Passive design in tropical climates: Key strategies implemented in a French certified sustainable neighbourhood

Abstract : Sustainability has become an increasingly important element to be considered at all levels, from the building to the urban planning development of communities and cities. It is expected that 60% of the world population will live in the tropical belt by 2030 with a huge increase of CO2 emissions in those areas. Passive design approaches thus play an important role in the development of sustainable and resilient neighbourhoods and buildings, especially to reduce the cooling needs and to improve thermal comfort conditions. This paper presents two residential buildings, a newly built apartment building and a retrofitted one that are located in the neighbourhood of 'Ravine Blanche', in the city of Saint-Pierre, in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Ravine Blanche has been awarded the French sustainable neighbourhood certification in the tropics. This existing neighbourhood is part of an urban renewal program that includes the retrofitting of existing buildings as well as the development of new building projects with regard to the different and complex climate sensitive design in the tropics. The paper will present the awarded neighbourhood and the two buildings. Then the different passive strategies that have been implemented so as to cool the buildings and to minimize the solar radiation will be presented. Different design tools have been used in order to choose the optimal passive features for each case study towards a common main goal, which is to favour natural ventilation and reduce solar heat gain. A large-scale field study is going to be conducted this year in order to assess the thermal comfort conditions linking both inside and outside areas.
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Virginie Grosdemouge, François Garde. Passive design in tropical climates: Key strategies implemented in a French certified sustainable neighbourhood. PLEA 2016 Cities, Buildings, People: Towards Regenerative Environments, Jul 2016, Los Angeles, United States. ⟨hal-01739644⟩

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