Kian Wee Chen

Kian Wee Chen
Princeton University | PU · Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

PhD

About

38
Publications
28,747
Reads
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350
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Princeton University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2018 - September 2018
National University of Singapore
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2015 - March 2018
Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (38)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a ‘skeletal’ parametric schema to generate residential building layout configurations for performance-based design optimization. The schema generates residential building layout configurations using a set of ‘skeletal’ lines that are created based on various design elements and coincident with factors such as walkways, spacing,...
Article
Radiant cooling-assisted natural ventilation is an innovative technical approach that combines new radiant cooling technology with natural ventilation to increase fresh air delivery into buildings year-round with minimal energy cost and improves air quality. Currently, the standard paradigm for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) is ba...
Article
Full-text available
This research proposes the use of membrane-assisted radiant panels to improve the thermal comfort of naturally ventilated spaces in hot and humid climates. These radiant panels are capable of conditioning naturally ventilated spaces, which is impractical with conventional mechanical cooling systems. For conventional systems, a permeable envelope wi...
Article
This research proposes the use of membrane-assisted radiant panels to improve the thermal comfort of naturally ventilated spaces in hot and humid climates. These radiant panels are capable of conditioning naturally ventilated spaces, which is impractical with conventional mechanical cooling systems. For conventional systems, a permeable envelope wi...
Article
Full-text available
We present results of a radiant cooling system that made the hot and humid tropical climate of Singapore feel cool and comfortable. Thermal radiation exchange between occupants and surfaces in the built environment can augment thermal comfort. The lack of widespread commercial adoption of radiant-cooling technologies is due to two widely held views...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an evolutionary design toolkit for performance-based building massing design optimisation (food4rhino.com/node/2974). The toolkit is aimed to assist architects in exploring a wide range of building massing design alternatives guided by various performance objectives, thereby encouraging architects to incorporate evolutionary des...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using performance-based optimization to explore unknown design solutions space has become widely acknowledged and considered an efficient approach to designing high-performing buildings. However, the lack of design diversity in the design space defined by the parametric model often confines the search of the optimization process to a family of simi...
Article
Full-text available
In this research we have developed a 3D city model of Princeton University campus for the Campus as Lab (CAL) program using openly available 3D data. The sources include the official open data portal from the United States Geological Survey, OpenStreetMap and Google Maps. The 3D city model is used as a tool for visualizing and analyzing multidiscip...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we present results from a world-first radiant cooling pavilion, demonstrating a method of cooling people without cooling the air. Instead, surfaces are chilled and thermal radiation is used to keep people cool. A thermally-transparent membrane is used to prevent unwanted air cooling and condensation, a required precursor to deploying...
Preprint
In this paper, we present results from a world-first radiant cooling pavilion, demonstrating a method of cooling people without cooling the air. Instead, surfaces are chilled and thermal radiation is used to keep people cool. A thermally-transparent membrane is used to prevent unwanted air cooling and condensation, a required precursor to deploying...
Article
Full-text available
For thermal comfort research, globe thermometers have become the de facto tool for mean radiant temperature, tr, measurement. They provide a quick means to survey the radiant environment in a space with nearly a century of trials to reassure researchers. However, as more complexity is introduced to built environments, we must reassess the accuracy...
Article
Full-text available
For sustainable building design, performance-based optimization incorporating parametric modelling and evolutionary optimization can allow architects to leverage building massing design to improve energy performance. However, two key challenges make such applications of performance-based optimization difficult in practice. First, due to the paramet...
Article
Full-text available
Air conditioning demand is projected to increase rapidly over the next 50 years, particularly in already hot and humid climates. Radiant cooling can be an energy efficient strategy to mitigate comfort energy demand with high air temperatures, thereby reducing both sensible and latent loads in spaces. We have built an outdoor radiant cooling pavilio...
Article
Full-text available
In a conventional indoor environment, thermal comfort is supplied by an air based distribution system. This system is controlled by an air temperature (and occasionally humidity) sensor, and the role of radiation in thermal comfort is often overlooked. In a typical indoor environment, slightly less than half of the heat occupants shed to maintain t...
Preprint
Full-text available
For thermal comfort research, globe thermometers have become the de facto tool for mean radiant temperature, tr, measure- ment. They provide a quick means to survey the radiant environment in a space with nearly a century of trials to reassure researchers. However, as more complexity is introduced to built environments, particularly with radiant he...
Article
Full-text available
Current estimations of the carbon stored by urban trees are usually based on allometric models developed for natural forests. However, urban trees grow in different conditions, and their architecture might differ, thus models developed specially for urban trees are needed. With the aim of improving estimations of carbon storage and sequestration in...
Article
Full-text available
This research introduces a workflow based on a prototype tool that automatically encodes a massing design for exploration using a genetic algorithm. The workflow has been customised for an architecture class attended by computational design novices. It streamlines the process of running an algorithm-assisted design exploration, where students only...
Article
Full-text available
This research integrates cooling systems as a variable in the multi-objective optimisation of building form and envelope design in the early design stages. The integration is achieved by 1) using a simplified calculation that requires minimal form, envelope and systems data for calculating the energy consumption of the cooling systems, and 2) optim...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Urban design optimisation is a powerful method for the exploration of multiple designs. In performing an urban design optimisation, we need to link and automatically execute multiple domain-specific applications, a technically complicated setup. Current solutions resolve the technical obstacle by embedding the applications within a single Computer-...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce five performance indicators to facilitate the comparison of urban massing design in the early design stages. The five simple indicators are based on existing studies and cover three main performance areas that are sensitive to urban form changes: solar, ventilation, and connectivity potentials. The first three indicators—the non-solar...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a workflow to automatically generate semantic 3D city models from conceptual massing models. In the workflow, the massing design is exported as a Collada file. The auto-conversion method, implemented as a Python library, identifies city objects by analysing the relationships between the geometries in the Collada file. For example, if the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present an auto-parameterisation tool, implemented in Python, that takes in a semantic model, in CityGML format, and outputs a parametric model. The parametric model is then used for design optimisation of solar availability and urban ventilation potential. We demonstrate the tool by parameterising a CityGML model regarding building height, orie...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Urban designers gather and interpret data in the early design stages for two purposes: first, to study similar projects as precedents; and second, to better understand existing site conditions. Interpretation includes the running of environmental analysis on the collected data. The results of the analysis are used as references for a performance-ba...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In early stages of architectural design, highly simplified minimal models are often preferred while in the later stages maximal Building Information Models (BIM) are required that include the relevant information for detailed design documentation. This research focuses on the transition from minimal to maximal models and proposes a semi-automated w...
Article
Full-text available
As the world adapts to dual trends of climate change and urbanization, tall office buildings in hot and humid climate zones near the equator are among the prime candidates for a significant change in design approach. Though many individualized improvements to operating systems, envelopes and material selections have been introduced in recent years,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In order to support exploration in the early stages of the design process, researchers have proposed the use of population-based multi-objective optimisation algorithms. This paper focuses on analysing the resulting population of design variants in order to gain insights into the relationship between architectural features and design performance. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evolutionary algorithms have popularly been used for the past ten years in building performance optimisation. This paper will present the use of multi-objective ant colony algorithm as a possible alternative to multi-objective evolutionary algorithm. The multi-objective optimisation of a semi-transparent building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) faca...
Article
Full-text available
We present the design, construction and operation of a novel building systems laboratory, the BubbleZERO—Zero Emission Research Operation. Our objective was to design a space to evaluate the performance of Swiss-developed low exergy building systems in the tropical climate of Singapore using an integrated design approach. The method we employed for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper proposes the use of a scientific workflow system to facilitate the implementation of a performance driven design process. The use of a scientific workflow system would enable the architect to customise and automate his/her own workflow for each project. Through this the architect will be able to manipulate the data generated from a perfo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evolutionary developmental design (Evo-Devo-Design) is a design method that combines complex developmental techniques with an evolutionary optimisation techniques. In order to use such methods, the problem specific developmental and evaluation procedures typically need to be define using some kind of textual programming language. This paper reports...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper proposes a digitally enhanced type of performance driven design method. In order to demonstrate this method, a design environment is presented that links the SideFx Houdini modelling and animation program to the Radiance and EnergyPlus simulation programs. This environment allows designers to explore large numbers of design variants usin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Visual programming languages enable users to create computer programs by manipulating graphical elements rather than by entering text. The difference between textual languages and visual languages is that most textual languages use a procedural programming model, while most visual languages use a dataflow programming model. When visual programming...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The aim of this project is to develop a computer-aided design approach for integrating building performance optimisation into concept architectural design exploration, by providing a more integrated building massing design generation and optimisation system that can produce site-specific and task-specific high-performing design solutions while with minimal interruption to architects' design processes. The system can help architects carry out performance-based design optimisation or optimisation-based design exploration in real-world design scenarios. In order to do so, the system enables architects to perform computational optimisation for performance-based building massing design without parametric modelling by providing two pre-defined building massing generative models (subtractive/additive models). In addition, the system also provides a hybrid evolutionary algorithm, named SSIEA, with enhancing design information feedback.
Archived project
The building sector places one of the heaviest, and increasingly unsustainable, burdens on the world’s energy resources and natural environment. The problems of climate change and finite stocks of fossil fuels will cause severe conflicts in the coming decades if there is no change in the technologies used to construct and run buildings. The supply of energy itself is not a problem because solar radiation exceeds the power requirements of human society by factors of more than 100 at every site of human population. Rather, current technologies inhibit our ability to capture and utilise available renewable energy without negative side effects. The Low Exergy (LowEx) module proposes, as a consequence, that fundamental changes and innovations are necessary in the way we consider buildings and the flows of energy that they embody. This implies a rethinking of the way in which buildings are designed, constructed, operated, maintained, renovated and, if necessary, demolished. The module is focused on expanding the available range of solutions that can counter the current unsustainable demand that the built environment places on global energy resources. It does so at theoretical, methodological and empirical levels.
Project
Developing an open python library to support the rapid development of bespoke design workflows. For example, the library can be used to rapidly prototype design optimisation workflows for urban design according to the project requirements. The library is workflow agnostic that readily integrates into the designer’s existing workflow. https://github.com/chenkianwee/py4design