S. Thomas Ng

Publications

2 Applicability of Overhangs for Energy Saving in Existing High-Rise Housing in Different Climates

Authors: Qiong He, S. Thomas Ng

Abstract:

Upgrading the thermal performance of building envelope of existing residential buildings is an effective way to reduce heat gain or heat loss. Overhang device is a common solution for building envelope improvement as it can cut down solar heat gain and thereby can reduce the energy used for space cooling in summer time. Despite that, overhang can increase the demand for indoor heating in winter due to its function of lowering the solar heat gain. Obviously, overhang has different impacts on energy use in different climatic zones which have different energy demand. To evaluate the impact of overhang device on building energy performance under different climates of China, an energy analysis model is built up in a computer-based simulation program known as DesignBuilder based on the data of a typical high-rise residential building. The energy simulation results show that single overhang is able to cut down around 5% of the energy consumption of the case building in the stand-alone situation or about 2% when the building is surrounded by other buildings in regions which predominantly rely on space cooling though it has no contribution to energy reduction in cold region. In regions with cold summer and cold winter, adding overhang over windows can cut down around 4% and 1.8% energy use with and without adjoining buildings, respectively. The results indicate that overhang might not an effective shading device to reduce the energy consumption in the mixed climate or cold regions.

Keywords: Climate, Energy Analysis, high-rise residential building, overhang, computer-based simulation, mutual shading

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1 Life Cycle Assessment of Precast Concrete Units

Authors: Ya Hong Dong, Conrad T.C. Wong, S. Thomas Ng, James M.W. Wong

Abstract:

Precast concrete has been widely adopted in public housing construction of Hong Kong since the mid-1980s. While pre-casting is considered an environmental friendly solution, there is lack of study to investigate the life cycle performance of precast concrete units. This study aims to bridge the knowledge gap by providing a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) study for two precast elements namely façade and bathroom. The results show that raw material is the most significant contributor of environmental impact accounting for about 90% to the total impact. Furthermore, human health is more affected by the production of precast concrete than the ecosystems.

Keywords: Environment, Green, LCA, precast, LCIA

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Abstracts

3 Investigation and Analysis of Residential Building Energy End-Use Profile in Hot and Humid Area with Reference to Zhuhai City in China

Authors: S. Thomas Ng, Qingqing Feng, Frank Xu

Abstract:

Energy consumption in domestic sector has been increasing rapidly in China all along these years. Confronted with environmental challenges, the international society has made a concerted effort by setting the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the New Urban Agenda. Thus it’s very important for China to put forward reasonable countermeasures to boost building energy conservation which necessitates looking into the actuality of residential energy end-use profile and its influence factors. In this study, questionnaire surveys have been conducted in Zhuhai city in China, a typical city in hot summer warm winter climate zone. The data solicited mainly include the occupancy schedule, building’s information, residents’ information, household energy uses, the type, quantity and use patterns of appliances and occupants’ satisfaction. Over 200 valid samples have been collected through face-to-face interviews. Descriptive analysis, clustering analysis, correlation analysis and sensitivity analysis were then conducted on the dataset to understand the energy end-use profile. The findings identify: 1) several typical clusters of occupancy patterns and appliances utilization patterns; 2) the top three sensitive factors influencing energy consumption; 3) the correlations between satisfaction and energy consumption. For China with many different climates zones, it’s difficult to find a silver bullet on energy conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical basis for multi-stakeholders including policy makers, residents, and academic communities to formulate reasonable energy saving blueprints for hot and humid urban residential buildings in China.

Keywords: Sustainability, Residential Building, questionnaire survey, energy end-use profile

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2 Developing a Maturity Model of Digital Twin Application for Infrastructure Asset Management

Authors: S. Thomas Ng, Qingqing Feng, Frank J. Xu, Jiduo Xing

Abstract:

Faced with unprecedented challenges including aging assets, lack of maintenance budget, overtaxed and inefficient usage, and outcry for better service quality from the society, today’s infrastructure systems has become the main focus of many metropolises to pursue sustainable urban development and improve resilience. Digital twin, being one of the most innovative enabling technologies nowadays, may open up new ways for tackling various infrastructure asset management (IAM) problems. Digital twin application for IAM, as its name indicated, represents an evolving digital model of intended infrastructure that possesses functions including real-time monitoring; what-if events simulation; and scheduling, maintenance, and management optimization based on technologies like IoT, big data and AI. Up to now, there are already vast quantities of global initiatives of digital twin applications like 'Virtual Singapore' and 'Digital Built Britain'. With digital twin technology permeating the IAM field progressively, it is necessary to consider the maturity of the application and how those institutional or industrial digital twin application processes will evolve in future. In order to deal with the gap of lacking such kind of benchmark, a draft maturity model is developed for digital twin application in the IAM field. Firstly, an overview of current smart cities maturity models is given, based on which the draft Maturity Model of Digital Twin Application for Infrastructure Asset Management (MM-DTIAM) is developed for multi-stakeholders to evaluate and derive informed decision. The process of development follows a systematic approach with four major procedures, namely scoping, designing, populating and testing. Through in-depth literature review, interview and focus group meeting, the key domain areas are populated, defined and iteratively tuned. Finally, the case study of several digital twin projects is conducted for self-verification. The findings of the research reveal that: (i) the developed maturity model outlines five maturing levels leading to an optimised digital twin application from the aspects of strategic intent, data, technology, governance, and stakeholders’ engagement; (ii) based on the case study, levels 1 to 3 are already partially implemented in some initiatives while level 4 is on the way; and (iii) more practices are still needed to refine the draft to be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive in key domain areas.

Keywords: Smart City, Infrastructure Asset Management, Digital Twin, maturity model

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1 Applicability of Overhangs for Energy Saving in Existing High-Rise Housing in Different Climates

Authors: Qiong He, S. Thomas Ng

Abstract:

Upgrading the thermal performance of building envelope of existing residential buildings is an effective way to reduce heat gain or heat loss. Overhang device is a common solution for building envelope improvement as it can cut down solar heat gain and thereby can reduce the energy used for space cooling in summer time. Despite that, overhang can increase the demand for indoor heating in winter due to its function of lowering the solar heat gain. Obviously, overhang has different impacts on energy use in different climatic zones which have different energy demand. To evaluate the impact of overhang device on building energy performance under different climates of China, an energy analysis model is built up in a computer-based simulation program known as DesignBuilder based on the data of a typical high-rise residential building. The energy simulation results show that single overhang is able to cut down around 5% of the energy consumption of the case building in the stand-alone situation or about 2% when the building is surrounded by other buildings in regions which predominantly rely on space cooling though it has no contribution to energy reduction in cold region. In regions with cold summer and cold winter, adding overhang over windows can cut down around 4% and 1.8% energy use with and without adjoining buildings, respectively. The results indicate that overhang might not an effective shading device to reduce the energy consumption in the mixed climate or cold regions.

Keywords: Climate, Energy Analysis, high-rise residential building, overhang, computer-based simulation, design builder, BIM model

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