E@BS 2/5: Commercial – Park Royal Hotel

This is Segment 2 of our Chain of posts focused on ‘Energy @ the Building Scale’.
[Extension of Part 4/5: The Red System (Energy), Singapore – Published: 28th May 2018]

Park Royal hotel

Park Royal Hotel, Pickering, Singapore [Image via Nylon Singapore]
Park Royal at Pickering is a 7500 sq.m. Hotel in the thick of Singapore’s Central Business District, facing a now famous Hong Lim Park. The hotel has various sustainable features (elaborated below), that lead to approximately 30 per cent (f) energy savings in operation (using a conventional building of similar scale and functions as base case). Due to these features, it has received the GreenMark Platinum rating certification from Singapore’s Building Construction Authority.


  • Horizontal air movement
  1. Despite being a commercial project, the property shows generosity, by providing a large public interface on the ground floor. This enables Horizontal air flow, thus improving thermal comfort for the area.
  2. The corridors, lobbies and common wash rooms are all naturally ventilated with fresh air (c).
  3. The entrance to the above-ground car park is concealed with plants and is also naturally ventilated.
hori air movement
Plan and section diagrams showing horizontal air movement through Public space; Graphics: Author

This natural ventilation in humid Singapore conditions, provides relief to occupants. The breeze, coupled with shading measures, can improve thermal comfort conditions; thus reducing the need for artificial mechanical cooling.

Public interface on Ground Floor enabling Horizontal air movement [Image by Patrick Bingham-Hall via ArchDaily]
  • Unit thick principle
  1. The plan follows the Unit thick principle with an E-shape, and 15 meter wide extensions. This enables sufficient usable daylight to enter the blocks. The configuration also allows for natural ventilation. For this reason, the guest rooms have operable windows, so that guests can open them for fresh air when they like!
  2. The longer sides of the plan face North and South. The smaller projections from the E-plan, thus face the rising and setting sun rays from the East and the West (e). These projections provide self-shading to the block. Thus, guest rooms can have large glazing for views, without the need for additional screening.
unit thickness
Plan diagram showing Unit thick Principle; Graphics: Author



Park Royal is famous for integration of Green with its architecture, often referred to as a Hotel and Office in a Garden (d). The project handles this integration with great sensitivity, effectively addressing commonly raised issues of landscape water and maintain costs. The overall cost for landscaping the hotel, worked out to less than 1 per cent of total construction costs (c)!

  • Vertical Green spaces –
  1. Green walls and creepers supplement the shade provided by the self-shading form. These plants also enhance the biophilic experience for guests.
  2. The West facade is a textured wall planted with Ferns – plants that can grow in shade, come in various sizes, require less nutrients,  and need little to no maintenance (d).
vertical green spaces
Section diagram showing Green walls, creepers and water basins – lining the corridors for Natural ventilation and cooling; Graphics: Author
Park Royal Corridor with Green and Blue [Image by Patrick Bingham-Hall via ArchDaily]
  • Horizontal Green and Blue spaces –
  1. Every 4th level of the 16 storey building, has Sky gardens with landscaping following certain sustainable principles (cd) –
    • Species – Plant selection to find native species that are suitable to the climate.
    • Medium – Choosing the right medium to provide nutrients, and to support roots.
    • Restraint – Proper restraint, to keep the medium from dropping or washing off in rain.
    • Access – for maintenance of the green facade.
  2. The elevated areas of green act as stepping stones for biodiversity movement.
  3. Water bodies include pools on the podium level,  a waterfall and shallow water basins lining corridors. These water features accent the cooling effect created by air movement and shading.
hori green blue
Horizontal Green and Blue spaces; Graphics: Credits below


  • Site integration with Green and Blue 
  1. The project acts as an extension of the green, from the facing Hong Lim Park. It creates around 15,000 sq.m. of green area on the building. This is equal to the entire area of the park, and almost 2 times the gross floor area of the Hotel. The property creates a lush ecosystem attractive to human visitors, birds, insects, small animals.
  2. Park Royal is an example how integration of Green and Blue, can produce positive effects on the environment, such as (c) –
    • Reduction of Urban heat Island effect by shading hard surfaces and evapotranspiration
    • Improving the quality of air by filtering pollutants; absorbing carbon dioxide  and adding oxygen to the air through photosynthesis
Park Royal on Pickering, facing Hong Lim Park [Map via One Map Singapore created using New OneMap: Advanced Mini-Map Generator]

The project demonstrates, that despite constraints of space and the need to build higher, Sustainability and Integration with Green and Blue can be achieved. Park Royal not only accomplishes this objective, but does it in grand style, thus becoming a landmark case study for commercial buildings globally.


We hope you enjoyed this segment! We interrupt this Chain of posts on E@BS, to introduce a feature ‘Q & A‘ column next week. This will include further details on the sustainability of Green and Blue, in the Park Royal hotel.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, queries, opinions.

Thank you!

See you next week.


Graphics : All graphics are produced as part of a team project for M.Sc. Integrated Sustainable Design at National University of Singapore (Building Semester – Stage 1 – Complex Living Systems). Group Members – Gajender Kumar Sharma, Aditi Bisen, Huang Hongbo, Zhao Yanming
Text: Aditi Bisen

References/ Additional Reading:

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