T.C. Chan Center

About the Penn-Tsinghua T.C. Chan Center

The T.C. Chan Center for Building and Energy Studies develops new knowledge, tools, processes, techniques and continuing education for professionals involved in building energy and technology. The goal is to create healthier, productive, energy efficient strategies that will lead to high performance buildings and sustainable environments. The Center engages in the creation (research), application (consulting) and dissemination (communication) of knowledge. The Chan Center takes part in collaborative research that is related to the development of basic knowledge, technologies and processes. Practical applications range from the building to the urban scale.

Current Projects at the T.C. Chan Center


The Chan Center provides educational opportunities to introduce students and professionals to state-of-the-art concepts and models through seminars, workshops, symposia and publications. Publications include Building Simulation: an International Research Journal, which features high quality, peer-reviewed research and review articles that deal with the modeling or simulation of buildings. This journal is published quarterly and is available online.

Building Optimization Research


Dr. Ali M. Malkawi and Dr. Yun Kyu Yi collaborate and conduct innovative building simulation research in order to contribute to the conservation of energy. Their research has resulted in the development of a new method of advanced building simulation that allows design and testing of a complex architectural structure without the time and expense of creating physical models. Simulations can allow researchers to test variables and analyze the results of complex factors, including environmental issues

Their studies have focused on the optimization of buildings, which conserves energy and leads to more sustainable architecture. This research developed a new methodology for site-specific form optimization, using building simulations to evaluate performance and Genetic Algorithms to optimize the building form in response to its surroundings.

These complex simulation methods were applied in order to evaluate energy savings for real-world buildings and environmental conditions. Testing an existing or future building through simulation can allow researchers to determine what changes can be made to make a building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Environmental Policy Making


The T.C. Chan Center is committed to reducing C02 emissions through sustainable design.  The QSAS project has developed sustainable building design guidelines for Barwa, Qatari Diar Real Estate Company and the State of Qatar.

The QSAS project is a set of guidelines that rate a building design based on materials, emissions, waste, water resource management, urban planning, transportation, light and other conditions that can increase or decrease a buildings operational performance.

QSAS reflects on the importance of sustainability because the operation of buildings contributes to 30-40% of total global energy use and associated CO2 emissions. The guidelines address overall sustainability, ecological impact, and green design standards in a way that is designed specifically for the State of Qatar.

Energy Conservation Studies


Dr. Ali M. Malkawi, the Director of the T.C. Chan Center and a team of students from the Lauder Institute conducted cross-disciplinary research to develop an international business plan for energy efficient buildings. Lauder students practiced critical research methodology in demonstrating the link between the international business world and sustainable architecture. In the summer of 2009, the team divided into several groups to visit a country of their choice and conduct independent research to review their market.

Students visited the United Arab Emirates, China, Brazil and Russia based on their language proficiency. Each student prepared a detailed business proposal on energy efficient building in their country of choice. The final research focused on energy efficient buildings in order to develop an international business plan. The project successfully integrated the international business skills of the Lauder Institute with the sustainable building expertise of the T.C. Chan Center. The findings of this research will culminate in a final group report in December of 2009.

Contact the T.C. Chan Center Dr. Ali Malkawi
Director, T.C. Chan Center

Sandra Mosgo
Coordinator and Assistant to the Director