current projects

Beijing Hui Long Guan

Shenzhen Wonderland

past projects

Star Garden Site Design

Beijing 12 x 12

Beijing Star Garden Initial

Beijing Star Garden Final


The Sustainable Urban Housing in China Group has participated in projects in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Beijing Hui Long Guan

Initiated: May 2000
Partners: Tian Hong Development Company and Tsinghua University



Shenzhen Wonderland Phase IV

Initiated: October 2000
Completed: Schematic Design July 2000 - Construction to begin Spring 2001
Partners: Vanke Architecture Technology Research Center

Goals: The goal has been to create a unique living environment appropriate to a diverse community. This is achieved by juxtaposing apartments of different sizes and qualities within the same apartment building. This strategy serves to promote a satisfactory balance of factors such as privacy and comfort. With respect to sustainable design issues, specific attention has been paid to directional differences within the building composition. The south and north sides are more interchangeable with respect to natural ventilation issues. Also of special consideration has been the relationship between courtyard and non-courtyard sides of the buildings where a coupling of unit pairs fosters a sense of both a front and backyard. The second major effort of the proposal seeks to address issues of sustainability at the urban scale. With a larger ground floor footprint and an increased building surface area achieved by staggering the plans, exposure to the outdoors for each unit is increased. A central goal is to increase opportunities for interaction with natural exterior conditions. This relationship is mediated through the implementation of small, intimate courtyards.
Findings: In Shenzhen, we prioritized cooling strategies, specifically shading and building orientation, due to the weather conditions. This proposal provides a number of strategies for reducing energy consumption. Like many of the buildings in the master plan, our buildings are oriented to provide high levels of north-south exposure in order to maximize shading concerns. This orientation increases the amount of solar gain in the winter, and the high sun angle in the summer requires only slight overhangs to counteract the hot summer sun. Along the east and west axis, the edges are perforated, so as to allow for natural airflow ventilation from the east and to decrease exposure from the intense afternoon sun from the west. Despite the north-south orientation, we have also allowed for some east-west exposure by staggering individual units, affording instances of localized shading and cross-ventilation.
Accomplishments: We have developed a very positive relationship with Vanke Shenzhen. The final design scheme was presented in July 2000 and Vanke architects will work to complete the design development and construction document phases. We hope also to take an active role in these stages. Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2001.
Planned accomplishments: A very important aspect of this project involves the relationship of MIT with the Wonderland Development after construction. Current plans allow for MIT to perform post-occupancy evaluation to measure occupant satisfaction, energy performance, and actual vs. predicted values for lighting, ventilation, and energy statistics. In addition, Vanke members have expressed interest in learning the technological tools MIT has used in the project. We have scheduled a training session in China for the summer of 2001.


Beijing Duoshi Gardens - 12 x 24 prototype

Initiated: Fall 1998

Goals: to design a modular housing system to be used in a low-rise, medium density setting Summary: The Beijing 12 x 24 project is a prototype design on the Duoshi Gardens site of Beijing. Designed for a low-rise, medium density neighborhood, each floor is composed of two 12 x 24 m2 apartments. The design prioritizes natural ventilation through the apartments as each unit has three exposed elevations. Fenestrations on eastern and western facades are minimized to reduce heat gain in the summer. Findings:


Shanghai Taidong Residential Quarter

Initiated: Fall 1999 Completed: May 2000
Partners: Tongji University and Shanghai Housing Development Co.

Goals: The design began as a workshop project during the fall 1999 semester. Three students submitted designs that were presented to the developer in the fall of 2000. One scheme was selected, and then developed in the semester that followed. In this investigation, the quality of air, was an Findings: Natural ventilation is
Accomplishments: This project explored deeply the issues of indoor air quality and detailed ventilation studies. Through our technical studies, we were able to change the design from a two-building development to three, promoting a better environmental site plan.


Beijing Star Garden Architectural Design

Initiated: June 1999
Completed: February 2000
Partners: We worked very closely with Tsinghua University on this project, establishing contact via emails and weekly phone conferences.

Goals: MIT and Tsinghua's task was to design four 30+story towers on the Asian Games site. The primary design goals were to examine site level design, promote good ventilation for each building, and to understand the 'microclimate' created at lower zone of all buildings. To minimize circulation while promoting natural ventilation, a circulation scheme was implemented that consisted of a skip-stop elevator service that stops every 3 floors, thus creating a mix of duplex and single-story apartments. Reduced capital and maintenance costs as well as the creation of staggered social spaces were some other benefits of this 3-story cluster system. Each cluster is comprised of sixteen units, has one double-height social space, and shares one elevator landing and circulation corridor. Functions for the double-height atrium space could be sky-lobbies, places for children to play, and landscaped terraced gardens. To minimize heat loss in the winter due to northern winds, service functions such as bathrooms, stairs, and elevator cores are placed to the north.
Findings: In response to the climate conditions in Beijing, the following recommendations were made. In winter months, it is important to protect from the cold winter winds, while letting the winter sun in. In the spring and fall months, it is possible to take advantage of natural ventilation and decrease the need for dehumidification. In the summer months, in order to keep the temperature down, it is essential to protect from the summer sun and minimizing solar gains. Due to climate conditions, the siting of the building had to maximize southern exposure and minimize northern exposure.


Beijing Site Design

Initiated: Fall 1998
Completed: Fall 1998
Partners: Tsinghua University

Goals: Site Design influenced by natural ventilation
Planned Accomplishments:


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Last modified on December 13, 2000 by
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