APPLETON TOWER IN SINGAPORE How can the characteristics of a tropical context be inscribed in a RESPONSIVE and ADAPTABLE solution that not only refers to the measurable but also allows for the variable?
MSc Advanced Sustainable Design – Sustainable Design Methodologies January 15, 2014 – Stephanie Crane & Marta Santoro
The scenario of Appleton Tower situated in Singapore opens the looking glass to sustainable solutions that not only respond to the specific characteristics of the site, but also follow the principles of the local vernacular architecture in order to enhance individual comfort control systems. Subsequently, adaptability and immediately flexible solutions become the core of the proposal, in accordance with multiple sustainable design discourses. At heart, the proposal seeks to optimize the overall performance and potentialise the userâ€™s ability to modify and adjust his or her surroundings to suit their most basic needs.
SINGAPORE ENVIRONMENT: Tropical rainforest climate site 60%
0-15 m t
Singapore consists of 63 islands. It’s at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Urbanisation has eliminated most primary rainforest: just some reserves as forest and only 250 acres of farmland survive. It is a very dense city with a population of 5,399,200 inhabitants, a density of 7,252 persons/km2.
15 % 30
Humidity Ratio g H2O / kg dry air
above sea level
high humidity 10
low-high relative humidity
RAINFOREST TROPICAL CLIMATE SITE In Singapore there are no distinctive seasons. Temperature and pressure are uniform along the year with high humidity and frequent/heavy rainfall. Thunderstorms occur 40% of all days. During prolonged heavy rain, relative humidity often reaches 100%. From July to October there is often smoke/ haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia (haze implies a very high level of air pollution). Generally, there is much more rainfall on the western side than on the eastern portion of the city (it’s the rain shadow effect). This can cause slight weather disparities from one side of the island to the other. Despite the uniformity of the weather, there are some peculiar characters for each season: April and May are the hottest months; there are two monsoon seasons: the Northeast Monsoon from December to February and the Southwest Monsoon from June to September (southeast winds prevaill and early morning “Sumatra” squall lines are common). Sunlight in Singapore averages 12 hours and 7 minutes a day. That amounts to 4423 hours of daylight in a year. The shortest day of the year in December has 12 hours and 3 minutes of daylight. The year’s longest day in June lasts 12 hours and 12 minutes from sunrise to sunset.
CLIMATIC CONSTANT FACTORS
Relative Humidity (%)
PSYCHROMETRIC CHART OUTDOOR CONDITION
high rainfall / frequent storms -5
Dry Bulb Temperature (°C)
SUNPATH & GLOBAL RADIATION CLIMATIC SEASONAL FACTORS
haze air pollution
unhealthy/ hazardous *
* 100-150 range values in the Pollution Standard Index
PSI level July-October
high speed wind
wind speed range
Global radiation on the surface in W/m2
NORTH-EAST MONSOON DECEMBER-FEBRUARY
200 0 2
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
time of the day
Horizontal West East South North
SOUTH-WEST MONSOON JUNE-SEPTEMBER
<0.4m/s no wind (20.7%) % = frequency of wind speed above selected values per direction in the year
VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE: a lesson of adaptive design RESOURCES Singapore has no natural acquifers or groundwater. It relies on other sources such as local catchment, imported water and desalinated water. Thus, it is important to be efficient and innovative to meet the cityâ€™s needs.
Reinforced concrete is the primary construction material, accounting for high levels of CO2 emissions and embodied energy in buildings. For this reason, the use of local sustainable materials is highly valued.
Singapore relies completely on imports to meet its own energy requirements. Primarily, energy consumption is provided by fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. The need for sustainable sources of clean energy is crucial. Manufacturing and services industries are considered the two most important sectors in Singaporeâ€™s highly competitive economy. The main industries are electronics, oil drilling equipment and petroleum refining. This type of industrialization has occupied most of the island, reducing the available area for other socio-economic and agricultural developments.
ROOFS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WALLS
Use lightweight construction in wood and other natural materials with low thermal capacity so that few amounts of heat and cold is transmitted into the house during the day and the night. The attamp roof is an excellent thermal insulator.
Special attention is paid to the roof in order to protect the indoor spaces from the solar radiation and the frequent storms.
6, 9, 19, 21, 22
6, 8, 17-19, 21
MALAYSIA RURAL AREA
The Malay house is often oriented to face Mecca (East-West direction) for religious reasons. The east-west orientation minimizes areas exposed to solar radiation.
The elongated open plans allows easy passage of air and good cross ventilation. There are minimal interior partitions which restrict all movement in the house.
Out of the total area of 707km2, 94.2% is either urbanized, industralized or highly developed. Such density causes a heat-island effect that raises temperatures and produces other environmental issues such as pollution. Furthermore, there is very little area for agriculutre (1.1% of total area), and the natural forest area is down to an alarming 3.3% of the total area.
6, 7, 16, 17
6, 7, 14-17
THE MALAYSIAN HOUSE
SOCIAL & CULTURAL HIGHLY URBANIZED
MIXED ETHNIC GROUPS
HIGH LITERACY RATE
7.252 persons/km2 33%
74% 13% 9%
chinese malayan indian
96.4% literacy rate 46% of 25-39 year olds have university degree
VENTILATION OF ROOF SPACES & AT BODY LEVEL
Control direct solar radiation, reduce wind velocity gradient and control glare from the open skies and surroundings.
Roof spaces are properly ventilated by the provision of ventilation joints and panels in the roof construction. Ventilation at body level is the most vital area for comfort. The Malay house allows ventilation at body level by having many full-length openable windows and doors at body level.
The use of coconut trees and other tall trees provides good shade and reduces the wind velocity, which increases proportionally to the altitude.
6, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17
6, 18-20, 22 5
Appleton Tower in its original state presents a series of oportunities when thinking about Singapore. After analysing the interior organisation, we found it possible to generate a more efficient microenvironment in terms of the building’s layout, coupled with the inclusion of traditional construction solutions, consequently enhancing the functional and comfort requirements of an office or university building. horizonatal circulation space classrooms
THINKING ABOUT AN APPLETON TOWER IN SINGAPORE
vertical connection services
warm constant TEMPERATURE MAIN ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER
intense SOLAR RADIATION
seasonal strong WIND pag.
seasonal high POLLUTION lack of RESOURCES
NATURAL VENTILATION & DEHUMIDIFICATION The monsoon conditions throughout the year provide dominant north or south direction winds, which ensure optimum conditions for naturally ventilated buildings. However, for interior comfort conditions in such tropical contexts, it is important to dehumidify the air. The proposal seeks to address and embrace these local conditions and offer an efficient ventilation system.
NATURAL AND LOCAL MATERIALS Although thermal insulation is not required in this latitude, it is important that building materials have high absorption levels and dry quickly after heavy rainfall, hence wood becomes a suitable material. As in the Malaysian Houses, wood has been the common construction material also because it is readilly available in the surrounding area.
APPLETON TOWER PROPOSAL IN SINGAPORE
LOUVRE FACADE An external shading system is the most appropriate solution for a tropical climatic zone such as Singapore. The heat emitted by the shading devices after the absorption of solar radiation remains outside the building, and as such, less amounts of solar heat gains penetrate into the interior. Also, the louvres protect the interior from the rain and provide a flexible, adaptable and controlable system that ensures proper comfort levels for the building’s users.
GREEN FACADE In this specific latitude, the east-west facades receive the most solar radiation during the day. For this reason, vegetation can be utilised on the east and west external walls to protect the interior and avoid high solar heat gains. Further benefits of green façades are found in their ability to absorb CO2, formaldehyde and other pollutant particles.
Typical plan horizonatal circulation space classrooms vertical connection services
WATER COLLECTION Because of the complex issue of water scarcity due to the island’s density and size, it’s important to provide an efficient rain water collection system in order to save energy and resources. This should be an essencial aspect within any proposal found in tropical contexts with high rainfall values, such as the case of Singapore.
TYPICAL FLOOR PLAN plant flexibility: different solutions
FIVE medium size spaces
The typical floorplan is composed of a perimetral circulation area and a series of repeated class room modules. On one hand, the circulation areas serve as a buffer zone for direct sunlight incidence in any interior space, consequently reducing the temperature overall. Additionally, the circulations are outdoor spaces that donâ€™t necessarily require high levels of comfort control. This in turn reduces the demand mechanical cooling systems by 30%. Finally, the modular classroom space can have an occupational density of 25 persons, although as shown on the right, there are various ways in which the interior partitions can be arranged in order to have different spatial configurations, depending on the need.
THREE large size spaces
ONE open plan space
EXPLODED AXONOMETRY extraction fans regenerating silica gel panel
porous acoustic ceiling
timber frame structure hollow core door
openable timber louvre panel
DAYLIGH MONSO four fan louvres,
DAYLIGH REGULA four fan open pa
openable ventilation timber louvres double glazed timber frame
sylica gel panel
REGENERATING DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL POROUS GRADIENT CEILING EXTRACTION FANS
LOUVRE FILTER DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL
PEOPLE WIND SUNLIGHT THE PROPOSAL INDOOR COMFORT/work spaces The proposal for the façade and interior spaces of Appleton Tower is conceived ONE SIDED VENTILATION & DESSICANT COOLING MONSOON SEASON as an assembly of interdependent parts, which respond to specific functional and DAY TIME HIGH OCCUPANT DENSITY environmental requirements. The joint effort between the façade and the indoor ventilation system creates an efficient “machine” able to provide proper indoor thermal comfort conditions in a more sustainable way, resulting in a low environmenTIME REGULAR SEASON tal impact. TheNIGHT system is assembled in a way that it allows for easy maintenance LOW OCCUPANCY or recycling of each component. Subsequently, the system facilitates a sustainable deconstruction process, which accounts for the environmental impact of its manufacture and assembly.
DAYLIGH MONSO one or open/clo
VENTILATION & DEHUMIDIFICATION THE CYCLE
COMPONENTS Louvres can serve as a wind barrier, decreaseing the speed of the air coming inside the building. The system also has fixed open louvres at high and low levels, always allowing the air to circulate freely. This way, the outside air comes in at the bottom and the exausted air, extracted by a fan is expelled at the top.
14’’ 220 V - 50 Hz. 1 room has 4 fans.
143 095 kWh/year
(90 day cycle)
THE PVC CAN COVER THE 100% OF THE ENERGY DEMAND FOR FAN OPERATION
extracted hot air going outside
EXTRACTION FAN 1 fan: 14’’ 50 Hz (Frequency) - 1420 speed (rpm) - 400 m3/h (the product has a value of 2600 m3/h, but we use it with a low speed) - noise 64 dB - 220 Volts - 0.14 KWh
dessiccant filter to regnerate with exausted air
louvre The air crosses the ceiling that has a progressive porous surface, which forces the current of air to reach the back area of the room.
dryer air incoming humid air dessiccant silica gel pellets panel
43.12*12*52*5= 134 534.4 Kwh/year
wet exhaust air
hot reactivation air
dry air delivered
INTERNAL GAINS CONVENTIONAL HEATING/ PASSIVE SOLAR
25 30 35 Dry Bulb Temperature (°C)
*REFERENCE: PSYCHOMETRIC-BIOCLIMATIC CHART BY GIVONI & MILNE, 1979
INDOOR THERMAL COMFORT ZONE NATURAL VENTILATED BUILDING (HUMPHREYS ADAPTIVE COMFORT: TCO= 0.53 TM + 11.9)
EFFECT OF DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANELS
PROJECT INDOOR CONDITION
Humidity Ratio g H2O / kg dry air
HIGH THERMAL MASS AND CONVECTIVE COOLING
WITHIN 0.5-1 CLO (CLOTHING INSULATION VALUE) ASHRAE STADARD 55-2004
HIGH THERMAL MASS
INDOOR THERMAL COMFORT ZONE
AIR CONDITIONING AND CONVENTIONAL HUMIDIFICATION
Relative Humidity (RH)
RD Silica gel 20 kg/m3 - dimensions 57x70 cm
Observing The Bioclimatic chart by Givoni and Milne, Singapore weather conditions are located across the climatic zones where it suggested to implement natural vetilation and conventional humidification as indoor comfort solutions. Using the silica gel panels, it is possible to guarantee a better indoor environment in terms of moisture. This strategy, along with natural ventilation, (the air velocity especially for sedentary activities and light clothing should hardly exceed 0.25 m/s based on a 0.5 clothing insulation) increases the evaporative cooling. The indoor comfort zone guarantees that the system will provide adequate comfort conditions.
OUTDOOR ANNUAL AVERAGE
OUTDOOR CONDITION ZONE
T COM HERM FOR AL T Z ONE
SINGAPORE OUTDOOR CONDITIONS
solutions for Singapore conditions
DEHUMIDIFIER silica filter panels
Relative Humidity (%)
INDOOR EFFECT OF DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL
BUILDING DESIGN SOLUTIONS for discomfort zones*
Acoustic perforated ceiling board (topakustik topperfo panel 2.04 x 0.96 mt)
1 room= 38 m2 (average)* 3.15m height = 119 m3 For each room: 25 people max 1 person = 10 lt/s of fresh air ; 25 persons= 250 lt/s= 250*3600 =900 000 lt/h 1m3= 1000 lt ; 900 000 lt/h = 900 m3/h Extracting air per hour: 4 fans = 1600m3/h 4 fans= 0.56 Kwh 0.56*11 (rooms per floor)*7(floors)= 43.12 Kwh (Energy required for fans) The system is in function for an average of 14 hours per day and for 52 weeks of 5 days
Silica gel (SO2) is an inert chemical and a non-toxic material. It can absorb up to 35% of its weight in moisture. It is able to dehumidify the incoming air up to 20 gH2O/kg dry air. All silica gels have an infinite life in terms of the ability to absorb or desorb moisture. It is possible to regenerate the panels through the hot outgoing exhausted air. In this way it, the material can have a cyclical rotation by interchanging the eight panels in each room between top and bottom every 90 days.
E: the electricity produced by the solar PV system per year 0,8: the reducing factor kWp: the peak output of the system S: the annual solar radiation factor= 4.56 (dayly average) Kwh/m2 ZPV: over shading factor = 1 E=0.8*0.24kwp*410m2*4.56*360*1=
The use of fans responds to two demands. The first is to guarantee air ventilation by a negative pressure in the indoor spaces, and the second is to regenerate the dessicant panels because extracted air will be warmer than the air coming in. The need for fans is also to regulate the interior air velocity in spite of different temperatures and different dynamic pressures on the façade. If indoor temperature is colder than the outdoor, the air will not naturally throughout the whole room.
It is a porous gradient ceiling that forces the air to enter through the end of the room, guaranteeing homogeneous ventilation throughout the space. The kind of ceiling chosen responds to two other issues: the first is to direct the air directly through the fans and the second is to protect the working space from the noise produced by the fans, due to the acoustic nature of the material.
(HIT photovoltaic module - mono crystalline panel) 190W/m2
dessiccant panel regenered
Dry Bulb Temperature (°C)
CLOSED LOUVRES AND CLOSED PANELS During the haze period, coupled with high levels of air pollution, it is possible to have an efficient barrier to the polluted air. In this case the mechanical ventilation will provide the whole of the indoor ventilation. In addition, in case of heavy rainfall conditions, closing louvres and panels can avoid rain infiltration.
SOUTH -WEST VIEW
OPEN LOUVRES AND CLOSED PANELS This solution is suitable for the monsoon season during which high-speed winds can negatively influence the indoor thermal comfort. Adjustable louvre direction can help to regulate the incoming air velocity and sunlight intensity.
During the warmer hours of the day, opening the panels increases the indooroutdoor air change and the panelâ€™s shade will improve the indoor comfort.
INDIVIDUAL CONTROL TIME OF DAY
The possibility of modifying and improving the conditions of one’s surroundings in order to meet an adequate indoor comfort level. It refers both to the building’s ability to respond to varying climatic conditions and diﬀerent occupation densities, as well as the individual’s ability to adapt to the conditions in terms of their clothing insulation.
WIND AND/OR RAIN
HIGH OCCUPANT DENSITY
LOW OCCUPANT DENSITY
DAYLIGHT/ FULL OCCUPANCY/ MONSOON SEASON four fans turned on, open/closed louvres, closed panel.
NIGHTIME/ HIGH OCCUPANCY/ MONSOON SEASON two or three fans turned on, open/closed louvres, closed panel.
DAYLIGHT/ FULL OCCUPANCY/ REGULAR SEASON four fans turned on, open louvres, open panel.
NIGHTIME/ HIGH OCCUPANCY/ REGULAR SEASON two or three fans turned on, open panel.
DAYLIGHT/ LOW OCCUPANCY/ MONSOON SEASON one or two fans turned on, open/closed louvres, closed panel.
NIGHTIME/ LOW OCCUPANCY/ MONSOON SEASON natural ventilation, open/closed louvres, closed panel.
DAYLIGHT/ LOW OCCUPANCY/ REGULAR SEASON one or two fans turned on, open panel.
NIGHTIME/ LOW OCCUPANCY/ REGULAR SEASON natural ventilation, open panel.
SUNLIGHT: analysis by Ecotect 1
FACADE WITHOUT LOUVRES We were interested in comparing the valuesin lux with or without our facade proposal. With this analysis we found a higher percentage of luxes inside the space, althouth the circulation space is helping by buffering some of the radiation.
CLOSED LOUVRES AND CLOSED PANEL When the panel and louvres are closed, we receive the least amount of natural light inside the space. A partial amount of artificial lighting may be progressivelly required towards the back of the room. This type of scenario, however, responds adequatelly to other factors such as wind and rain protection.
OPEN LOUVRES AND CLOSED PANEL With this analysis we found that the closed panel with open louvres allows he most natural light into the spaces, out of the three presented facade options. This is due to the distance of the facade plane (at 1.80m from the interior room facade), as well as the angle of the louvres, wich allows direct sunlight to enter the buildingâ€™s circulation spaces.
OPEN PANELS Although it would seem this fourth option would be the most efficient in providing high amounts of natural light for the interior spaces (because of its openess), it seems that since the facade plane is being virtually extruded even further away from the interior facade, less naural light is being able to reach the class spaces. It can vary, however, by rotating the louvres in a favorable position within the open panel.
TOP FLOOR PLAN
We propose to utilise the existing roof level as a flexible multi-purpose space. It is mainly an open plan space, protected by a timber frame structure and operable louvre façade system on the north/south façades, allowing for natural cross ventilation. The east façade, on the other hand, is perforated, allowing for panoramic views of the city through the voids. The conditions on this level are favourable for a wide range of activities, ranging from exhibitions to café and lounge spaces, or even as a large semioutdoor conference area. north facade
INDOOR COMFORT/work spaces ONE SIDED VENTILATION & DESSICANT COOLING
OUTDOOR COMFORT/roof space CROSS VENTILATION
ROOF SYSTEM roof: photovoltaic panels box gutter
opened louvres SOLAR SHADING FUNCTION
roof: photovoltaic panels box gutter
closed louvres in case of heavy rain RAIN PROTECTION FUNCTION
REGENERATING DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL POROUS GRADIENT CEILING EXTRACTION FANS LOUVRE FILTER DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL
REGENERATING DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL POROUS GRADIENT CEILING
INDOOR COMFORT/work spaces ONE SIDED VENTILATION & DESSICANT COOLING
EXTRACTION FANS LOUVRE FILTER DESSICANT SILICA GEL PANEL
The new roof proposal in its first sense OUTDOOR COMFORT/roof space intends to provide protection from the CROSS VENTILATION natural elements for the top floor multiuse area. Simultaneously, it functions as a water collecting surface, as well as serving as the ground for the photovoltaic panel energy recollection system that is being proposed. ROOF SYSTEM roof: photovoltaic panels box gutter
opened louvres SOLAR SHADING FUNCTION
roof: photovoltaic panels box gutter
closed louvres in case of heavy rain RAIN PROTECTION FUNCTION
SECTION B- B’
GREEN FACADE & WATER COLLECTION GREEN FACADE
RAIN WATER COLLECTION
We chose this typology of facade for East and West exposure because of the plants’ thermal and acoustic insulation properties. These two façades are not directly exposed to the prevalent winds and are currently composed of a concrete slab without any openings, presenting characteristics suitable for a green facade solution. In addition, plants can contribute to the air purification in the Singapore urban environment, which is affected by high level of air pollution. Not only do plants process carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, they also remove formaldehyde, benzene and airborne microbes. Plants evaporate water through the metabolic process of evapotranspiration. The transpiration of water by plants helps control and regulates humidity and temperature. Vertical landscaping reduces the indoor ambient air temperature by as much as 5°C at ground level. Vegetation at the facade of buildings will obstruct, absorb and reflect a high percentage of solar radiation. The rest passes through the vegetation and reaches the building’s surfaces. Plant leaves can be 1°C lower than the ambient temperature and damp surfaces like grass, soil or concrete can be 2°C or more below and can contribute significantly to a cooler and healthier building.
RAIN WATER HARVESTING RW= P x A x e x n rainfall average per year: 2342,5 mm considering 2/3 of that: 1561.67 mm (P) A= roof surface that collects water = 610 m2 run off coefficient e= 0.9 filter coefficient n=0.9
green wall irrigation TA NK
EAST/WEST FACADE GREEN WALL
RW= 1561.67*610*0.9*0.9 = 771621.15
(rainwater collected during the year)
= 771621.15 /52 (weeks in a year) = 14838.87 lt/week
COMPONENTS steel structure
polyethilene irrigation pipes
roof: photovoltaic panels & water collection surface
high density pvc foam board
green wall= 720m2x2= 1440 m2 2lt/m2*1440 = 2880 lt water/day 2880*2days=5760 lt/week 1 microdrip: 2.27 lt/ 15minutes 2880 lt/2.27= 1270 microdrip pipes for irrigation
TOILET USE toilet use= 7 lt per day per person (good practice use) ST (rainwater storage tank) need per day of water (consiidering only people) 15 people(media) *7(floors)*11(rooms)= 1155 people
drip irrigation system
water use= 1155*7=
h: 2.4 mt
outer geotextile layer
Oxigen Production & Carbon Absorption
timer water injector inner geotextile layer
fern allies plants FERN ALLIES Fern is a vascular and a subtropical plant very common in the Singapore context. Ferns are evergreen plants that can resist high solar exposure (as in our west and east facades). Ferns are resistant plants and do not need any periodical maintenance. In particular, ferns have other benefits, such as their ability to remove certain chemical pollutants from the air (carbon dioxide, benzene, and most importantly formaldehyde).
the tanks are located on the roof floor. This way it is possible to use mainly gravity for water distribution
weekly water use x 5 days 8085*5= 40 425 lt/week
2 mt diameter
box gutter : water collection & PV inspection
TANK 7540 lt
TANK 7540 lt
1082805.44 /52 (weeks in a year) = 20823.18 lt/week
PROPOSAL 2 water tanks (diameter:2mt h:2.4 mt with max)
Storage capacity of 7540 lt each) We will use the water collection system tu supply irrigation for the green facades during rainless periods (emitters at roughly 15 minutes/day x 2 days per week - average). The remainder collected water will partly supply the water needs for toilet use. 2 tanks will cover:
100% green wall irrigation 14838.87-5760 (green wall water) = 9078. 87 (water for toilets) and
25% of flushing toilet use
In conclusion, a thorough analysis of site in terms of climate, resources and tradition, gave us a base on which we could mould a coherent and strong proposal. Through the process we identified the importance of incorporating these aspects into the project, subsequently rooting within the building a sense of place and identity, as well as adequate response systems that would allow for a more adaptive and flexible usage of space and its components. Furthermore, in accordance with Steward Brandâ€™s theory of a buildingâ€™s shearing levels of change, the facade systems are composed of a series of individual elements, which not only become easily assembled and disassembled but also allow for replacement and future addition of other elements. Although we are aware this is merely an academic approximation, if post-occupancy evaluations were to find the interior conditions were inadequate, the system could then easily be modified to incorporate solutions such as cooling batteries or other relevant methods.
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