Climate-Responsive High-rise Housing

Department: Architecture
Author: D. Chad McKee

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The Climate-Responsive High-rise Housing research project explores sustainable environmental design strategies and policy recommendations for high-rise residential buildings in high-density, warm and humid urban settings. Drawing from on-site fieldwork, occupant interviews and environmental analytic simulations of five existing high-rise residential buildings in Hong Kong – each representing a unique high-rise typology – this research project quantifies and makes visible the unseen environmental forces affecting occupant thermal comfort and energy-use, and questions how the host architecture and surrounding urban morphology play a role in shaping the thermal environments both within and outside of tall buildings. Conventional knowledge about sustainable environmental design is often undermined or invalidated by the human activities and variable levels of obstruction and exposure found in high-density urban settings. Therefore the design and research agenda of this project explores a new high-density urban calibration of sustainable environmental design strategies for high-rise residential buildings by quantifying and responding to the daily, seasonal, and sectional variations found in Hong Kong’s high-density vertical microclimates.

The Climate-Responsive High-rise Housing research project was invited for presentation at the Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Central Government’s ‘Liveability by Design’ exhibition, and was subsequently peer-reviewed by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and selected for exhibition in the Hong Kong pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy. Knowledge gained from this research project forms the basis of a forthcoming book to be published by Routledge in winter 2020.

Enlarge Photo: Climate-Responsive High-rise Housing 1