Ken Yeang, named one of the 50 people who could save the planet, is the world’s leading green skyscraper architect. Yeang is an architect, planner, and ecologist who is best known for his signature green architecture and master planning, differentiated from other green architects by his authentic ecology-based approach, distinctive green aesthetic and green performance beyond conventional rating systems. He is the Principal of Hamzah and Yeang
His projects include the Menara Mesiniaga in Malaysia and the National Library in Singapore both of which showcase his expertise in passive design and bioclimatic design, for which he is highly revered for his application of these principles in high-rise developments.
The Menara Mesiniaga, located outside of Kuala Lumpur, is an award-winning building completed in 1992 that has influenced the design of skyscrapers across the globe. The 14.5 story building is a circular tower supported by eight columns outside the building envelope. The complex prioritizes tenant comfort by optimizing natural lighting and ventilation that reduces energy consumption as a result. For instance, indoor temperature is regulated through solar shading and the positioning of the building. Furthermore, a spiraling vertical garden twists up the building, providing shade and visual appeal. Landscaped sky courts located throughout the spiraling body offer visual relief, support ventilation, and provide space for tenants to relax.
The National Library in Singapore is a local landmark. Among many intricate design considerations, the building is oriented away from the East-West axis to limit exposure to the afternoon sun and a solid wall on the southwest side blocks direct sunlight from entering the building. Throughout the library, there are 14 landscaped gardens containing 120 species of tropical plants that help to regulate the temperature of the building. The passive design of the building is further optimized by the integration of sensors. Intelligent sensors help reduce energy consumption throughout the building including rain sensors that reduce water used for irrigation, sensors that dim or turn on indoor lights when there is sufficient natural lighting, and motion sensors that turn off escalators and taps so they only switch on when in use.
Yeang’s dedication to designing buildings that in response to the natural climate and push the envelope on energy efficiency have paved the way for greater cross-collaboration between different strategies in green building to create a new design standard for buildings that maximize energy efficiency, prioritize occupant health and interact with the natural landscape.
Ken Yeang is a keynote at the CitiesAlive Conference in New York from September 24-28, 2018. The theme of the event is Green Infrastructure: Designing the Future of Resilience. CitiesAlive 2018 will explore topics like flood management, biodiversity, biophilic design, urban agriculture, vertical forests, coastal greening, green finance, new performance metrics, advancements in green infrastructure policy and regulations and new research findings. The conference features over 80 expert speakers, a trade show, networking events, guided local tours and training opportunities. For more information on the conference and to register, visit citiesalive.org