AQWA Project(Pátio da Marítima)


Project phase: Phase 1.

Strategically located in the country’s largest urban intervention area – Porto Maravilha in Rio de Janeiro, AQWA is a corporate building designed to be a sustainable Triple A building model in Brazil. The development consists of a tower with 5 basements, ground floor and 21 office floors, totaling 27 floors. Its efficiently and technologically optimized slabs contemplate the panoramic view of Guanabara Bay, as well as the most famous postcards of the world, the Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf.

In order to produce the sustainable benefits of the design, Tishman Speyer hired the CTE Sustainability Unit to develop Green Building Consulting services, with Leed® GOLD Certification and Building Systems Commissioning, acting directly in the environmental performance evaluation process of the building. The AQWA project was designed and built to ensure resource efficiency, reduce the negative impacts caused by its construction, and ensure a better quality of life for its occupants.


The Project

Tishman Speyer is a leading owner, developer, operator and fund manager of the world’s foremost real estate market. Its commitment as a company calls for the adoption of energy and water conservation measures, with effective waste management and operational efficiency. To achieve this result at AQWA, Tishman Speyer has committed, since the start of the project phase in 2013, to evaluate technologies and solutions that would enhance the positive impact of the venture on the surroundings and occupants.

Among the main points worked on in the project, energy efficiency stands out. In all, 7 simulations were performed that studied changes in the use of glass fixtures, lighting system and air conditioning to define the best solutions for the project, such as the installation of Electric Chillers with water condensation and in a serial configuration and counterflow.

The hydraulic system designed to provide resilience to the building, includes a rainwater usage system and a plant for the treatment of grey water, to be installed with a modular solution according to the operational demand. The design of the building systems and the architectural design of the slab, make AQWA a different project in the Rio de Janeiro and national markets, able to receive companies with the highest demands of sustainable occupation.


Strategies adopted by AQWA Corporate:


  • Implementation of an erosion and sedimentation control plan to reduce construction pollution.
  • Strategically chosen project location to avoid inadequate development and reduce environmental impacts by constructing a building in undeveloped areas;
  • Design construction in a previously developed region with excellent connections for public transportation and basic services such as restaurants, schools, supermarkets, pharmacies, promoting interaction with local businesses.
  • Provision of preferential vacancies for low emission and low consumption vehicles, bike racks and locker rooms for cyclists, in order to reduce the impact of the use of cars;
  • Large green areas and 35% free construction areas, promoting biodiversity and establishing a connection between the occupants and the external environment.
  • Quality and quantity control of storm water with use and filtration of runoff water, reducing the impact on the water cycle and the public drainage system.
  • Location of underground parking spaces and use of high SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) coverings on the roof to minimize the heat island effect.

Water use efficiency:

In order to reduce the potable water consumption in the toilets, low water flow rate bathroom fixtures and dual flush box toilets were specified. In addition, the design uses rainwater for reuse. Condensed water from air conditioning and rainwater can supply irrigation, toilets and urinals.

Native and adapted plants that use less water for irrigation were used in the landscaping, and an automated irrigation system was implemented, as well as the capture and use of rainwater and air conditioning water for irrigation of green areas.

Through these measures, the project achieved a total of 60% reduction in drinking water consumption in bathrooms and pantries, and 100% reduction in drinking water consumption for landscaping.

Energy and Atmosphere:

AQWA’s HVAC system is comprised of a rooftop Chilled Water Plant (CAG) with four frequency inverter chillers and six cooling towers. The CAG configuration is in series and counter flow, operating in parallel, improving operation cost and energy efficiency. Each floor has four air handling units supplied via VAV.
The rooftop ventilation system is equipped with energy recovery for outdoor air pretreatment. The entire HVAC system works according to the building schedule, commanded by the BMS system, to ensure its automatic shutdown. As Energy Efficiency Measures, the project also specified the following strategies:

  • Indoor and outdoor lighting systems use high efficiency equipment such as T5 and LED lamps to reduce energy consumption.
  • The energy consumption of the building’s common areas is monitored and controlled by the building automation to ensure operational optimization and energy efficiency.
  • Power consumption meters integrated into the monitoring system have been installed according to the end uses of energy. In addition to the management of common areas, tenants have individual meters that allow the consumption data of the occupied space to be obtained, thus encouraging the conscious use of energy.

Materials and Resources:

The project has a 60 m² central recyclable waste deposit, with adequate spaces for sorting and storage of waste, which contributes to the promotion of environmental education, the reduction of waste generation and enhances recycling.

During the work, a Construction Waste Management Plan was developed to enhance the recycling and reuse of materials generated during the work. About 84% of the volume of waste generated on site was diverted from landfill, “boot out” or incinerators.

Regarding materials, 13% of the total cost of materials of the enterprise refers to products with recycled content, while 54% was destined to materials extracted, processed and manufactured regionally.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

Strategies were adopted during the construction phase to ensure indoor air quality, such as the protection of air conditioning ducts, the storage of products with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in isolated and ventilated areas, and the protection against moisture and dust from porous materials.

Use of low-value VOC paints and coatings to reduce the amount of indoor air contaminants that are detrimental to occupant comfort and well-being.

The building is mechanically ventilated and conditioned, ensuring adequate ventilation and air renewal rates. To ensure a healthy environment, smoking is not allowed in any indoor environment, and this policy is communicated to users through signs put up in various locations of the enterprise.

The facades are designed to enhance the glazed areas and preserve the view of the outside environment. A suggested layout was made available to the tenants of the blocks, proving that it is possible to develop a project keeping the views to the outside areas.

Innovation and Processes:

In order to disseminate to the users the sustainability strategies adopted in the project, an environmental education program was developed with the making of a website to present to the building’s occupants, visitors and other stakeholders all the sustainable strategies adopted by TISHMAN SPEYER in AQWA (go here: http://tishmanspeyer.com.br/comercial/aqwa-corporate) with suggestions for users to practice sustainability in their work environment and at home. In addition, a case study was fashioned to present the characteristics and successes of the design.