Fránek Architects connects building research to the earth

LIKO-Noe by Fránek Architects. Photos Jakub Skokan / Martin Tůma (BoysPlayNice)

SLAVKOV U BRNA – Originally constructed in 2015, the eco-friendly LIKO-Noe project is now seeing results. Czech company LIKO-S carried out research around the concept of self-sufficient buildings and approached local firm Fránek Architects to make it a reality.

The prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure was assembled in 27 days and covered by what would become a vertical garden. Now, the living façade is bursting with a mass of green like something fuzzy out of The Muppets.

The project’s identity revolves around the feeling of being connected to the earth and not just minimizing the impact of structure but also considering its ability to positively contribute towards the natural environment. The LIKO-Noe office building operates solely on energy gained from natural resources and incorporates a man-made water pool with an independent water treatment system, which repeatedly processes rainwater as well as wastewater. Additionally, the CLT panels are insulated with Icynene open-cell spray foam, which ‘allows flexibility for the building to expand and contract with any movement of the structure, ensuring longer-term air sealing.’

Lead architect Zdeněk Fránek offers his thoughts on the project, now that it has had time to find its feet: ‘The purpose of LIKO-Noe was to control the thermal conditions of the interior and the exterior surroundings,’ he recalls. ‘After nearly two years of operation, it is certified that the building has had a big impact on reducing the interior temperatures and improving the air quality of the working environment. In addition, it has improved the microclimate around the building – hundreds of new animal species are now attracted to this area, as the land is a much better environment for living organisms than before.’

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