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Bioclimatic design de-mystified in lecture tonight by Dr. Ken Yeang

Dr. Ken Yeang, the John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar, will present his philosophy for the future of bioclimatic architecture in South Florida. Presented in coordination with the American Institute of Architects, AIA and Florida Atlantic University – Fort Lauderdale, College for Design and Social Inquiry, School of Architecture; he has been focused on pursing ecological principles through his designs for the past forty years.

  • Where: Volunteer Park Auditorium. 12050 West Sunrise Boulevard, Plantation, Florida
  • When: Friday, January 21, 2011
  • Time: 7:00 pm, parking is free
  • RSVP:

In an insightful interview with CNN on July 20, 2007, Ken Yeang spoke about his ideas, inspirations and a recent project.

CNN: What exactly is eco-design? How are the building designed with these principles different from regular buildings?

KY: Eco-design is designing in such a way that the human built environment or our design system integrates benignly and seamlessly with the natural environment. We have to look at it not just as designing a building as an independent object in the city or in the site where it’s located. We have to look at it in the context of the characteristics of the site in which it’s located, the ecological features and we have to integrate with it physically, systemically and temporally.

Physical integration means integrating with the physical characteristics of the place: Its topography, its ground water, its hydrology, its vegetation and the different species on the particular site. Systemic integration is integrating with the processes that take place in nature with our human built environment: The use of water, the use of energy, the use of waste and sewers and so forth. Both the human and the natural must blend together, so there will be no pollution and no waste. Temporal integration, means integrating the rate of our use of the resources in the earth and its material, and the rate of replenishment.”

CNN: Can you tell us a little bit about the EDITT tower in Singapore?

KY: EDITT Tower is a project where we wanted to exemplify all our ideas in one single building. I should add it is a tower and towers are the most unecological of all building types. Generally a tower uses 30% more energy and materials to build and to operate than anther structure, but towers, as a built form, will be with us for a while, until we find an economically viable alternative. My contention is that if we have to build these towers then we should make them as humane and as ecological as possible. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

In the EDITT tower we tried to balance the inorganic mass of the tower with more organic mass, which means bringing vegetation and landscaping into the building. But we didn’t want to put all the landscaping in one location. We wanted to spread that over the building, integrate it with the inorganic mass and that we wanted to have it ecologically connected. So we’ve put the vegetation from the ground all the way up the building and that whenever the building.

Then we wanted it to be low energy, so we had photo voltaics in its façade particularly facing the east and west side and on its roof so it would have its own energy source. We also wanted to collect water so that we could be independent from the water supply. We put water collection on the roof, but because the tower has a very small roof area we had sunshades which were scallop shaped so we could collect rainwater through them as well. So in many ways it feels like a human made ecosystem in a tower form.”

So what is bioclimatic? According to Encarta World English Dictionary 2009,

“relating to bioclimatology: relating to the relationship between climate and living organisms, or to the study of bioclimatology”

According to Architecture 2030, buildings are both the problem and can be the solution. Contributing 46.9% of the total CO2 emissions for 2009, architecture needs to change.

In a recent article released by Jeffrey Kiehl, if we continue to use fossil fuels at current day levels, we will reach CO2 levels at 1,000 ppm by the year 2100, a level that would result in catastrophic events. We are currently at 392 ppm.

“CNN: How important is it for the future that we introduce and implement new kind of architecture?

KY: Absolutely important. 100% important, that’s something that all designers in the world have to address today otherwise this millennium will be our last.”

This should prove to be a very interesting evening.

Click here to view works by Dr. Ken Yeang. For additional reading consider, “Ecodesign: A Manual for Ecological Design”.

About Valerie J. Amor:
As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie J. Amor is dynamically engaged in sustainability and issues regarding the built environment. Actively participating in several local, county and national organizations and committees focused on sustainability issues, she is also owner/principal of Drawing Conclusions and founder/president of Green Collar Connection, companies engaged in sustainable design, real estate development, green job training and research. Knowledgeable and well connected she brings you timely and thoughtful articles. Reach her at .

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Posted by Valerie J. Amor on Jan 21 2011. Filed under Broward County, Emerging Green, Events, Fort Lauderdale, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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