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Location : 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289
Year : 2013
Architect : WOHA
Developer : Pan Pacific Hotel Groups Limited
Project type : Commercial, Hospitality, Mixed-use, Offices
Area : 29,811 sqm

The hotel has been awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum award, the highest rating for green buildings
in Singapore for its sustainable design. It is also the recipient of the Solar Pioneer Award as one of the
first in the hospitality sector to introduce solar-powered sky-gardens with solar cells that power
landscape lighting.
Designed as a hotel and office in a garden, the project at Upper Pickering Street is a study of how we can
not only conserve our greenery in a built-up high-rise city centre but multiply it in a manner that is
architecturally striking, integrated and sustainable.
The building hosts two buildings of different functions. The East wing houses PARKROYAL on Pickering,
and the North West wing houses the Attorney Generals Chambers office.
A contoured podium, referred to as topographical architecture, is mimicked from terraced plantations
(Figure 1). It is sculpted to form dramatic outdoor plazas, gardens and terraces which flow seamlessly
into the interiors. The crisp and streamlined tower blocks harmonize with surrounding high-rise office
buildings. The snaking bands of fluted concrete weave through the length and breadth of the podium
without interruption, and without acknowledgment of the boundaries between exterior and interior
(Figure 2)
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Figure 1: Topographical architecture of building.
[Taken by: Wong Yoke Lin]

Figure 2: Topographical architecture weaving through the interior from the exterior and vice versa.

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BCA Green Mark Platinum Award (Awarded 2012)
Solar Pioneer Award (Awarded 2011)

Extensive/vertical greenery
More than 200 percent of the total land area is constituted by sky gardens and lush landscaping. A
massive sky garden with water features is cantilevered at every fourth level between the blocks of guest
rooms (Figure 3). Greenery from the adjoining park is drawn up the building in the form of lushly planted
openings, crevasses, gullies and waterfalls, which also conceal above ground car park (Figure 4), thus
making the hotel appear as one continuous sweep of urban parkland. The interior of the building also
features greenery, whereby green walls are placed in areas such as the lobby (Figure 5a) and the
separation gap between hotel rooms (Figure 5b).

Figure 3: Sky gardens cantilevering at every fourth level.

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Figure 4: Greenery covering the car park along the outside of the building.
[Taken by: Dexter Ng You Sheng]

Figure 5a: Green wall at lobby. Figure 5b: Green wall at separation gaps.
[Taken by: Dexter Ng You Sheng]
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Rainwater harvesting
A rainwater harvesting system is implemented in the building. The sky gardens also serve as water
catchments and are zero energy - irrigated by rainwater harvesting, with a gravity-fed drip system
(Figure 7) powered by solar energy from photovoltaic cells on the roof.
Harvested rainwater is used throughout the buildings water features (Figure 6). One of the uses of the
harvested rainwater is for the watering of plants within the building. The buildings interior walls are
comprised partially of green walls. The plants on the green walls are grown on soil bedding held
together by wire mesh (Figure 7).
Small tubes are connected to these wire mesh frames to provide a plant-watering system whereby
droplets of water will be released onto the soil from time to time to keep the plants well hydrated in the
air-conditioned environment (Figure 7).

Figure 6: Water feature at lobby that use harvested rainwater.
[Taken by: Wong Yoke Lin]
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Figure 7: Plants and soil held by wire mesh, watered by small tube with gravity-fed drip system.
[Taken by: Dexter Ng You Sheng]

Extensive use of natural light
The E-plan of the building makes the surface area of the building larger, therefore more sunlight is
brought into the building due to the different angles that light can penetrate from. Large windows and
floor-to-ceiling glass walls are used to maximize the natural light coming into the building. Skylights are
also placed at each sky garden to bring sunlight down to the lower levels (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Skylight at cantilevered sky gardens.
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The sky gardens that cantilever out provide partial sun-shading for the building (Figure 3 & 9). Refer
passive design elements for further elaboration.

Figure 9: Partial sun-shading.
Natural ventilation
The external corridors at every floor are opened up on the side facing the adjacent building. Instead of
using a wall, the plants along the sides act as a boundary. This provides plenty of natural ventilation
(Figure 10).

Figure 10: Corridor with natural ventilation.

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Renewable energy
Photovoltaic cells/solar panels are placed on the roof to make full use of the available energy sources.
Sunlight is converted into electrical energy and powers reticulation systems and softscape lighting of the
whole building.

Cobiaz construction technology
This technology lowers concrete usage and carbon emissions, enhancing the building envelopes thermal
performance, lighting power density and overall energy efficiency.
Green Leases for both office tenants and hotel operators
A lease between a landlord and tenant of a commercial building which provides obligations on both
parties to minimize adverse environmental impact in areas such as energy, water and waste.
Dual refuse chutes separating recyclable from non-recyclable waste
Recycle bins that differentiates the recyclable and non-recyclable rubbish are placed in every room for
the guest to dispose of their rubbish with an environmental conscious mind.
Water efficient fittings
Each of the bathroom in the guestrooms have water efficient fittings to save the usage of water. The
amount of water disperse can be controlled, thus saving quite a huge sum annually.
Automatic sensors to regulate energy and water usage
Automatic sensors are installed to not only to regulate the amount of water used, but also regulating
the energy used in the building.
Use of energy efficient LED and T5 type fluorescent lamps
T5 type fluorescent lamps have high efficiency and high output, it helps to save energy and is long life.
Energy efficient LED and T5 type fluorescent lamps are used throughout the building to save energy as
well as the cost of electricity.
High efficiency air-conditioning system
The hotel uses high efficiency air-conditioning system in parts of the hotel where it is necessary. The use
of this high efficiency air-conditioning system not only saves the energy and electricity, it also saves
quite a sum on the bills as air-cons are auto-regulated.

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Figure 11: Location map
Located in central Singapore, the site is at a junction between the Central Business District and the
districts of Chinatown and Clarke Quay, and faces Hong Lim Park (Figure 11).

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Section A-A
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Climate Data

Chart 1
Chart 1 shows the climate summary of Singapore during the year 2011. The temperature in Singapore is
quite constant as it does not have a rapid change in temperature. The maximum temperature recorded is
34 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature is 22 degree Celsius. However, the average temperature
in Singapore is around 27 degree Celsius which is close to the comfort temperature according to
Malaysian Standard 1525.

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Relative Humidity

Chart 2
Chart 2 states average relative humidity of Singapore during the year 2011. According to the statistic, the
highest humidity recorded is above 50km/h which stands 75% of the average relative humidity, and it only
takes place at the South-West direction. On the other hand, the lowest humidity recorded is below
10km/h which took up 95% of the average relative humidity for all directions. Due to the tropical climate
of Singapore, the average relative humidity is in between 45% to 95%, and it did not go below 45%
according to the chart above.

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Wind Studies

Chart 3
The chart 3 above shows the wind frequency of Singapore from the 1
of January to the 31
December 2011. According to the chart, the highest wind frequency happens in all directions which are
less than 38 hours; the lowest wind frequency happens at the North direction which is more than 381
hours. It can be concluded that the wind frequency is the highest at the North-East direction and lowest
at the South-West direction. Therefore, the architect of Park Royal hotel designed the building facing
North-East fin order to have maximum air ventilation. The architect also designs the walkway to the
hotel rooms to be open in order to enjoy natural air ventilation.

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APRIL 0900

Figure 11
Figure 11 shows the sun path on 2
of April 0900. During that time, 50% of the highest floor
facing North-East is shaded and the floors below the 14
floor facing North-East side are20%
shaded. The north facing side of the building is 75% shaded due to the sun path.

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APRIL 1200

Figure 12
Figure 12 shows the sun path on 2
of April 1200. During that time, the north facing side of the
building is completely shaded.

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APRIL 1600

Figure 13
Figure 13 shows the sun path on 2
of April 1600. During that time, 100% of all floors facing
North-East are completely exposed to sunlight. The hotel has minimal shaded surfaces during
that time.

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JUNE 0900

Figure 14
Figure 14 shows the sun path on 21st of June 0900. During that time, 95% of the building
surfaces facing north are completely shaded and 40% of the surfaces facing North-East are

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JUNE 1200

Figure 15
Figure 15 shows the sun path on 21
of June 1200. During that time, 97% of all floors facing
north are completely shaded and the surfaces facing North-East is 25% shaded.

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JUNE 1600

Figure 16
Figure 16 shows the sun path on 21
of June 1600. During that time, 100% of the surfaces
facing North-East is expose to sunlight, and 98% of the surfaces facing the north side is exposed
to sunlight.

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These sun path diagrams can be concluded that the total surface area shaded in June is higher
than in April. Due to the expose of sunlight towards the building on the North-East side, the
architect designed the building such that the open air walkways of the hotel rooms are
indented and are blocked by the 3 extruded parts of the building. During 1600, the surface of
the building facing North-East is 100% expose to sunlight. To overcome this problem, extended
garden is design at the North-East side of the building to provide extra shades to the building.

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2 Main Passive Design Features
a) Ventilation
- Naturally Ventilated corridors
Corridors are open and ventilated where the hotel rooms are, to promote natural ventilation.
Building is constantly ventilated, does not require much energy on air-conditioning system at
the open hallways and corridors.

Figure 17
[Source: ]
The front facade of the building and the roof gardens are facing north. It is prevailing in the direction of
the wind. The hotel is designed in a way such that its orientation is to receive more wind ventilation
throughout the building.

Figure 18
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Diagram 1
Plan view of hotel with direction of air ventilation
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Section A-A
Diagram 2
Showing the wind ventilation in the section of the hotel building.
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- Open roof/ Sky garden
The swimming pool at level 5 has an open roof concept. This is to promote natural ventilation
along the whole floor. No air-conditioning is used on the whole floor and this saves quite a lot
of electricity as a whole annually.

Figure 19: The open roof swimming pool/Jacuzzi
[Taken by: Dexter Ng You Sheng]

Figure 20: The open roof swimming deck where guest will be able to enjoy the night view of the city,
Hong Lim Park.
[Taken by: Dexter Ng You Sheng]
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Park royal has an open roof sky garden. The function of the sky garden is as a lounge that serves
drinks to the guest. It fully depends on natural ventilation of the building. Wind mainly blows
from the north, but there are wind blowing from all directions. It keeps the sky garden cool and
ventilated. The sky roof garden itself saves a large amount of sum annually.

Figure 21

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b) Sun shading
Park royal on Pickering has also a natural passive design feature that shades the building from
the sun. Not only does the building have features that shade some part of itself from the sun,
the neighboring context also plays a vital role in sun-shading.
As shade is cast at an urban level, by SOMs One George Street in the morning and by public
housing blocks in the afternoon, sunscreens are unnecessary on the facade, which is plainly
rendered in a dark reflective glass intended to fade into the sky.
By itself, Park royal has also features of sun-shading. It has managed to include the use of
- Extensive greenery and natural lighting into the overall design of the hotel.
The greeneries that are found on the floors of the hotel are for sun shading purposes. It
helps to block some of the sunlight that penetrates to the walkway to the hotel rooms.
These would make the walkways bright yet sun-shaded.

The greeneries helps to absorb the sunlight and provides more oxygen along the
walkway for the guest of the hotel. A cooler walkway is achieved by planting the
greeneries along the walkway corridor.

Sketch 1.1
A sketch of the extensive
greeneries used by the hotel
for sun-shading purposes
Sketch 1.2
A sketch of the exterior
corridor of the hotel park
royal on the ground floor.
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- Park royal uses double glazed low-E glass.
Glass used in double glazing window for thermal insulation is known as Low E, or low-
emissivity glass. It has a transparent metallic coating that works in two ways to
economize heating energy. The dual action coating reflects heat back into the room,
whilst allowing heat and light from the sun (known as passive solar heat gain) to pass

Diagram 3
The position where the sun shines upon, and the position where low-E glass are being used.
Figure 22
The natural greeneries
along sideways also serves
to give shade to the
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The reason low-E glass are used on both sides of the east and west side is to lower the heat gain in the
interior but also keeping the view of the exterior surrounding context. The low-E glass functions to
reduce the heat from penetrating in from the exterior.

Section of a low-E glass and how does it work

Figure 23
The low-E glass not only reduced the heat captured in the interior of the building, it is also relatively
light and transparent, giving a sense of airy-ness to the building.

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Summary Chart
Below is a summary of the passive design features used in the building mentioned, Park Royal
on Pickering, Singapore. The following design strategy has been used by the building to aid in
the passive design aspect (sun-shading and ventilation) of the building.

No. Building Science Aspect Design Strategy
1. Sun shading Extensive greenery and natural lighting
Double glazed low-E glass
2. Ventilation Open roof/ Sky garden
Naturally Ventilated corridors

Diagram 4
The area of passive design features used in the building.

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Architects Journal, 2013. Green Giant: ParkRoyal by WOHA. [online] Available at: [Accessed
5 May 2014]
Better Buildings Partnership, NA. Green Leases. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2014]
Building & Construction Authority, 2013. BCA GREEN MARK PLATINUM BUILDINGS (SINGAPORE).
[online] Available at: [Accessed 5
May 2014]
Inhabitat, 2014. Tour the PARKROYAL Hotel Singapore's Surreal Sky Gardens and Greenery-Wrapped
Towers. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 5 May 2014].
Lion in the Wild, 2014. ParkRoyal on Pickering. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2014]
PUB, Singapores National Water Agency, 2010. NEWater. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2014].