Passive Cooling Strategy in Designing Public Assembly Building

Passive cooling strategy is a key element of sustainable building. Its optimum performance and potential benefit can be realized with careful and meticulous design. As a design option for public assembly spaces, however, passive cooling strategy is seldom given a fair consideration as compared to the mechanical cooling approach, especially in the tropical climate where high humidity prevails. This paper presents an extensive study on the technological aspects of vernacular architecture in Malaysia, particularly on the efficiencies and limitations of the passive house design, in order to explore the workable sustainable architecture prototype for public assembly spaces in the tropical climate. With the lessons learnt from the vernacular architecture, the design typology for a Taoist Academic Centre (TAC) was proposed. By adopting an integrated environmental design approach which involved performance analysis through computational studies, the design scheme was tested and modified to achieve the optimum spatial and environmental outcome. Ultimately, the paper aims to demonstrate that modern tropical architecture prototype is possible to be developed from vernacular architecture, and the proposed prototype will not only respond well to the local climates, but is able to accommodate different cultural contents.