High-rise Residential Building Enclosure: Adaptive Strategies for the Vertical Climatology of Hong Kong

Department: Architecture
Research Centre: Sustainable High Density Cities lab
Active Dates: September 2014 - July 2017

Principal Investigator: D. Chad MCKEE (PI), Simos YANNAS (Co-I)
Funding body: HKU Department of Architecture, The Architectural Association School of Architecture – Energy & Environment Studies Programme

Abstract

The High-rise Residential Building Enclosure research agenda quantifies environmental parameters affecting the vertical climatology of high-rise residential buildings in Hong Kong’s three most common residential density zones during the warm summertime season. Field measurements conducted over a typical summer week provide an empirical measure for air temperature and humidity variations found at the lower, middle, and upper floors, as well as horizontally across the building plan of a typical cruciform high-rise residential building. The collected field measurements are used to calibrate a base thermal model for simulation studies. Analytic work included in this research encompasses airflow, daylighting, and insolation studies, along with associated thermal simulations. The resultant data provides a full range of benchmarks for passive design strategies for high-rise residential building enclosure according to variations in urban density and associated sky exposure. New adaptive systems of building enclosure are proposed for each test case and quantitatively evaluated for thermal performance and cooling load reductions. The design application strategies recommended here show how elements of building enclosure could be adapted according to orientation and elevation in order to reduce energy use in high-rise residential buildings.

Objectives

Objectives include quantifying air temperature, daylight, humidity, and incident solar radiation values according to orientation and elevation – from ground to rooftop – for a typical cruciform high-rise residential building in Hong Kong. Specific hypothesis tested include: the potential for cooling load energy reductions resulting from formal manipulation and adaptive solar control strategies calibrated according to vertical and horizontal placement in high-rise construction.

Results

Dynamic thermal simulation results so far demonstrate a 20% reduction (1,140 kWh) in cooling load energy demand for a typical cruciform high-rise residential building based upon the adaptive solar control strategies presented.

Outputs

  • D. Chad McKee, Simos Yannas. (2016) High-rise Residential Building Enclosure: Adaptive Strategies for the Vertical Climatology of Hong Kong. Passive & Low Energy Architecture Proceedings, July 2016.
  • D. Chad McKee. (2016) Adaptive Strategies for Hong Kong’s Projecting Bay Windows. Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine, April 2016.

Anticipated Impact

We hope that this work will set a new standard for the calibration of environmental design strategies for high-rise construction according to urban density; providing evidence for decisions about solar control and airflow calibration according to orientation, exposure, and elevation above ground.

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE