The book explores the sustainable design principles and innovative engineering behind the development of two of the world’s largest conditioned public conservatories or biomes. Nestled within waterfront gardens, the biomes are the centerpiece of a development that will define Singapore as the world’s premier tropical garden city: gardens that are on track to become a national and international exemplar of sustainable practice.
Through a combination of photographs, graphics and narratives, GREEN:HOUSE explores the challenges of building two huge enclosures to recreate, in Singapore’s naturally sunny, hot and humid environment, the ideal growing conditions for plants from cool-dry Mediterranean regions and the cool-moist conditions of tropical mountain regions. While the thrust of the narrative will consider the environmental design and engineering approach of Atelier Ten, three other voices reflect upon the landscape, architectural and structural engineering issues that confronted the core members of the integrated design team.
As environmental engineers Atelier Ten developed highly innovative passive and active environmental strategies for controlling conditions within the conservatories, while minimizing energy demand to exemplar levels. Outside the Biomes the unique Super-tree structures house components of the systems that provide cool and dry air to the biomes and also incorporate photovoltaic panels to generate power. The systems run mainly on tree-thinnings – waste material generated by Singapore’s National Parks maintenance programme – which are being diverted from landfill to be used as a source of biomass to generate energy and heat.
The landscaping incorporates extensive natural water treatment devices to control, attenuate and cleanse the enormous flows of water from the biome roof areas and the hard landscaping areas during tropical storms. These have been seamlessly integrated into the hard and soft landscaping which comes to life during the frequent deluges that are characteristic of the tropical climate.
In addition, Atelier Ten have developed sustainable management matrices to establish agreed principles of design and construction to exceed benchmarks establish by LEED™, Singapore’s BCA Green Mark scheme and One Planet Living approaches.