Maheswaran, Uma, and Guo Zi, Ang. "Daylighting and Energy Performance of Post Millenium Condominiums in Singapore," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 1 (2007).
Condominiums are the most common typology of housing next to public housing in Singapore. In Singapore, government planning directives and incentives play a major role in market trends. Facade projections promoted by the URA (www.ura.gov.sg) in recent years had subsequently found way into the post-millennium facades (glass balconies and bay windows). Expectations of living conditions have grown as Singaporeans gradually adapt to the airconditioned lifestyle. Design of private residential developments (condominiums) in Singapore is mostly undertaken by foreign architects and this has resulted in a typology that neglects the wholesome concept of tropicality both in terms of climatology as well as living style. Extensive use of glass in these units has resulted in lack of privacy, poor day lighting performance as well as uncomfortable thermal conditions. Plastered facades of the seventies have given way to modern glass-skinned facades and high-end condominiums today have started to provide inbuilt air-conditioning. Statistics show that monthly household electrical bills have increased steadily over the years and 50% of Singapore’s overall energy consumption is solely consumed by air-conditioning. A thorough case study of one such condominium development was attempted and the results obtained through this pilot study were then used to analyze the trends across prototype units using simulation tools. The results show that the residents of such units pay a very high rate for electricity resulting from air conditioning the habitable spaces in their residence.
This paper is an attempt to discuss a few examples of condominiums around the western part of Singapore as a means of discussing the emerging design trends as well as to discuss the performance aspects of the design solutions in terms of day lighting and energy consumption.