around the
year.
Inside, on the eastern side of the building, there
are two rest areas - essentially, alcoves with big
windows looking over the valley. The window is
flushed with the outside wall to gain more area
that can be heated by sun. In summer, this area is
much warmer than in winter.
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S
The outdoor pool locates in the South to gain
more sunshine at noon.
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Ecology-- Lighting
Skylight--Fissures
Artificial Light
The spot light on the roof plate above the
indoor pool. The size of the light facility is
about 1/5 of that of the opening, letting
natrual light flow into the pool during the
day. The blue bold will add some cold and
mysteriour tone to the sunlight, creating the
atmosphere.
Roof birdview
Fissures are arranged in a certain pattern so that they are intersecting to form the shape of T instead of
a cross. Aesthetically, the light on the stone walls are somewhat like the marks left by the spring.
With gloomy light, you back to the ancient time; with blue light, you next to the water
Narrow spaces are assigned with long fissures letting sunlight in. These avoid opening numbers of
windows, so that more heat can be trapped in this building.
Light slits add to the sense of fluidity of the overall space.One side of the block is washed by top light
while the other part of the stone wall sinks into darkness, making the light path more extraordinary.
Arch 3114 Term 2 2012-2013, STUDIO U4 Structure & Passive Environmental Design
The effect of the spot light. Interior photos towards
the indoor pool.
Corridor
Corridor leading from the hotel lobby to the bath.
Spot light under the water.
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Ecology-- Thermal Performance
W/sqm on HS
Natural Heating
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
0
20
40
60
80
100
SEA
Heating Effect with Solar Altitude
Summer
Plan, showing the highlighted stone adjacent to
the outdoor pool
Heating Estimation
Winter
The outdoor pool on the southern end of thermal
vals is protected from the wind on 3 of four sides
and uses the thermal mass of water and stone
to retain heat and create a bit of an outdoor
microclimate throughout the day, in summer and in
winter. These two images show the relation between
the sun and a particular stone block throughout a
winter day. the block’s position is such that it is in
direct sunlight for the majority of the day – passively
heated.
http://wmn4r.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/therme-vals-microclimateand-passive-design/
Thermal Capacity of Stone and Water
The thermal capacity of the stone is much lower
than that of the water. Facing to the sun, the
temperature of the stone rises fast, so that the
heat will be transferred to the water.
Arch 3114 Term 2 2012-2013, STUDIO U4 Structure & Passive Environmental Design
Solar Elevation Angle (SEA) changes with season. The larger the angle of sunlight and the surface of the
Earth, the more effective the heating effect is. For Switzerland, a country with large latitude, solar altitude
in winter is too small to keep warm. Thus it is significant to gain more area that can receive direct sun
radiation.
The surface area of the stone = 27sqm
Mass of the stone block= 10000 kg
Water volumn in the pool = 360 cubic meter
Water mass= 360000 kg
In summer
In winter
SEA at noon =67°
SEA at noon =20°
W/sqm on Horizontal Surface
estimates about 930W/sqm
W/sqm on Horizontal Surface
estimates about 240W/sqm
Every house the concrete surface will gain
Q=power x time x surface area =
930W/sqm x 3600s x 27sqm= 90400 kJ
Every house the concrete surface will gain
Q=power x time x surface area =
240W/sqm x 3600s x 27sqm= 23328 kJ
The surface temperature of the stone goes up
Q=cm △ t
△ t = 90400kJ/ (0.97(KJ/kg ℃ )) (100000kg) = 0.93 ℃
The surface temperature of the stone goes up
Q=cm △ t
△ t = 23328KJ/ (0.97(KJ/kg ℃ )) (100000kg) = 0.24℃
Which means in the noon hour in the summer, the
surface temperature of the stone will raise by 0.93℃ .
The stone is only a little bit warmer than that of water,
but when the thermal conductivity of water and
concrete is compared, that of the concrete is much
higher, thus the reception of warmth is higher on the
block.
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Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
Response to Climate and Water
Different Systems of Foundation and Roof
Contraction and Expansion of the Greenroof
waterproofing glass
Temperature and Water
rubber
Highest Temperature around the year in Vals
27°C in July and August
Lowest Temperature -15°C in January
turf
Highest temperature of the water in thermal bath 36°C
Coldest water 14°C
The weight of the indoor pool water: 50 tons
The weight of the outdoor pool water: 100 tons
mesh
concrete
Digital model showing the position of green
roof, which is connected to the mountain.
concrete
The building is in the valley in a cold temperate zone,
whereas it is also a thermal bath. It has to confront
with the temperature, weight of water and the
seasonal change. The water in the pool is changed
every week, during which the several tons of water
disappear and then appear again; the wall exposed
to the air is -15, while that in the water is above 36.
Thus the contradition and expansion is inevitable.
In the foundation of the building, the concrete is
a whole and uniform piece. For the temperature
of the underground will be kept balanced due
to its thermal preservation property. For the
portion which faces to the exterior or to the large
temperature oscillation, the building module was
divided into several slabs to allow enough expansion
and contraction.
L steel concrete
to hold it compound
Photo from south facade. Green roof is flat.
Conceptual drawing. 15 blocks.
Consequently, the roof slabs are separated and
the joint should perform the expansion without
causing faliure. And the stones on the wall should
not be cladded, otherwise they will fall down due to
thermal movement.
The separation of roof plates and connection with
rubber in the joint allow contraction and expansion
without developing structure failure. The roof
is followed the structural principle and in the
same time, providing a fantastic visual effect and
atmosphere.
Arch 3114 Term 2 2012-2013, STUDIO U4 Structure & Passive Environmental Design
Cantilevered roof.
Tie beams hold
the cantilever and
the wire on the
vertical wall goes
to the ground.
Comparison of thermal expansion of concrete
and rubber. Rubber can withstand extreme
temperatures without losing its elasticity.
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Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
Construction Type-- Material Description
He went back to the essence of bathing.
"I knew from a book the Rudas Bath in the period
of turkish colonial time. Light came from the small
opening on the dome, illustrating a space which
might not be perfect for bathing: some stone sinks
were filled with water, vipor was on the surface.
In the dim light of sky, the whole atmosphere is
totally relaxing. In the shadow of the lateral rooms,
we seemed to hear sound of water which rings
differently with the echo of the room. The serenity,
peace and primitivity made people prostrate to it. "
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kecko/7782512578/
------Peter Zumthor
The historical village in the vally of Vals, located in
the canon of Graubuenden, Switzerland. The barn
and the house were roofed with Valser quaritize
slabes for a long tradition. The abundant storage
was found in nearby mountain mine and the slabs
were processed locally by a manufactory.
Properties
Convinient and cheap.
Easy to be processed.
High resistance to temperature change.
The ediface of the building was constructed by
60,000 pieces of Valser quaritize slabs from the
quarry 1000m further up the vally, and those slabs
were transported to the site and built on the same
slope.
Stone and water thus became his focus. They
interacted with each other to generate the expected
and unexpected atmosphere and interpreted the
meaning of bathing.
We observed the place, its surroundings. We
were interested in the stone roofs, their structure
reminiscent of reflexes on water. We walked around
the village and, suddenly, everywhere there were
boulders, big and small walls, loosely stacked rough
plates, split material; we saw quarries of different
sizes, slopes cut away, and rock formations.
Thinking of our baths, of the hot springs pushing
out of the earth behind our building site, we found
the gneiss in Vals more and more interesting; we
started looking at it in greater detail – split, hewn,
cut, polished; we discovered the white “eyes” in
what is called augen gneiss, the mica, the mineral
structure, the layers, the infinitely iridescent tones
of grey.
------Peter Zumthor
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Therme Vals | Graubunden Canton, Switzerland | Peter Zumthor
Construction Method-- Expression
The baths were designed to look as if
they pre-dated the hotel complex, as if
they were a form of cave or quarry-like
structure. This is particularly evident from
observing the grass roof structure of the
baths, which resemble the foundations of
an archaeological site, and reveal the form
of the various bath rooms which lie below,
half buried into the hill-side.
To achieve the specific aspiration in the
site of Vals, the stone became the driving
inspiration for the design, and is used with
great dignity and respect.
Peter Zumthor pays meticulous attention to
materials and to their visual, tactile and even
olfactory attributes. He applies materials with the
sophisticated precision and he pursues the sills and
techniques of construction.
The whole building is built by stone. The section and
profile of the structure as a whole is determined
by a conscious series of natural stone strata--Layer
upon layer of Vals gneiss.
The principle of uniform stone layering was
consistent throughout the building, forming the
texture of floor, stairs and walls. The deep, graphite
colored stones were not mere facing, but wholly
structural as well. Zumthor took a very different way
of constructing the wall. The two layers of brick slabs
were constructed first and then concrete was cast
into the void space between the layers. Concrete is
the part that takes the weight of the roof but stones
can be taken as concrete template which sustains
the pressure of pre-curing concrete.
The butt joins are always scarttered to enhance the stability. But there
is no repetitive pattern, so that it will not draw any attention of the
visitor and is recessive to the background when compared to typical
brick walls.
This continuity, a crucial factor in the provision of a state of visual calm,
depends heavily on the absence of visually superfluous elements that
might unbalance the composition or otherwise disrupt the perception
of the whole.
Stone Strata
Whilst these initially appear random, like an ashlar wall, there is a regular order. The cladding stones are
of three different heights, 61mm, 47mm and 31mm. Althought the sequence of the three types was not in
any regulation, these three are always put on top each other to form a strip, together with motar of 3mm,
so that the total of the three is always 15cm, so it allows for variety in arrangement, whilst facilitating
construction.
Arch 3114 Term 2 2012-2013, STUDIO U4 Structure & Passive Environmental Design
15 cm is also the standard height of each step
of the staircase.
the corner was carefully constructed
so that both surfaces are random and
smooth.
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Construction Method
Comparison of walls in Thermal Vals and typical masonry walls
Double leaf masonry: Two layers of uniform modules interlock or paralleled. In the latter case, concrete will be poured into the wall and tie rods will help to stick two layers together.
Concrete wall with cladding: Template helped to shape the concrete and will be taken down after curing. Cladding tiles has no structural meaning but only hang on to the concrete. There is possibility that the tiles could fall
off due to loose connection.
Concrete Masonry: The concrete masonry units are stacked to form the structure. Can either be reinforced or not reinforced. Infill will be poured into the cores to combine the units.
Walls in Thermal Vals: Bricks are of different thickness so that zigzag contour lines were formed in the section. The touching area between bricks and concrete has increased so that stones will stick more firmly to the
concrete, thus no tie rods are required.
Double wythe Wall
Concrete Masonry Wall
Concrete Wall
Could have a cavity to increase thermal
performance. The courses are paralleled but
intersected in the corner.
Reinforced cores are filled with grout to secure the
reinforcing in proper relationship to the structure.
Tempelate and reinforce bars are set up before
the concrete was cast. The timberframe work
will later be disassembled.
Support: Bricks.
Support: The concrete masonry unit. Could also be
reinforced.
Support: Concrete. Reinforce bars take tensile
forces.
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Therme Vals
The stone layers are erected first and become the
tempelate of concrete. The inner surface is not
smooth so that the stones strongly stick to the
concrete. Two dimensional steel cage inside concrete,
without any reinforce connecting the stone layers.
Support: Concrete.
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Response to Confrontation
Concealment of Insignificant Details
In terms of appearance, the stone-course-layering
scheme plays a central role in the creation of
a setting for bathing which expresses a poetic
metaphor; however it also serves a more
important function in relation to the technicalities
of the building’s embodiment and the mundane
demands of its setting. The layered construction
of the walls as well as the expansive network of
technical infrastructure required for the provision
of comfortable conditions for the programme are in
direct contrast with what is expressed in the areas
experienced by bathers, which are characterised
by a minimal, seemingly simple and unassuming
aesthetic. Moreover, what is apparent in Therme
Vals is a recurring motif of concealment in which
the architect very purposefully employs the use of
systems which are subsequently hidden from the
view of the bathers.
This aspect of the scheme’s role in the construction
is best illustrated in a series of key moments, most
notably in the assembly of the external walls of
the building, the relationship between the inner
concrete cores and its accompanying layers, and the
fitting of hte thermally insulated window frames. In
keeping with the technique of perimeter insulation
outlined previously, a thin layer of insulation is
applied on the exterior perimeter of the building
which cuts the concrete floor slabs into two pieces
which rest on the same pillar. This layer extends
upwards and meets the horizontal insulation layer of
the roof slab, thus providing a continuous insulating
perimeter. The same technique is used in the side
fittings of the window frames, which are held in
place by T-shaped insulation members adjoined
to the primary insulating layer. The windows are
subsequently placed directly onto these thermally
insulating fittings, preventing any heat loss through
the contact of the window frames with the cold
exterior concrete and stone compound masonry10.
The effect of the compound masonry surface
however is never disrupted by the underlying
complexity; on the contrary it binds it and conceals
it, thus maintaining the continuous appearance of
the stone layers.
0.5 m
0
2m
1m
Arch 3114 Term 2 2012-2013, STUDIO U4 Structure & Passive Environmental Design
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Case Study Research
2
What is revealed in published
drawings of the building is the
presence of thick mass on certain
ends of the concrete blocks that
comprise the building’s body. In
the majority of cases, the layers
combine to form a double-leaf load
bearing pillar which supports the
soaring cantilevering roof slabs.
Due to structural requirements,
the walls on the cantilevering side
of the roof are thicker than the
others; however, what is revealed
through the study of the layered
principle in the construction of
the walls is the presence of gaps
between the layers of concrete
and compound masonry. Drawn
as black masses on paper, these
houses a significant amount of
the technical infrastructure of
the baths, most importantly the
drainage system from the green
roofs as well as plumbing and
electrical installations. The roof
slabs themselves consist of 480mm
members of pressurised reinforced
concrete, with added layers of
thermal and vapour insulation
beneath the grass roof finishing. In
order to aid water collection and
drainage, the underlying layers
of the green roof including the
concrete are given a concave shape
which concentrates the water and
channels it through the concealed
system of drains mentioned
previously.
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20m
5m
Figure 8: Plan illustrating the layers of construction at the bath level.
1 : 200
0
10m
4
Section A-A 1:200
Section B-B 1:200
5d
1a
1b
3a
3b
3c
3d
2a
2b
0
400
1200
2800 mm
4a
4b
4c
4d
4e
4f
5d
0
50
150
350 mm
5a
5c
5b
2c
0
500
1500
3500mm
5e
5f
0
500
1500
3500mm
1 Exterior Wall
1a. Stone Wall Slab
1b. Filled-in Concrete
1c. Insulation
1d. Reinforce steel bar
3 Floor
3a. Ground Tile
3b. Radiant Heating system
3c. Insulation
3d. Concrete Floor Slab
2 Interior Wall
2a. Stone Wall
2b. Concrete
2c. Cavity
4. Expansion Joint Roof Connection
4a. L-steel
4b. Turf
4c. Protective Glass Layer
4d. Double layer Glass
4e. Frame Support
4f. Rubber
5 Roof
5a. Steel Support
5b. Concrete Slab
5c. Wire Reinforcing
5d. Insulation
5e. Reinforce bars
5f. Skylight Channel
0
500
3000 mm
1500
0
500
1500
3500mm

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