How can a building fight against pollution and traffic jam?

Zero emission parking building - graphic 1

As of 2008, a total of 108 000 cars were registered in the capital city, whereas this number has increased up to 210 000 this year. Therefore, the existing infrastructure cannot keep up with this accelerated development in terms of traffic load, security, street services, traffic management as well as parking lots. As a result of this, on August 14th 2012 the Head of Ulaanbaatar city road agency D.Od and the General Manager of Ulaanbaatar City Ch. Bat presented a program in order to reduce the traffic volume on the streets of Ulaanbaatar.

Some of the suggestions made were as follows: to transport students with school buses, to extend the first lane for public transportation, to change the working hours of trade centres as well as to increase the number of paid parking lots.

First zero-energy solar parking building in Ulaanbaatar - the answer to UB’s biggest problem.

Zero emission parking building - graphic 2

This is the reason why the case study examines if and how a parking building contributes to reduce air pollution, traffic congestion, and brings an optimized land use along with urban development.

Last but not least, it also proves a relevant environmental improvement by cutting down CO2 emissions. Thus, in order to give a precise, comprehensive and all-embracing answer to these issues, one of the “hot spots” of Ulaanbaatar was chosen: The Naran Tuul Market.

Facts and Figures

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First zero-energy solar parking building in Ulaanbaatar


Project status:
Preliminary project study with deepened assessments and analyses as in the disciplines of building technology, urban development and architecture.

Gross floor space: 91 096 m2

Lettable area: approx. 22 500 m2

Investment: tbd

Date: June - September 2012

Reducing footprints

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As a result of concentrating the current parking space into one single volume, today’s footprint of 64 000 square meters will be strictly reduced to 12 600 square meters. Besides this, the resulting space will be partly renatured and used for urban farming, and it could even provide future housing development to this area of the city.

Look for efficiency in floor space

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The main capacity of the building is approximately 2000 parking lots over seven storeys (6 floors and basement). For energy reasons, the building access is located in the basement and leads directly via the ramps to the Narny Street. In this underground floor there is a bus station for Minibuses with 24 places and a waiting hall, a car wash, security, restricted parking lots for employees, technical rooms for building facilities as well as rentable stock areas and a central ventilation station. The basement is occupied with public uses along the market-facing façade such as the cafeteria, information and operating centre, entrance hall for the bus station, as well as other complementary facilities. To conclude, it also provides space for 280 cars on the left and right side of the public area.

Find efficient movement systems

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Regarding the location within the urban fabric, the building also works as a hub with a bus station. Therefore, the parking could be used as a park and a riding area. The principle of Park and Ride schemes is simple - you park your car for free, pay for a return ticket to town, and take the bus. This saves you the hassle of having to find (and pay for) town parking in the centre, which means that one can ride down the bus lane during rush hours. Finally the building could be also used by school buses or mini buses, hence becoming the ideal transport connection for the surroundings of Ulaanbaatar.

In a future development, the parking building of Naran Tuul could be the starting point of further urban development including an international trade centre, offices and residential space.

How to move 200 cars per minute?

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Indoor spaces create a refined perception of speed and movement. Hence, the sculpted double helix bares the horizontal traffic as an exemplary symbol of the never-ending movement. And with the double helix the entrance of 200 cars per minute is possible. No more traffic jam on the road outside of the market!

An intelligent building that heats and produces energy itself

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The parking uses the south oriented façade to heat the fresh air. The façade is transparent with a single glazed outside element (10cm) which generates about 75% of the sunlight to the rear translucent absorbing insulation walls. The warm air is then collected centrally on the roof top and inducted into the building to the ventilation units. The heated air is blown through two ventilation unit to the several floors.

Calculations have shown that the use of sufficient heat from the solar facade, the waste heat from the car motors and the heat recovery are sufficient to control the temperature to at least 5-8°C as well in the winter months (-30°C ambient temperature). Due to the thermal inertia of the building the temperature lowers little during night. The thermal gains during day are sufficient to use the building without additional heat.

Already in May, no more heating supply is necessary. At higher temperatures in summer the solar facade is no longer used to heat up the fresh air (bypass), so that no overheating occurs in the building.

The yearly electricity demand for lights, fan power and equipment for the parking and the heat pump (return air heat pump), the lights and fan power for the comfort zones (20°C) like cafeteria, offices etc. is covered completely by the horizontal monocristaline photovoltaic modules on the roof top.

First zero-energy solar parking building in Ulaanbaatar – a safe investment into the future

Zero emission parking building - graphic 9

The financial investment is optimized by using prefabricated construction material and industrial façade elements (u-glass). The ratio of surface and volume is optimized. Hence, from an economic point of view, the building achieves an additional value in many ways. Resulting operating costs are low due to the chosen material, as well as to simple developed techniques, organisation of the parking spaces and intended operational concept. The suggested environmental and functional qualities justify the chance of higher parking fees.

The possibility of the ride and park concept, as well as the hub situation for minibuses, school and public buses rises the design appeal and the potential capacity of the parking building.

As a conclusion, the above explained reasons lead to an economically interesting project with a high quality warranty and an optimal opportunity to invest.