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West House


Cau Giay New Urban Area, Hanoi, Vietnam

Type of Building: Residential Building
New / Refurbished: New
Status: Operational Stage
Year of construction: 0
Gross Floor Area: 531 sq.m

The building is a residential house with a site area of 350m2, total construction area of 170m2, and a gross floor area (GFA) of 531m2. The spatial functions of the house are:
–       First Floor: Living room, garage
–       Second and third Floor: Bedrooms (including Jacuzzi)
–       Forth Floor: Bedrooms and Common rooms.
The site is located at C5-C7-C21 lot in the Cau Giay New Urban Area. Generally, the construction site is based on a plain area with all the infrastructure has been constructed. However, the main disadvantage of the site is its direction – which is West orientated.






Do Minh Duc




Hoang Phuc Hao




1+1>2 Group



Passive Design

Orientation and Shading:
Situated at C5-C7-C21 lot in the Cau Giay new Urban Area, Hanoi, the building was constructed on a square-shaped land, albeit with a disadvantage in orientation with the western being the main direction. The design strategy aims to not only create an open living space that brings a feeling of convenience and relaxation to the clients but also prevent sunlight from directly entering the building. The solution was to focus on reducing the drawback related to building orientation and using the favourable conditions that exist by:

  • Constructing a tropical apartment with a large overhanging roof that covers most parts of the house to limit direct solar radiation in the functional and habitable spaces and to achieve a perfect harmony and balance in all the parts of the building
  • A louvre system was employed to shade the rest of the building.
  • Adding focal and prominent points for the house by planting tress and featuring strong architectural shapes.
  • Building a modern, stylish, but environmentally friendly house and ensuring luxury, convenience, and economy.


Natural ventilation:
Due to the drawback in orientation (to the west), the natural ventilation for the house was thoroughly calculated based on the principle of convection airflow: the airflow is guided by changes in atmospheric pressure. To take in cool breezes and limit direct solar radiation into the building, the architect planted trees in front of and around the building not only to block the direct sunlight but also to create an air buffer in order to reduce the velocity as well as the temperature of the airflow before it blows into the house.

Natural lighting:
The ratio of windows and glass to the total area of the walls is calculated carefully to ensure natural ventilation and natural lighting in all weather conditions. The building itself has a western orientation, however it also has four open façades can easily take advantage by inserting windows and glass walls in these frontages to help transfer sunlight to all places inside the house.

In fact, the location of the windows and glass walls were calculated carefully using simulation software which can demonstrate the total heat gain on the house’s façades. Based on the result of running simulation, the architect designed protrusive brick wall to avoid direct exposure to sunlight of the frontages that are exposed maximally.

Internal Green Space:
Right from the start, in order to alleviate the drawback in orientation, the general strategy was to design an environmentally friendly place that is suitable for the available natural conditions and also use architectural solutions to eliminate barriers between exterior and interior spaces. The most noticeable featurein the building is a unique garden with various types of trees. In addition, the common area is always full of sunlight. All these features aim to bring a minimalist architecture style but thrilling for the client. Finally, to maximise the green space in the building, ornamental plants are hung in corridors.

Active design

Despite having a good passive design, some disadvantages related to natural conditions, especially orientation, remained. Therefore, in some aspects, active design strategies play a more decisive role inside the building. An AC system with high COP installed in all floors and mounted to the ceiling contributes to the décor of the house. As a building equipped with a lot of glass walls, the lighting system was reconsidered. Additionally, to ensure energy efficiency and decorate the building, energy saving light bulbs were the best choice.

Since the building is a three-storey residential house, basically, the water supply and drainage systems are forced to follow regular principles. Located in Hanoi where the tropical monsoon climate is very different from that of HCM City, a hot water system was needed. Using solar water heating system along with electrical water heater is an economical choice for customers.

All the materials are native and sourced locally with high thermal and acoustic insulation such as traditional bricks, ceramic and tile cladding, and industrial wood for interior decoration. Glass, wood products, and plastic roof are carefully heat-treated to have low heat transfer coefficient. The garden is designed to reduce the use of concrete, increase absorption of surface water and also prevent radiation.

0 0 1364 09 April, 2014 April 9, 2014
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