Green Zone in Tokyo’s Concrete Jungle

Shinjuku Ward goes eco with the development of Shinjuku Front Square

Issue: Mar 2011

Shinjuku Front Square
Shinjuku Front Square stands as a pristine, white tribute to the earth-friendly cause

Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo is one of the largest cities in Japan and a major commercial and administrative centre. It houses both Tokyo government’s administrative centre, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku station. Into this concrete hustle and bustle, CapitaLand Limited and Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd, Mitsubishi Jisho Residence Co., Ltd and Heiwa Real Estate Co., Ltd are introducing a large-scale, prime redevelopment project. The joint effort is aimed at transforming the corner in Kita-Shinjuku, northwest of Shinjuku Ward, into an eco-town where nature and urban lifestyle co-exist.

“Envisioned as the iconic landmark in the area, Shinjuku Front Square will be the node for modern living and working,” says Jungo Sasaki, Country Director, CapitaLand (Japan) Kabushiki Kaisha.

Shinjuku Front Square is built on a 1.4-hectare site and comprises a 35-storey commercial tower with offices and shops, Shinjuku Front Tower; and a 20-storey, 298-unit,high-rise residential tower, The Park House Shinjuku Tower. The office tower will be fully operational by end 2011 while the residential tower is targeted for completion in 2012.

The entire exterior of the development is planned and designed in such a way as to keep the buildings naturally cool

Built to be Cool

From the start, the architecture of Shinjuku Front Tower, has been designed to make the building environmentally-friendly. In fact, the green quotient of this development has achieved the equivalent of a “Class S” ranking in Japan. This is the highest rank of the Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (“CASBEE”) in Japan. CASBEE is a classification of the environmental sustainability of the buildings in Japan by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the Housing Bureau.

Buildings are responsible for as much as 50 per cent of the world’s generation of carbon dioxide, which is a threat to global environment. Keeping buildings naturally cool is, therefore, a priority. With the Shinjuku Front Tower, several features have been included to cool the building: rooftop greenery, greening of the exterior walls and pavements with a water-retentive feature. In addition, the exterior walls of the building are also specially designed to insulate against the sun’s heat using ream glass windows. As a result, the building is 20 per cent more effective than standard ones in its ability to keep out the sun’s heat. Even the colour scheme of Shinjuku Front Square has been carefully selected to keep the buildings green. Whitish natural stones are used for external walls of the tower to reflect light and heat.

The trees are specially chosen to weather the different seasons in Shinjuku to maximise greenery

Technology has also been employed to make Shinjuku Front Square a green development. For example, photovoltaic power is used in the development to promote energy conservation. The residential block called The Park House Shinjuku Tower uses the Soleco Habitat system which is an electrical power distribution system cum solar power unit. Through high-voltage incoming circuit transformation to low voltage distribution for each residential unit, electricity expenses are reduced by 10%.

Another innovation used is an advanced ice thermal storage system, an energy conservation and management system that uses energy during the night to control the indoor lighting and air conditioning.

Nature is a large part of this development. Tall trees are planted to provide shade, reduce heat and reverse the effects of carbon dioxide emission. In addition a 4,700 metre square plot of greenery has been allocated for recreation and relaxation of users and residents.

Earth-friendly and Earthquake Safe

This very square of green has another function, though. It serves as a regional disaster-prevention base where people can seek temporary shelter during an earthquake. The rest of the development is also built to withstand earthquakes. In fact, The Park House Shinjuku Tower is the first base-isolated high-rise condominium in Shinjuku Ward. Base isolation is a collection of structural elements which decouples a superstructure from its substructure which is resting on shaking ground. It is the most powerful tool of earthquake engineering. With an oil damper vibration control system of The Shinjuku Front Tower which absorbs vibration and heat energy, the property can withstand quakes of up to seven on the Richter scale as well as vibrations caused by strong winds. Given Tokyo’s vulnerability to earthquakes, such considerations are important. Shinjuku Front Square also has disaster prevention storerooms and portable toilets to be attached to manholes in times of emergency.

Wide open spaces lets in maximum light, minimising the need for artificial lighting and conserving energy

Eco Hub with Modern Facilities

Matching its up-to-date, eco-friendly mission, Shinjuku Front Square is also built to promote the modern, urban lifestyle. Shinjuku Front Tower has an open office concept with wide open spaces and high ceilings allowing for flexibility of use. The pillar-less designs also allows for flexibility of use. To encourage entrepreneurship, the entire fourth floor is dedicated to venture enterprises and new businesses. Shops, restaurants, supermarkets and a convenience store will occupy the first two floors while a clinic mall will take up the third floor - all the conveniences of modern living for the occupants of the office tower, condominium and the residents in the neighbouring one.

Residents can entertain larger numbers of guests at The Party Salon while being close to home

The Park House Shinjuku Tower is built on a simple, elegant design that allows it to blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Its sleek look is bonus for its main target – dual income families with no kids. The various services offered to the residents are meant to attract just such a clientele: concierge service, a 24-hour cleaning service, and 24-hour garbage station.

In alliance with Hilton Tokyo, special services not common to most condominiums have been added such as delivery and catering services. “We also have a Party Salon complete with a kitchen for residents. Our philosophy of “Five Eyes” helps the staff to make this residential property a service and customer oriented one: “Check Eyes” (provision of excellent quality and customer services); “Eco Eyes” (environmentally-friendly specifications); “Custom Eyes” (customised services); “Life Eyes” (an original security system) and “Community Eyes” (a reporting system for condominium association),” explains a spokesperson from Mitsubishi Jisho Residence Co.,Ltd.

With its mission to be an eco-friendly development and its vision of serving modern, urban families, Shinjuku Front Square is surely a development for the future of Earth.

Shinjuku Front Square
195-10, 11 Kita-Shinjuku 2-chome Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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