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2019 | Book

Dense and Green Building Typologies

Research, Policy and Practice Perspectives

Authors: Prof. Dr. Thomas Schröpfer, Prof. Sacha Menz

Publisher: Springer Singapore

Book Series : SpringerBriefs in Architectural Design and Technology


About this book

In this book, academics, policy makers, developers, architects and landscape architects provide a systematic review of the environmental, social, economic and design benefits of dense and green building types in high-density urban contexts and discuss how these can support higher population densities, higher standards of environmental sustainability and enhanced live ability in future cities.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Dense and Green Building Typologies: Architecture as Urban Ecosystem
Contemporary architecture and urban design practice in Singapore is increasingly exploring the integration of green spaces in buildings, producing new typologies for high-density environments that include public spaces, extensive sky terraces, sky bridges, vertical parks, roof gardens and other ‘green’ components. Combinations of all these, often applied to mixes of residential, civic and commercial programmes, conjoin at times to produce ‘vertical cities’ in which the building section becomes part of larger urban ecosystems such as parks, gardens and river networks. Density and sustainability here are not seen as contradictory but rather as mutually dependent and synergistic.
Thomas Schröpfer, Sacha Menz
Chapter 2. A City in a Garden
Urbanism in Singapore is shaped by the desire to overcome the physical constraints of a small island city state. On a small island, the needs of both the city and the state have to be catered to. Above that, Singapore sustains one of the most competitive economies in the world and a city ranked amongst the top in Asia for the quality of life. To meet the demands of these rather unique circumstances, Singapore has had to find its own ways to solve its problems, whether it is water management, public housing or transport. Over the past 50 years, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and fellow agencies have evolved their own brand of solutions to cater to Singapore’s needs.
Ng Lang
Chapter 3. Creating Liveable Density Through a Synthesis of Planning, Design and Greenery
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) houses over 80% of the population of Singapore in one million flats spread over 23 towns. In recent years, the HDB has intensified its building programme to meet the housing demand in Singapore. As the city’s heartlands develop into high-density townships, urban greenery has become an integral part of the urban fabric, playing an indispensable role in mitigating the high densities and ensuring a quality living environment. The essay discusses how the development of HDB towns is guided by comprehensive principles, which consider greenery at both the macro- and micro-scales, from the planning and urban design of towns to the design and implementation of individual precincts and buildings.
Cheong Koon Hean
Chapter 4. Building a City in Nature
Singapore is a densely populated metropolis with more than 5 million inhabitants living on 719 sq km of land. With limited resources and a growing population, an integrated approach to planning and implementation is key to developing a more liveable and sustainable city. Today, water is seen as an environmental asset that can enhance Singapore. The launch of the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Programme (ABC Waters) has been able to transform many concrete monsoon drains into beautifully landscaped streams, rivers and lakes, bringing people closer to water. Beyond a City of Gardens and Water, Singapore could be envisioned to be a City in Nature, where the integration of nature with the built environment is taken into consideration in urban planning and design.
Khoo Teng Chye
Chapter 5. From Garden City to City in a Garden and Beyond
Fifty years of greening efforts have made Singapore a ‘City in a Garden’. Although the greening of the Nation is mainly implemented by the National Parks Board (NParks), other Government agencies and private entities are also contributing to greening the City. Cross-agency initiatives, such as the Park Connectors programme that benefited from the cooperation with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) in charge of the monsoon drains, provide new opportunities to make Singapore greener in the context of an increasingly dense urban environment.
Yeo Meng Tong
Chapter 6. Punggol Waterway Terraces, Singapore
Looking to the future whilst also looking to the past, the Punggol Waterway Terraces project constitutes a blueprint for twenty-first century sustainable mass housing and marks a return to Singapore’s original ethos of community pride and identity. The sheer mass and basic design elements of the project are not hidden but presented as an unequivocal response to the challenges and requirements for a sustainable, yet enjoyable, high-density urban lifestyle. Fundamental principles of passive tropical design have been inventively recalibrated and then expressed at a monumental scale, whilst the contextually attuned planning and massing have reintroduced a human scale sense of communal identity. Waterway Terraces is a genuine precursor to the zero-energy mass housing that will be essential for the continued growth of Asian cities and their sustainable future.
Manuel Der Hagopian
Chapter 7. Prototypology and the Twenty-First Century
How can we make our cities more sustainable and resilient when they are planned using outdated components from the past? WOHA practice follows its concept of prototypology, where real projects are developed as prototype components for a new sustainable city. These are both, real-life projects as well as urban designs concepts, which have resulted from designing using new components.
Richard Hassell
Chapter 8. RGB: Red, Blue, Green as a Model for Living Environments
Certain important principles have always guided the design ethos of Tierra Design and PODesign. These include the integration of the allied design disciplines—Landscape Architecture (as many of our professionals come from this field), Architecture, (because some of these same professionals were trained as architects) and Urban Design (because the combination of landscape and architecture fully illustrates how people live and use dynamic spaces). Using  this ethos, Tierra Design and PODesign have worked towards liveability and love-ability or what they consider as living in a biophilic city, where humans have an inherent connection with nature. For designers, the challenge then is to ensure that their designs are for living in a city that works for people.
Franklin Po
Chapter 9. How Blue–Green Infrastructure Can Create Liveable Cities and Address Climate Change
With the increasing impact of climate change in Asia, the frequency of extreme events that resulted in prolonged weather conditions has become more prevalent in the urban context than ever before. As this change in climate poses a significant problem within the fabric of urban cities, an adaptation of our drainage system has to be sought before the impact of climate change worsens. By looking at the problem on a broader scale, drainage itself becomes a part of an extensive network that consists of the surrounding environment, its greenery and, most importantly, water. The ABC Waters Programme in Singapore envisions a pervasive network of green environment strategies that integrates itself holistically with the drainage system and its surroundings, de-centralizing storm water treatment systems through the use of various features to create an active, beautiful and clean environment that is very much a part of the urban fabric.
Ryan Shubin
Chapter 10. Chua Chu Kang MKPL’s Investigation
In their award-winning Singapore Rail Corridor proposal for the Housing Parcel at Chua Chu Kang (CCK) for high-density affordable housing, MKPL explores how the ecology and green experience of the Singapore Rail Corridor can be enhanced, whilst demonstrating the possibility of co-existence of the development with greenery. The scheme provides innovative solutions as a response to the complexities of the site. By advocating a multi-land use approach, the proposal demonstrates how living and recreational spaces can be combined seamlessly with infrastructure requirements. In developing the buildings for CCK, MKPL also explores a super-highrise residential typology that takes on challenges of scale, sense of community and liveability in a high-density environment.
Siew Man Kok
Chapter 11. Taking Urban Greening to a Higher Level
Singapore is a pioneer of city greening and the greening of buildings is a large part of its ‘Greener City’ initiative. For 36 years, Henry Steed has been part of the progression from Garden City to City in a Garden and developed a keen sense of what succeeds and what is less successful. The Government has developed innovative policies that revolutionise green city initiatives, such as LUSH, Community in Bloom, Landscape Replacement Areas, green buffers, tree conservation and many more. There is still, however, an inbuilt resistance amongst many built environment stakeholders to take the whole green city idea to a higher level. In many ways, long-established methods and habits are holding us back.
Henry Steed
Chapter 12. From Biophilic Architecture to Biophilic Cities
Biophilic design seeks to connect people with nature in dense urban built environments. Over the years, the multi-disciplinary practice of CPG Consultants has produced a number of projects that combine natural elements with built environments including the NTU School of Arts, Design, and Media, the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and the Gardens by the Bay Singapore. These projects have informed and inspired CPG's ongoing inquiry through practice that pursues biophilic design. This approach has also led the firm to integrate landscape practice into their projects by organizing urban environments through the design of as well as engineering of landscapes such as water-sensitive urban design in response to Singapore's Active, Beautiful, and Clean (ABC) programme. More recently, CPG’s inquiry through practice of biophilic design has led the firm to emphasize the interconnection of environmental habitats through green and blue infrastructure that engage the community.
Tan Shao Yen
Chapter 13. Emulating and Replicating Ecosystems Ability to Provide ‘Ecosystem Services’ by the Built Environment
 Why dense and green? The rationale is to make the built environment able to provide ecosystem services within our human settlements, cities, towns and urban areas. Ecology tells us that nature provides ecosystem services to sustain the planet without human intervention. These ecosystem services are invisible to the human eye, such as the production of oxygen or sequestration and detoxification of wastes. Humanity is unable to provide these services by technology alone and the existing built environment is dependent upon its adjacent ecosystem from its hinterland and the biosphere’s biogeochemical cycles to provide these services. But what if we supplement and augment the built environment with sufficient and appropriate biotic constituents to provide these ecosystem services within itself? The chapter discusses the possible means to achieve this biointegration of the human-made with the natural.
Ken Yeang
Chapter 14. Greenery in Commercial Buildings: Enhancing Returns for Investors
 Commercial real estate investment provides a portfolio with low volatility, long-term cash flows. The degree to which investors will pay for trees and greenery in buildings is tied to demonstrable returns produced by occupiers paying more for one building over another. The chapter outlines the growth in Asia Pacific commercial real estate investment, including growth investment in cities in tropical / sub-tropical zones. Building on JLL’s research on the Future of Work, it discusses what factors occupiers of commercial space are considering, given the changing future of work. This leads to implications as to whether occupiers be more willing to pay for greenery in tropical / subtropical cities and, therefore, what steps investors can take to enhance the attractiveness and, therefore, returns of their buildings.
Megan Walters
Chapter 15. Green Buildings and the Singaporean Homebuyers
‘Green’ buildings and 'eco-friendly' features are increasingly used by real estate developers and their consultants to market housing developments in Singapore. But does this message really work? How much do homebuyers value such features? Does the type of green features matter? In this chapter, Nicholas Mak provides an insight of the homebuyers’ perception of green features in housing developments. He covers the rising trend of developers incorporating green features in property developments, the different categories of green features and the impact of these features on homebuyers’ selection of their properties. It is easy to see why the green features are increasingly used in real estate development and marketing. Because it is believed that green sells. But does it?
Nicholas Mak
Chapter 16. The Role of Ecosystem Services in Making Cities Sustainable
The term ‘ecosystem services’ is used to denote the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems, such as clean air and water, or a cooler environment. In this chapter, I will consider some of the environmental problems that cities face, and how ecosystem services can contribute to mitigating them. I will focus especially on cities of the humid tropics, notably Singapore, and the potential of ecosystem services to prevent flooding and to keep the city cool.
Peter Edwards
Chapter 17. Green Architecture: Landscape Topology and Context
‘Green architecture’ is very new to me. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, architects were working on very elaborate facades. Trees, more often than not, were put on the side in order not to hide the building. Now architects would tend to want to have the trees be the facade itself. That indicates a big level of progress and change in our design culture.
Christophe Girot
Dense and Green Building Typologies
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schröpfer
Prof. Sacha Menz
Copyright Year
Springer Singapore
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN