One of the primary concerns for Vietnamese house builders is keeping heat out. This objective was traditionally aimed at using cleverly overlapping eaves, mass to retain coolness or, alternatively, light buildings that allow cool air to circulate. The blessings of the industrial revolution meant that the traditional solutions made way for high-rise concrete buildings, with an air conditioning unit adorning every façade. That same unit is used in winter for supplementary electric heating, resulting in sky-high electricity usage to ensure that buildings remain habitable.
Andy van den Dobbelsteen, professor of Climate Design & Sustainability (faculty of A+BE), collaborates with Hanoi Architectural University (HAU) and the National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE) in the field of ‘green’ building, i.e. sustainability in the built environment. He points out that it’s the younger generation that is most interested. Students, younger members of staff and young architects all try to combine traditional climate control solutions with new techniques in order to design buildings that not only require less energy, but also offer a healthier internal climate.
The professor will soon travel to Hanoi to present the Vietnamese translation of Integrated Sustainable Design, a book that he co-authored with architect Jón Kristinsson. The exchange of two Master’s students and one doctoral candidate from his group is also gaining traction.
The long-term collaboration plan also outlines plans for the production of a new book on smart and bioclimatic design in tropical climates, the commencement of several joint research projects and the continuation of lectures and training sessions for the staff of both universities.
Van den Dobbelsteen is also collaborating with the university of Quito (Ecuador) to research the influence of green developments on the internal climate of buildings in the city. And in ChongQing (China) he is involved with energy neutral design and urban energy planning: charting energy supply and demand, and outlining opportunities for sustainable energy generation with the aim of reducing fossil energy usage.