High comfort and low energy consumption communities have become an
important topic for community planning & design in China. Considering the special
situation in China, the meaning of high comfort and low energy consumption
communities lies in three aspects: making utmost use of natural climatic conditions,
providing enjoyable indoor and outdoor living environments in circumstances of
high-rise and high-density development, and holistic design of adjacent dwelling
units to provide utmost flexibility. This paper uses design proposals for two real
projects in two different cities in China - one in Yixing in South China and another
one in Harbin in north China - as examples of how to design high comfort and low
energy consumption communities by following local climatological factors and by
respecting occupants’ needs in the long run. This paper shows that such
communities can be planned in two steps, with special attention to the local climate.
First, climatically responsive site planning determines building layout, height of each
part, and also the design of open spaces. Second, detailed planning & design
addresses the disadvantages of the site, improving space quality. Following local
climatological conditions is also one of the key issues in housing design for high
comfort & low energy consumption communities. In the housing design of the Harbin
project, besides consideration to climate, special attention was also given to
flexible/variable dwelling unit design according to occupants’ long-term needs. The
“1+1 mode” is put forward to provide utmost flexibility for families with 3 generations
for their current and future lives.
Keywords: High comfort and low energy consumption community, climate,
occupants’ long-term needs, 1+1 mode
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