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Asian Architecture [ARC 2213/2234]

PROJECT 1: CASE STUDY





IMPLEMENTATION OF PASSIVE DESIGN
ARCHITECTURE TO PHASE 2 BUILDINGS OF BELUM
RAINFOREST HOTEL


Name : Arif Zakwan Abdul Hamid
ID: 0303736
Tutor: Pn Shahrianne
Submission Date : 6/12/2014


IMPLEMENTATION OF PASSIVE DESIGN ARCHITECTURE TO PHASE II BUILDINGS OF BELUM RAINFOREST
HOTEL ARC 2213/2234 Asian Architecture

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IMPLEMENTATION OF PASSIVE DESIGN ARCHITECTURE TO
PHASE 2 BUILDINGS OF BELUM RAINFOREST HOTEL

Contents

Abstract Page 3
1.0 Introduction Page 3
2.0 Sustainability in Architecture Page 4
3.0 Sustainable Design Principles in the Tropics. Page 5
4.0 Passive Design Systems and its Principles.. Page7
5.0 The Relationship of Passive Design and Sustainability
Page8
6.0 Case Study: Implementation of Passive Systems on
6.1 Phase II Buildings Page 9
6.2 Traditional Challet Units Page 12
6.3 Deluxe Suite Units Page 15
7.0 Conclusion Page 19
8.0 Summary Table Page 20
9.0 References Page 21





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IMPLEMENTATION OF PASSIVE DESIGN ARCHITECTURE TO PHASE 2 BUILDINGS OF
BELUM RAINFOREST HOTEL- SUSTAINABILITY POINT OF VIEW

Abstract
Sustainability is an ongoing theme in the architecture of today, it has become one of the main
factors when initiating design. For a building to be sustainable, it has to be worked on from the
development stage. Careful planning of building orientation, materials and such must fulfill the
essence of the site, it is important for a building to not only be in harmony with its surroundings
but it also has to give back to the environment. This is where certain passive designs can be
implemented into the design process. This paper will be investigating the Phase 2 villas located
in Belum Rainforest Resort, these buildings will be analyzed for their passive designs and how
they can help in sustainability. Study on the spatial environment of the buildings will be done to
see how these spaces if they can, help its inhabitants achieve thermal comfort.
1.0 Introduction
Belum Rainforest Hotel is situated in Pulau Banding, Perak, Malaysia. Malaysia is
located near the Equator region of the Earth; its climate year round will be warm and humid with
substantial amount of rainfall. Hot and humid climates such as in Malaysia require buildings to
be very responsive to the weather; they have to be well protected against heavy rainfall, the
amount of fenestration should be adequate and strategically placed to help in the cooling of the
building through natural ventilation, usage of natural and mechanical shading devices and so
on. All these factors and many more are very important when working towards sustainability,
especially in a tropical climate.
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Achieving thermal comfort is one of the main aims when designing in a tropical climate,
buildings should be designed well enough to help in the thermal comfort of the inhabitants even
though such disagreeing weather can be experienced all year round.
This paper will investigate the efficiency of passive designs and the sustainability
statuses of Phase 2 buildings by responding to the following questions
1. What are sustainability and passive design in architecture?
2. What makes a building sustainable?
3. What are the principles of passive design in tropical climates?
4. How does sustainability and passive design relate?
5. How efficient are passive designs working in Phase 2?
6. Is thermal comfort achievable in these buildings?




2.0 Sustainability in Architecture
Sustainable architecture is a new field in architecture that is described as taking less
from the earth and giving more to the people (Rocky Mountains Institute). The aim of
Sustainability in Architecture is to design a building that minimizes its negative impacts towards
the environment and at the same time to provide a comfortable place for people to live in.
According to Barnett and Browning (1995), homes in America account for $160 Billion worth of
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energy because houses consume resources and produce a substantial amount of waste. This
trend could apply to any country, including Malaysia.
There are different factors that contribute to a buildings sustainability status, such as
conventional methods that use efficient building materials that are preferably available and
abundant around the vicinity of the building, as manufacturing and transportation of materials to
a building site emits greenhouse gas, the gathering and transportation of resources should not
exceed eight hundred kilometers within the radius of the site or it would be not be labeled
sustainable.
The building materials should have properties that are positively and efficiently
responsive towards the climate, this can help to create an optimal environment for inhabitants in
the building. Energy consumption, such as electrical energy should be moderated to decrease
the emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. Basically, the goal of
sustainable architecture is to take less from the earth whilst creating comfortable buildings that
do not create a heavy burden on the environment in the long term.

3.0 Sustainable Design Principles in the Tropics
Energy
1. Utilize passive design measures to encourage the use of natural ventilation,
lighting and cooling
2. Invest in renewable energy systems such as solar panels that can help in the
long run to produce energy.

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Indoor Environment quality
3. Use appropriate materials and fittings that do not cause a hazardous impact to
the inhabitants and the environment.
4. Utilize air-handling and temperature control systems to maintain a healthy and
comfortable indoor environment.
5. Access to natural light and external views should be available for all living
spaces.
Waste and Construction materials
6. Utilize lower embodied energy materials with minimal environmental impact
7. Reusable and recycled materials should always be an important consideration in
the material pallet.
8. Provide adequate space for recycling, waste storage and composting for
inhabitants of a building.
Local Environment
9. Restore habitats that are affected during construction of the building.
10. Surrounding trees and plants should always stay where they are, unless it really
needs to be taken down, this should be kept at a minimal.

4.0 Passive Design systems and its Principles
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Passive design in Architecture is considered one of the important strategies for
sustainability. Passive design is a design approach that uses natural elements such as sunlight
and wind to heat, cool and light the building, therefore buildings must be critically planned to
work with the characteristics of the site such as the dominant wind or sun orientation.
Passive design is used all over the world; however the use of such design systems may
vary for different parts of the world with different climates. Countries that observe a tropical
climate all year round have to have slightly different strategies for its buildings than those in
colder climate for example. The basic principles of Passive Design in the tropical climates are
as follows:

Air Ventilation
1- The external design of the building and its orientation on site should be utilized to
encourage air movement. Internal spaces are to be designed freely so that they do
not block air movement. There should be adequate amounts of openings to
encourage cross ventilation for internal spaces.
2- Use of operable windows to maximize cooling, inhabitants can open windows to cool
the inner environment. This helps greatly at night where the air outside would be
generally cooler.
3- Implementing passive ventilation systems will greatly reduce the need to use air-
conditioning for cooling. Passive ventilation systems include cross ventilation, stack
effect and the night purge ventilation.

Passive Solar System
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4- Building orientation should be done in a way where minimum solar heat will be
gained. It is better for buildings in this climate to have all walls shaded throughout the
year. The living and
5- Building orientation should also maximize airflow; dominant wind of the site will be
taken into consideration to see where the wind will usually come from. This will help
in the cooling of the building

Shading
6- Use of shading devices such as roof overhangs, louvers, egg crates (horizontal and
vertical shading) and natural ones such as trees can be used to minimize or block
direct sunlight coming into the windows. They should be sized appropriately to
maximize the system performance.
7- The use of existing trees on the site can help in the cooling of your building
environment by blocking direct sunlight, when your environment is at a cooler level
the internal spaces of your building should be the same.

5.0 The Relationship of Passive Design systems and Sustainability
Passive design and sustainability in architecture is strongly linked with each other, the
implementation of passive systems to a building can improve its sustainability. The use of
electricity when it concerns lighting and regulating the inner thermal environment of a building
can emit greenhouse gases in the process, because in order to produce electricity for the use of
AC units or lights, non-renewable energy such as fossil fuels and coal must be burnt, therefore
taking valuable resources of the environment that takes a very long time to replenish creating a
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highly unbalanced ratio. However, passive design systems can help lighten the burden of non-
renewable energy, such situations are as followed;
Utilizing the use of openings, windows and shading devices to let indirect sunlight in to
light the rooms during the day, only electrical lights have to be used during the night
which will not be considered as excessive use.
Operable windows, with the help of building orientation can be strategically placed to
encourage cross ventilation through a space, which in turn would minimize the use of AC
units. The use of fans are considered less passive, however it is more encouraged to
use as it is better compared to using energy intensive AC units to cool a space. Fan
units can also help in the circulation of air movement within a space.

6.0 Case Study: Implementation of Passive Systems on Phase II Buildings

The climate of Pulau Banding is similar with the rest of Malaysia, warm and humid
observed all year round with substantial amount of rainfall during the early and late months of
the year. Temperatures can go as low as twenty-two degree Celsius at night and averaging
around thirty-four degree Celsius during the day. Pulau Banding, except for the Belum
Rainforest Hotel and an adjacent Research Centre is covered in thick tropical rainforest which is
stated to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Prevailing winds mainly come from South-
West and the North-East and during the day, there will be at least twelve hours of daylight.


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An Overview of Phase II of Belum Rainforest Hotel. The Green Blocks Indicate the Deluxe Suites and the
Orange ones indicate the Traditional Challet units.







Windrose Diagram of Alor setar

The Phase two buildings are divided into two designs, the Traditional Chalet type is closely
designed to resemble and provide a tourist oriented experience of the traditional Malay
Kampung houses. The rooms feature a very clean wooden finishing for the floor, with paneled
walls similar to traditional Malay houses, with a mix of traditional and contemporary furnishing.
The other design is the Deluxe Suite room type; these blocks are more inclined towards a
modern design, boxy and very minimal in its concrete building envelope. Each block have two
rooms, one atop the other with ground floor level accessed from the front faade and the
second floor room accessed from the steel walkways at the back faade. It follows a very simple
rectangular floor plan, with the living area near the entrance and the bathroom area more
private at the back of the room; the room becomes more spacious and open towards the
bathroom. These rooms were initiated after the completion of the first phase, to provide a more
engaging experience towards nature for its visitors.
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(Top left) Delue Suite Open bath concept, (Top Right) Panoramic of Deluxe Suite Units. (Bottom
left) Panoramic of 3 Bedroom Tradition Chalet Unit and (Bottom right) Traditional Chalet porch.

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6.1 Building Types
The Traditional Chalet room type comes in three variations;
One bedroom chalet for guests of two, it features a spacious bedroom with a porch that
extends out around the room offering a close relationship with nature and the scenery.
The bathroom adjacent to the bedroom towards the inner side of the chalet.
Two bedroom chalet for families of three to four, it has a similar floor plan layout
however a second smaller wing is added opposite the master bedroom that caters for
two beds and its own bathroom. A dining hall and a small kitchen is added in-between
the two rooms.
Three bedroom chalet house is the biggest one of all and follows a similar layout to the
second type of chalet. However the second room has been extended and divided into
two master bedrooms.








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Prevailing Wind Routes








Prevailing wind routes
6.2 Traditional Chalet Units
Such considerations can be seen firsthand from the layout of Phase 2, it is important for
buildings in a tropical climate to catch the prevailing wind because it would need to cool its inner
environments without the excessive use of the AC and fan units when sustainability is
concerned.
Air Ventilation
The living spaces of the chalet houses seem to have windows and openings that face
the South-West direction, according to the wind rose diagram of Perak prevailing winds
seem to come from the same direction. The living spaces are very spacious in size, with
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no partitioned walls to block any internal air movement; operable windows are placed in
all four sides to encourage air circulation.
The rooms are placed in a way that makes air circulation very easy, the rooms are
spacious and offer a lot of openings on the walls, this does not only catch prevailing wind
but it is flexible enough to even catch wind coming from different directions. The
Traditional Chalet rooms are very effective in its use of windows and their placements.
The openings of the house encourage more of a cross ventilation system, rather than
the night purge or the stack effect.
Passive Solar System
Due to the relative one storey height of the Chalet units, they will very well protected
against the morning sun because the Deluxe Suites stand in the way. The eastern
faade (entrance and bathroom area) of the houses do not contain big windows or
openings, in fact they are covered by walls of rammed earth, these walls intercepts
direct sunlight coming from the first half of the day, where the sun is said to be the
hottest. This design consideration can greatly reduce the solar heat that is gained
throughout the day.
The western faade (porch and bedrooms) will be more exposed to the evening sun,
however surrounding the Chalet units are very big trees that can help in blocking direct
sunlight.
Shading Devices
The houses have a considerable amount of roof overhang on the western faade
covering the porch. This can help in the blocking of direct sunlight from the noon and
evening sun.
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The use of curtains over the windows can help in the filtering of direct sunlight, at the
same time encouraging air flow.
The Chalet units are surrounded by big trees, mainly covering the Northern, Western
and Southern facades of the units.
Materiality
The structural supports of the Chalet units are mainly steel; the walls are cladded with
slanted wooden panels to imitate the look of traditional Rumah Kampung. The floor is
covered in polished wood.
Wood is considered a sustainable material because it is obtained from a renewable
source and it has a low embodied energy. Wood has thermal and sound properties,
which can minimize the use of mechanical systems to cool or heat a building. Wood is
also a very durable material; its service life can go up to fifty years.

Overall the Traditional Chalet units are well designed, with passive systems that are well
thought out. From the ample amounts of operable windows all around the unit, thermal comfort
is possible to achieve especially during night time when the temperature is relatively lower.
However during the day, occupants might have to use mechanical systems; however the use of
the less energy intense Fan units should suffice to encourage air circulation inside the building.
The Deluxe Suite comes in two variations
Ground Floor Unit for guests of two, a much more linear floor plan layout compared
to the Traditional Chalet design. Ground floor unit entrances are on the Western
faade, the living spaces are placed in between the bathroom and the entraFirst
Floor Unit for guests of two, it follows a very similar floor plan with its ground floor
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counterpart, however it is much shorter in size, so occupants have a smaller living
space. A small balcony is situated on its western faade, this time the entrance to the
unit will come from a network of ramps that are situated on the eastern side of the
units, and occupants will enter from the eastern faade.












Plans of Deluxe Suite Units, (Top) is the First Floor Unit and (Bottom) is the Ground Floor
Unit.


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6.3 Deluxe Suite Units
Air Ventilation
Small operable windows placed on the Western faade of the building, however the
open bathroom concept for the ground floor unit on the opposite faade accounts for a
big opening, this may encourage cross ventilation.
The first floor unit does not have an open bathroom concept, however there are windows
on both facades where cross ventilation may work, but the windows may prove to be too
small.
Occupants might have to depend on mechanical means to cool their rooms during the
day, and also probably during the night. There is not enough openings to encourage
efficient air flow.
Passive Solar Systems
The small window openings means that very little direct sunlight can penetrate the
building, added with the aid of a Rammed earth wall in front of the Ground Floor unit
entrance, very little amounts of noon and even sunlight can penetrate. However the
open bathroom concept will let in a substantial amount of indirect sunlight into the
building, especially during the morning, creating warm glow lighting.
The first floor unit works better at receiving the evening sun, as it is one storey above
ground and the western faade is not covered by many trees, it would experience ample
day lighting through the small operable windows. With a normal concept bathroom
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instead, there is only one window opening but it is more catered towards ventilation
uses.

Shading Devices
The Western faade is flushed inwards, offsetting a mix of vertical and horizontal
concrete shading panels around the length of one and a half meters. These are very
effective shading tools to block out intense sunlight during the noon periods.
The environments surrounding these units comprised of plants that reach about two to
three meters in height, however the density of these plants are very low therefore
providing a less effective shading system.




Materiality
The building envelope is mostly built with concrete, concrete is a low embodied energy
material, meaning that it takes less energy to produce and transport the material (onsite
work). The concrete is very light coloured, this can help in the reflectivity of light which in
turn minimizes building heat gain.
Concrete has a long service life, it does not rust, rot or burn.
Concrete does not create much negative environmental impacts once it is set.

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The Deluxe Suite blocks may not be designed towards a more sustainable goal, it lacks the
placement of openings and their size might not be enough to encourage natural air flow. The
shading system would work well during the hot noon periods, but with the help of breezes it
might just make its internal environment bit more comfortable. Occupants will have to result to
mechanical AC and fan units during their stay here in order to regulate the inner temperature of
their rooms.

7.0 Conclusion
In conclusion, the Traditional Chalet units in Phase 2 of Belum Rainforest Resort are
better in the implementation of passive systems to its building; its passive systems can work
efficiently to help its occupants achieve thermal comfort. The units are considered as
sustainable because they implement passive systems very well, the spaces are very well lit and
shaded, air circulation and ventilation is highly possible because of the number of windows and
spacious floor plans, materials used do not disturb or effect the health of occupants; all which
are factors that improves the living conditions of the occupants.






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8.0 Summary Table Traditional Chalet Units Deluxe Suite Units
Occupant activity Leisure Leisure
Occupant density Four and above persons Up to two persons
Building Style Traditional Malay Kampung
House/ Contemporary
Contemporary design
Building space
characteristics and
environment
Spacious living areas,
adequate sunlight in the
building, easy excess to
windows
Narrower living spaces, not
enough natural lighting,
spacious and open
bathroom area. Warm
environment, limited
windows and openings.
Natural Ventilation Unit has a good ventilation
system, spacious living
areas with ample operable
windows encourages cross
ventilation. Minimal
partitioned walls to block air
movement.
Unit might provide good
natural ventilation, the use of
cross ventilation. Wind
current created from smaller
operable windows on the
entrance and a big open
space on the opposite
bathroom side.
Passive Solar Eastern faade is effectively
covered by Rammed earth
wall and minimal openings.
Surrounded by big trees.
Minimal openings on
western faade, with a
Rammed earth wall to shade
Ground level rooms.
Minimal surrounding trees,
use of creepers.
Shading Devices Large roof overhangs,
surrounding trees and
rammed earth wall.
Flushed faade creating an
egg-crate effect shading.
Materiality Wooden interiors, slanted
wooden paneled walls and
wooden floors. Low
embodied energy. Steel
structural supports.
Concrete building envelope
and interior. Low embodied
energy
Mechanical Equipment AC and Fan units. Electrical
lights.
AC and Fan units. Electrical
lights.
Conclusion A better space environment,
thermal comfort is very
possible to achieve,
especially during night time
if windows are left open.
Not enough fenestration to
encourage air flow,
surrounding environment is
barren, highly possible to
use mechanical means to
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8.0 Summary Table


9.0 References
Szokolay, Steven V. (2010). Introduction to Architectural Science: The
Basis of Sustainable Design(2nd ed.). (pp. 1622.)
Salmon, C. (1999). Application of Design Concepts. In Architectural
Designs for Tropical Regions .(pp 129-139)
Bainbridge, D. Haggard, K. (2011). Passive Solar Architecture: Heating,
Cooling, Ventilation, Daylighting and More Using Natural Flows.(pp 4-29).
Chelsea Green Publishing.
Barnett, D. L. Browning, W.D (1995), A Primer in Sustainable
Architecture.(pp 4-20). Rocky Mountains Institute





achieve thermal comfort,
even during the night.
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