Innovation at the service of climatic optimisation of the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg

setec inginiring, the Russian subsidiary of setec bâtiment, is involved as designer of the technical work packages of the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg. Commissioned by energy giant Gazprom, the project includes a tower more than 460 metres high, the city’s first skyscraper.

Located at the confluence of the Neva and the Lakhta, 9 km from the historic centre, the Lakhta Center is a mixed-use non-residential project. From 2018 it is intended to accommodate the offices of Gazprom and a scientific, university, sports and retail complex. The multi-function centre has an atrium 45 metres high with an area of about 4000 square metres, generating beyond-standard climatic demands. The extreme continental temperatures of the site, varying between – 40 °C and + 40 °C with the seasons, necessitate optimisation of the climate control of the atrium. Following an in-depth study using fluid mechanics simulations to analyse the air temperatures and speeds at all points in the volume of the atrium, systems providing the optimum air flow for the comfort of the occupants have been designed.

The study resulted in the proposal of a climate control system based on underfloor heating supplemented by forced air. The air outlet flow rates planned initially could be reduced by 30%, and the locations of the air supply outlets and return intakes optimised so that the whole of the occupation area is climatically comfortable.

A beyond-standard atrium

The Lakhta Center and its 86 storeys will also accommodate the subsidiaries of the world’s leading gas operator and exporter. An approach with major commercial significance, as it could drive the development of the office building market and encourage other major companies to move in turn to the country’s second city.