Passive design is main feature of cinema redevelopment


The regeneration of an iconic entertainment centre in Singapore features an innovative passive design approach created to reduce future energy bills and achieve the highest possible ‘green’ rating.


Web Earth brought all of its sustainable building design expertise to the redevelopment project at the Empress Cinema site in the Clementi district.

That included detailed energy modelling for lifecycle cost assessment to help the developer get highest returns possible.


The practice also carried out solar studies to optimise façade design and reduce the cost of the glazing system.


And it produced a detailed shading analysis of surrounding buildings to future proof the solar PV installation on the roof of the new building.


The Empress Square project created a large-scale multiplex cinema that includes a vibrant, new shopping mall on the site.


To reduce the energy needed to keep the glass-fronted mall cool, the multiplex has been created and extruded on top of it – and has been designed to provide vital shade to the shops and leisure facilities below.


The building has been designed by international award-winning architects Aedas for Eng Wah Global, a Singaporean company that spans entertainment, properties, hospitality, and lifestyle in Singapore and Malaysia.


The 321 Clemeti development has also received BCA’s Green Mark platinum award, which is the highest certification for sustainable buildings in Singapore.


Web Earth’s sustainable engineering expertise means that the project demonstrates high levels of passive design and energy efficiency.


The impressive redevelopment spans 8,000 sq metres and includes a 10-screen cinema.


Richard Outhwaite, director of Web Earth, explained the practice’s involvement in the development process.


He said: “The 321 Clementi project replaces the smaller single storey Empress cinema that was on the site and has been a well-known place of entertainment in Singapore. It has created a striking new modern mixed-used development.


“Our team has been involved from almost the start of the project in the implementation of ideas and concepts aiming to increase the energy efficiency of the new building.


“Sustainability has been at the heart of all the work and the solutions that we produced for the architects and developer.


“We looked at the cinema and how that building’s shape and form can reduce the exposure of the shopping mall below to the sun.


“The cinema component acts as a giant sunshade, minimising the amount of direct sunlight shining of the glass façade below.


“That helps make the building cooler and also means less energy is needed to power air conditioning.


“Empress Square highlights how strong, innovative sustainable design – and the way a building is organised - can make a real difference, both to the environment and economically.”

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