Nanyang Technology University
( School of Art, Design and Media, Singapore )
Project 1 : Case Study: Identifying Innovative Passive
Building science ( ARC 2413)
Tutor : Mr. Prince
Chu Szi Wei 0314160 Christiody 0304191 Poh Ziyang 0807P68823 Sean Hiu Ji Ren 0309874
Soe Woei hao 0309924 Usman Farooqi 1102p11235 William Yap 0314127
Singapore is an island which located at the end of Malayan Peninsula between Indonesia and
Malaysia. Singapore is one of the South East Asia’s modern city for over a century. The island nation of
Singapore lies one degree north of Equator in Southern Asia. On the other hand, Singapore blends
Chinese, Malay, Indian, and English Cultures and also religions together. Besides that, Singapore also
has excellent infrastructure to let the visitor enjoy the sites and attraction in a secure, clean and green
environment. (Figure 1)
Figure 1. Map of Singapore (Location)
Figure 2. Singapore Climate Graph
The location of Singapore is on the north of the Equator, it makes Singapore has a tropical climate or
called as a tropical country. Singapore is Hot and Humidity.
During daytime the temperatures average around 31°C, but in December and January it’s slightly cooler,
April and May is the hottest month. Night time the temperature rarely drop below 23°C. The lowest
temperature ever recorded in Singapore is 19°C.
There are no distinct wet or dry seasons. The region is affected by two different monsoons. December to
March is generally the Northeast monsoon and more frequent rain particularly from November to
January. Besides that, May to September is the dryer climate for the southwest monsoons. Then, the
beginning and the end of the two monsoons season are not well defined.
The region are extremely humid, with humidity level between 70% - 85%. On rainy day unreasonable to
expect the humidity to reach 100%. March and September are particularly humid and often very
uncomfortable. On the other hand, Thunder storms are also a very regular phenomenon in Singapore.
1.0 B Project Description
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore with its School of Art, Design & Media building
represents one of the finest, if not best, sustainable building ever built. With its swirling facade and
smart usage of the natural surrounding context, this building provides an interesting twist into
sustainable designs with its creativity and boldness. Designed by the CPG consultants, this five storey
campus shows that not all sustainable building has to be dull and shapeless. In fact, NTU-ADM was given
the Green Mark Platinum award, one of the high a building can obtain, by the Building and Construction
Association (BCA). Green Mark Award is the benchmark for design, construction and operation of high
performance green building. The award is separated into a few categories which are Certified, Gold,
Goldplus and Platinum (BCA Green Mark Award Rating) of course with the later being the best. The
award is given based on how much points are collected as each category is satisfied based on a certain
Green Mark for EXISTING Buildings – Point Allocation
Part 1 – Energy Efficiency Pts
1-1 Energy Efficiency 22
1-2 Systems Energy Efficiency 23
1-3 Energy Monitoring 4
1-4 Energy Policy & management 4
1-5 Renewable Energy/Energy Efficient Features 10
Sub-total for Part 1 (Max 50 pts) 63
Part 2 – Water Efficiency Pts
2-1 Water Monitoring 2
2-2 Water Efficient Fittings 12
2-3 Alternative Water Sources 2
2-4 Water Efficiency Improvement Plans 1
Part 2 – Water Efficiency Pts
2-5 Cooling Towers 1
Sub-total for Part 2 18
Part 3 – Sustainable Operation & Mgt Pts
3-1 Building operation & maintenance 4
3-2 Post occupancy evaluation 2
3-3 Waste management 8
3-4 Greenery 3
3-5 Public Transport Accessibility 2
Sub-total for Part 3 19
Part 4 – Indoor Environmental Quality Pts
3-1 Indoor air quality performance 6
3-2 Environmental protection 5
3-3 Lighting quality 4
3-4 Thermal comfort 2
3-5 Internal noise level 1
Sub-total for Part 4 18
GREEN MARK AWARD RATING
Green Mark Try Again Certified Gold Gold Plus Platinum
Score 0 49 50 74 75 84 85 89 90 100
Green Mark Rating Green Mark Points
Platinum 90 & above
Goldplus 85 to <90
Gold 75 to <85
Certified 50 to <75
Figure 1.0 B Glass Wall feature to allow light to penetrate into the building to reduce cost of interior lighting
To reinforce the statement on how much NTU-ADM has achieved in sustainability, one of the major
achievement were its savings which can total up to 120,000 kWh per year and more than 1,170 cubic
meters of water saved for annum. This allows it to have a lower operation and maintenance costs.
What makes this building interesting is how it distinct itself with the other surrounding buildings but still
maintain to blur the lines between man-made and natural feature. This key feature of the building
allows this transparency and connectivity of both interior and exterior environment. Even the interior
portrays great sense of continuity of various spaces from one to another. It does not feel as if the
building seems to be disconnected from one wing to another. Internal glass walls further enhance this
connection with its smooth flow allowing one to have visual of the surrounding which promotes
interaction with context. Additionally, this creative sort of design allows spaces to be formed more
freely. It clearly tries to invent spaces that develop a relationship between teachers and student despite
having different kind of spaces like auditorium and studio spaces.
This is further developed with the integration of its curvy hill-like design and applying green roof feature
on it. Not only does the green roof provide many benefits but it also creates additional spaces for the
users to experience as they go along their daily routine within the campus.
Figure 1.1 B Green Roof feature to reduce heat gain and allows the building to blend with the surroundings
2.0 Climate Data
Singapore is 1 degree north of the equator as shown in Figure 2.1. Singapore's climate is
classified as tropical rainforest climate, with no true distinct seasons. Owing to its geographical
location and maritime exposure, its climate is characterized by uniform temperature and
pressure, high humidity and abundant rainfall. So it is almost always warm and wet.
Figure 2.1 Singapore’s Location in the world Map
Figure 2.2 Average Rainy Days in Singapore
Figure 2.3 Average precipitations in Singapore
According to Figure 2.2 and Figure 2.3, the average annual rainfall is around 2,340 mm in total.
The highest being at the month of December on average about 310mm and the lowest being
on average 150mm on three different months which is April, June, and August. Additionally, the
highest 24-hour rainfall figures ever recorded in history was 512 mm (1978), 467 mm (1969)
and 366 mm (19 December 2006).
From Figure 2.4, The average temperature of Singapore hovers around the range of a minimum
of 23°C and a maximum of 31°C with February until June being the hottest months on average.
This is mainly due to light winds and strong sunshine during those months. Additionally, the
highest recorded temperature is 36.0°C on 26 March 1998 and the lowest recorded
temperature was 19.7 °C in January 1934. Temperature sometimes goes above 33.2 °C and can
reach 35 °C at times.
As seen from Figure 2.5, an average humidity in Singapore is around 75% to 80% throughout
the year. However, during prolonged heavy rain, relative humidity can often reach to about
100%. This usually happens towards the western side of Singapore. Generally, there is much
Figure 2.4 Average Temperature of Singapore
Figure 2.5 Average Humidity in Singapore
more rainfall on the western side of the island than on the eastern portion of Singapore, owing
to a rain shadow effect.
Thus, the eastern side of Singapore is much drier and slightly hotter than western Singapore.
This can cause slight weather disparities from one side of the island to the other. This is
significant to note because even a small hill such as Bukit Timah can cause this phenomenon.
Despite Singapore's small size, there may be sunshine on one side while there is rain on the
Further contrasts that prevent true all-year uniformity are the monsoon seasons which happen
twice each year. The first one is the Northeast Monsoon which occurs from December to early
March. The second is the Southwest Monsoon season which occurs from June to September.
Periods between monsoon seasons receive less rain and wind. During the Northeast Monsoon,
northeast winds prevail, sometimes reaching 20 km/h. There are cloudy conditions in
December and January with frequent afternoon showers.
Spells of widespread moderate to heavy rain occur lasting from one to three days at a stretch. It
is relatively dry in February till early March although rainfall still exceeds 120mm. It is also
generally windy with wind speeds sometimes reaching 30 to 50 km/h in the months of January
and February. During the Southwest Monsoon season, southeast winds prevail. Isolated to
Figure 2.6 Percentage of rainfall distribution in Singapore
scattered showers occur in the late morning and early afternoon. Early morning
"Sumatra" squall lines are common.
For our building that we chose, NTU Art & Design faculty, the climate of Singapore influenced
the building in many ways and we believe the architect also took into consideration of the
location of the building during the design phase and also made changes to fit the climatic
response of the site.
NTU Art & Design faculty has an interesting shape that integrates the landscape into its roof
which allows it to gain many benefits like lowering the temperature of the surrounding context.
Due to the material used by the building which mainly consist of thick laminated glass and also
bare concrete as the walls, this passive design puts this building in an advantages position.
Additionally, to certify its position, a water feature is added in the centre of the building to
provide a cooling effect. With the high temperature and humidity of Singapore, this building is
able to handle the problems that usually occur like an increase of temperature of the building
envelope during the day and the lack of natural lighting causing the building to consume much
energy to function
Figure 2.7 Roof Plan of NTU Art & Design faculty
3.0 Wind Analysis
Figure 3.0 Wind rose at Singapore
The wind rose indicates the wind frequency by hours for the whole year from different
directions. Besides, it shows the wind speed distribution from less than 10km/h up to 50km/h
in the circular graph. The lighter the colour the more hours the wind is coming from that
particular direction and particular speed. We can learn from the diagram that the wind is
coming from mainly from north east direction, though the wind from all other direction is quite
frequent. The frequency of wind speed is higher in the range of 10km/h to 30km/h. Wind speed
higher than 30km/h is rarer.
The Art & Design Faculty of Nanyang Technology University is surrounded by trees and
buildings of similar height, hence the wind does not affect much of the building design. It is not
a tall building and all facades are all curved and streamlined. This helps to reduce lateral wind
pressure though the wind force is not strong in that area. The central courtyard may
inducepositive or negative wind pressure at times depending on wind direction and intensity, as
it is surrounded by three sides, but this should not create problems as the wind pressure is mild
most of the time. In fact, this creates breeze to bring away the moisture from the water feature
and provide perceptible air movement to enhance thermal comfort.
As the whole building is air tight and fully mechanically ventilated, natural ventilation does not
play an important role inside the building.
Figure 3.1 Wind flow diagram
4.0 Sun Analysis
Singapore is located just 1°17’ north from the equator, the sun at noon is always above the
head and tilts slighted towards north in months close to June and tilts towards south in months
close to December. The morning and evening sun is always on the east and west respectively
and just slightly tilted towards south or north depending on months.
The long axis of the Art & Design Faculty is running east-west and the short axis is running
north-south. This configuration is good in Singapore as the low morning and evening sun is
always hitting the building envelop at façade facing east and west, and hence heating up the
east and west façades. At noon, the sun is always almost above the building and heating up the
Figure 4.0 Annual sun path at Art & Design Faculty,NTU. The sun is at 5pm on 22nd
Figure 4.1 5pm at 21st
In June solstice day, the sun is at north side of the building. In the afternoon the sun would
warms up the north façade at the same time causing glare in the building. Art & Design Faculty
building handles this by using double glazing with low-emission coating on inner glaze and
tinted glaze on the outer layer. This enables natural daylight to penetrate into the building
without much heat.
Figure 4.2 5pm at 21st
In December solstice day, the sun is at south of the building. As oppose to June’s sun path the
sun warms up the south façade in the afternoon at the same time causing glare in the same
area. Since the whole building is double glazed, heat and glare is reduced in the building.
Shading devices could be added to the building to reduce direct contact of sunlight on the
building envelop to reduce heat and glare. However, this might compromise on the clean line
design and architect’s vision.
Surface insolation should be showing similar result as Kuala Lumpur’s building. The roof should
receive about 10 times more solar insolation compare to the facades. Hence, to reduce heat
effectively for the indoor environment, Art & Design Faculty building has a green roof. The
green roof has high thermal resistance (R-value) and thus low U-value. It can effectively keep
the heat out and reduce the cooling load. Moreover, the double glazed façade throughout the
building can reduce the heat to penetrate into the building.
Natural day light can be harvested in the building without much glare thanks to the tinted glass.
The building does not has deep plan, and thus sunlight can be used to light up almost all area in
the building during day time.
Figure 4.3 Shadow range on the day 21st
The courtyard in the centre may be too hot to be occupied during day time as there is no
shading device. The shadow of the building itself is not sufficient to provide enough shade in
the central courtyard. The concrete floor and the glass walls around the courtyard may reflect
heat and contain the heat in the courtyard. However heat can be stored in the pool and
concrete as they have high thermal mass, hence the surface temperature rises slowly during
day time and purge away during night time.
5.0 Passive Design Feature
Without question, one of the dominant factor that makes the Nanyang Technology University
(Art & Design), NTU, a green and sustainable building is the roof itself which are covered with
grass. This green roof system is not new in the context of being sustainable or having a
sustainable design but this particular NTU faculty steps it up by allowing the green roof design
to be applied throughout its creative building form.
What makes this green roof design unique is the seem-less blend of both structure and the
surrounding context. This is further amplified by the structures organic shape which forms a
hill-like structure and it really works at the end of the day. The construction of the green
building can produce many beneficial outcomes. One of it would be for to cool off the building
as the vegetation of the roof acts as an insulator of heat. Due to the location of the country,
Singapore, the weather is always hot and humid throughout the year, hence, climate and wind
considerations are usually constant with a few exceptions of some variation between months.
The construction of a green roof building could also potentially lower energy usage as the
insulation of the heat reduces the heat gain within the building. Reason why a green roof is able
to do so is because of the absorption of sunlight by the plants through photosynthesis. Hence, a
lower heat gain is produced throughout the year which leads to a lower cost in adjusting
thermal comfort of the building. Additionally, this effect is amplified further due to the
extensive usage of the green roof throughout NTU.
Figgure 5.1 NTU Green Roof
Benefits of Green Roof
Reduced energy use by absorbing heat and act as insulators for buildings, reducing energy
needed to provide cooling and heating.
Reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by lowering air conditioning demand,
green roofs can decrease the production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas
emissions. Vegetation can also remove air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions through
Improved human health and comfort, by reducing heat transfer through the building roof,
can improve indoor comfort and lower heat stress associated with heat waves.
Enhanced stormwater management and water quality can reduce and slow stormwater
runoff in the urban environment; they also filter pollutants from rainfall.
Improved quality of life can provide aesthetic value and habitat for many species.
A green roof usually consists of five layers which starts with the vegetation layer and follow up
by the soil in which the vegetation grows. The following layers are followed up by protective
sheets such as a filtration sheet, drainage layer, protection layer and finally a waterproofing
layer before the super structure of the building to prevent any dirt or water to sip into the walls
and ceiling of the building.
The grass used on the green roof is called manilagrass and with very good reasons too as it is
easily maintained and does not require much upkeep. Known also as ZoysiaMantrella or in
Malaysia, rumputsiglap, this plant has many variance, with different sizes of leaf blade
depending on the continent it is located at.
Figure 5.2 Layers of the Green
5.0 Passive Design Feature
Double Glazed Glass
Besides the Green Roof, another dominant factor would be the windows constructed on the walls
around the NTU building. The glass is actually a special glass called double glazed glass which is
constructed using two planes of glazed glass with a gap between each plane for about 6 – 12mm and is
filled with usually air or an insulating gas like argon. The reason behind it would be using an insulating
gas like argon will decrease conductance of air space between the layer of glass. What this means is that
with the usage of a slow and insulating gas, the heat transfer between the inside and outside are very
much reduced. For further explanation, the reason behind this phenomenon is because the density of
the air between the 2 glass panelsare higher than that of the density of air outside.
Figure 5.0 NTU During the day
Figure 5.1 NTU During the night
A double glazed glass consists of 2 components of which are the spacer and the glass panel. A spacer is
the piece that separates the two panes of glass in an insulating glass system, and seals the gas space
between them. Spacers were made primarily of metal and fiber, which manufacturers thought provided
more durability, newer spacers are also made of foam to provide the window with sound dampening
properties while making the window into a thermal barrier such that heat flow through the bracer is
reduced. Having being cut down to its appropriate dimension both the spacers and glass panels are
cleaned before going through the assembly line. An adhesive sealant called polyisobutylene is applied to
the face of the spacer on each side and the glass panels are pressed against the spacer. Innerd gas is
then pumped into 2 holes which are drilled into the spacer, afterwards the units are then sealed on the
edge side using eitherpolysulfide or silicone sealant or similar material to prevent humid outside air
from entering the unit.
Figure 5.2 Anatomy of double Glazed Glass
Figure 5.3 Panoramic view of the centre courtyard
The glasses used in the NTU are no different from the normal average glass used in normal housing
schemes. As Picture A shows, the double glazed windows are used extensively throughout the facade
and wall of NTU’s Art & Design faculty to reduce the energy consumption within the building itself. With
the double glazed windows, the heat from the sunlight does not penetrate into the building completely
however there is a 100% light penetration into the building. The heat also does not transfer fully from
the inside of the building to the outside which prevents the inside of the building from becoming too
This not only reduces cost to increase the thermal comfort within the building due to lack of heat lost
but also retains enough heat within the building to keep the building in a comfortable environment.
Besides saving energy and cost in reaching thermal comfort, the usage of double glazed windows as
mentioned increases the light intensity in the building, hence saving cost in electricity to lighten up the
interior. Additionally, the absence of the usage of windows allows this building to be easily constructed
without much hassle when putting up the wall of the building.
Nanyang Technological University – Art, Design and Media
NTU school of Art, Design and Media is a complete representation of a green design and, it
portrays an astute example for future architects who are willing to learn more about a green
building. The applications of a passive design are kept in mind through out the building,
pointing out the green roof and use of double glazed glass. The green roof, which lays upon the
entire roof of the structure, ensures a minimal transfer of heat through the roof and then the
ceiling. A green roof can minimize up to 70% of heat transfer during day time which allows the
interior to be as comfortable as possible.
The several layers of a green roof allow the heat transfer to reduce at phenomenal levels,
providing a lower cost of air-conditioning the interior.
Figure 6.0 layers which makes up the green roof
Besides the green roof, the entire department is walled with double glazed glass. This
maximizes the use of natural light during the day and provides the necessity heat transfer to
maintain an affluent environment within the structure. Use of glass on the entire structure
keeps the interior lit at day timesand, is an assurance of minimum usage of electricity. These
features play a vital role in keeping a green environment within the structure. Though, the use
of green features are of main focus in this design but, the courtyard itself lacks a thought
process to its emergence. The courtyard is an oval bowl or contains a valley like depth to it. This
particular design allows minimal air flow through the space, as its covered from all sides. An
analysis and a keen study reveals the imperfections in environmental considerations for the
courtyard. In hand with a minimal air flow, the courtyard is open to direct sunlight at noon and
reflected heat from the glass walls. All these factors add up to bring a very congested space.
The ponds within the courtyard hold a purpose of precipitation and control of excessive heat in
the day, but, they actually add up to the humidity of the space. A cunning improvisation to the
design is required to manage this issue. The suggested solution would be an addition of water
flow at the roof edges so that precipitation at a height causes cooler winds to enter the
courtyard which in-turn would cool down the space within the courtyard. Overall the balanced
blend of green roof and the use of glass makes this building green in every way possible. To
sum-up, this design allows a maximum use of daylight and minimum transfer of sun heat. This
balance results in a complete green approach to a design.