Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Coarse typological studies on urban program and density defined by various urban energy conversion technologies in Singapore
Zhongming Shi, Shanshan Hsieh, Bhargava Krishna Sreepathi, Jimeno A. Fonseca, François Maréchal, Arno Schlueter

Last modified: 25-06-2018


Coarse typological studies on urban program and density defined by various urban energy conversion technologies in Singapore.


Zhongming Shi1,2, Shanshan Hsieh1,2,3, Bhargava Krishna Sreepathi1,2, Jimeno A. Fonseca1,2, François Maréchal1,3, Arno Schlueter1,2

1 Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre, 1 Create Way, CREATE Tower, 138602 Singapore

2 Architecture and Building Systems, Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, John-von-Neumann-Weg 9, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland

3 Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering Group, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne 1015, Switzerland

E-mail: shi@arch.ethz.ch, nils.schueler@epfl.ch, hsieh@arch.ethz.ch, sebastien.cajot@epfl.ch, fonseca@arch.ethz.ch, francois.marechal@epfl.ch, schlueter@arch.ethz.ch


Keywords: Urban typology, urban form, energy technology, urban program, density


Conference topics and scale: Efficient use of resources in sustainable cities


Cities consume about three quarters of global primary energy. Compared to the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the urban area is expected to triple by 2030. The future urban energy performance is substantially influenced by how the urban area is planned, designed, and built. New energy technologies have enabled new possibilities of the urban form. For example, a district cooling system can free the building rooftops for more architectural design options, like an infinity pool or a sky garden. Vice versa, to maximize the energy performance, some new energy technologies enforce some specific requirements on the urban forms, like the urban form and density.

We apply a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) formulation to identify the optimal allocation of energy demand density and energy systems (e.g. district cooling network) subject to resource availability and energy (or environmental) performance targets (e.g. renewable share). The optimized energy demand density can be translated into urban program combinations and density ranges and gradients. To build the model, we survey the prevailing energy conversion technologies and their costs. Based on the local standards of Singapore, we derive the energy profiles and demand densities of buildings with different programs.

We adopt a real case study in Singapore to test the target energy technologies. Adjacent to the existing central business district, the site, currently a container terminal, has an area around 1,000 hectares. Upon the relocation of the terminal in 10 years, the energy technologies, the density, and the program of the site have a variety of possibilities.


This paper builds a series of coarse urban typologies in terms of urban program and density when adopting different urban energy conversion technologies in Singapore. Furthermore, the general density and the density gradient may vary when the size of these energy infrastructures alters. In an integrated urban design process involving energy considerations, the urban designer can refer these urban typologies for rules on the general density, the density gradient, and the urban program combination based on the selected energy technologies. On the other way, these urban typologies can also help on the selection of energy technologies to accommodate the target urban density and program.


References (100 words)

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UN-Habitat (2012). Energy. [Online]. Available: http://unhabitat.org/urban-themes/energy. [Accessed:08-Nov-2016].







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