Friday, August 8, 2008

Bioclimatic Design, Ken Yeang

Ken Yeang Video:

Defining the concept of Vegetated Architecture led me to identify some of the key players in the field. Rather than continue the segregation of disciplines, Veg.itecture spans disciplines, further blurring the lines of established practice regimes. This does not demark territories where only the few architect/LA dual practicioners are allowed to have this mantle, but rather it is indicative of a unique approach - one where building and landscape are not discernable as individual elements.

Ken Yeang epitomizes the concept, perhaps stronger than any current architect. His concepts of bioclimatic high-rise design has been a signature of his designs - maxing aesthetic and technical principles.


These include the following strategies (from “Bioclimatic skyscrapers are skyscrapers that use environmentally and climatically sensitive forms and means of construction. The points Yeang considers vital to bioclimatic skyscraper design are: :: variability in facade and building performance in response to climate and location:: alignment of building along the solar path:: flexibility to adjust to different climatic needs throughout the year:: use of entirely passive means of lighting and ventilation whenever possible:: material selection based on ecologically sound principles” This is a similar conceptual framework to a recent post on Defining Veg.itecture, which maybe is why Yeang get’s the top slot for Veg.itects.

Some of Ken’s projects of note (and keep an eye on the forms of vegetated facades).


Elephant and Castle Eco Towers London - image via MoMa

Editt Tower Malaysia - image via Index

Human Research Institute, Hong Kong - image via Jetson Green

BIDV Tower, Vietnam - image via Jetson Green

Ken Yeang, eco-architect, Malaysia, England

Ken Yeang is director of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, a multidisciplinary firm of Urban designers, Architects and Landscape Architects. Yeang is known for pioneering the passive low-energy design of skyscrapers, what he has called “bioclimatic” design. Yeang’s 1992 Menara Mesiniaga building in Subang Jaya Selangor,

Malaysia outlines his bioclimatic techniques, including daring vertical landscaping, external louvers to reduce solar heat gain, extensive natural ventilation and lighting, and an active Intelligent Building system for automated energy savings. His concentration on energy conservation and environmental impact is a radical departure from mainstream architecture’s view of the profession as more strictly an art form.