Revisiting Passive Design for Future Buildings

Yue Zhu
Director
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago

Passive design harnesses the power from nature to achieve human comfort and well-being at a minimum cost of natural resources. How to achieve future highly efficient buildings with passive strategies to face the challenge of climate change? This presentation revisits passive design strategies and the latest technologies integrated into tall building design, with case studies that using cutting edge analysis tools including cloud computing and parametric design to optimize building massing, orientation, envelope opacity, shading and façade thermal character etc. that will better utilize natural resources to reduce mechanical heating and cooling under each unique climate condition.

This presentation visits the latest technologies for glazing material/thermal break/frame insulation to optimize energy transfer through the building envelope. Natural ventilation allows buildings to breathe and filter like the function of lung, which helps achieve carbon reduction, improved indoor air quality, building resilience, better occupancy comfort and sense of connection to nature. From the newest façade-integrated window ventilator product to eco-chimneys and ventilated building atrium space, various new natural ventilation strategies are explored and supported by urban scale CFD modeling. Urban greenery, extending vertically in tall buildings has become a new method of creating connection to nature at the vertical realm. From sky gardens to green façades, occupants can enjoy unthinkable amenities in the sky that help regulate the temperature and heat transmission in a building. Passive design is a critical path to carbon-neutral tall buildings in the future.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation