New accolade as SDE turns 50

04 October 2019 | General News
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SDE4, Singapore’s first new-build net-zero building, is the first university building in the world to attain WELL Certified™ Gold, and the first building in Singapore to achieve the prestigious WELL certification (Credit: NUS Design and Environment and Serie Architects. Photography by Rory Gardiner)

NUS Design and Environment (SDE) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new accolade. The School’s newest building, SDE4 — Singapore’s first new-build net-zero energy building — was awarded the WELL Certification at the Gold level by the International WELL Building Institute. This makes it the first university building in the world, and the first building in Singapore to achieve this prestigious certification in recognition of features that support and advance human health and wellness.  

The announcement was made by SDE Dean Professor Lam Khee Poh at the SDE50 Gala Dinner held on 2 October. He also addressed the critical challenges that the industry must be prepared for in the face of climate change. “We spend 90 per cent of our time in buildings. Yet research connecting buildings and health and wellness is still a relatively nascent field. There is a compelling value proposition and strong business case for providing energy efficient and healthier living interior spaces,” he said. 

“SDE is earnestly pursuing this twin-prong “Well and Green” strategic approach in all our educational and research programmes to support Singapore’s national agenda of creating ’an endearing home and a distinctive global city’. We will expand our collaborative outreach to include medicine, public health, engineering, business, computing, physical sciences as well as the arts and social sciences in this collective effort,” he added. 

SDE has played an important role in developing our built environment over the past five decades. I am confident that the school will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting our national growth and global research breakthroughs.

Guest-of-Honour State President and NUS Chancellor Madam Halimah Yacob lauded SDE’s commitment to sustainable health and wellness and congratulated them on its golden jubilee. She said, “SDE has played an important role in developing our built environment over the past five decades. I am confident that the school will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting our national growth and global research breakthroughs.” 

The School started in 1969 as the Faculty of Architecture at the then University of Singapore, offering degree programs in Architecture, and Building and Estate Management. Over the years, SDE’s more than 17,000 alumni have made significant contributions to Singapore’s nation building, playing important roles in innovative and iconic projects such as Kampung Admiralty and Our Tampines Hub. 

Some of these alumni were among the more than 1,000 guests at the anniversary gala dinner, including Mr Alvin Tan, a Master of Science (Real Estate) graduate and professional baritone who serenaded the gathering with four operatic songs.

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Madam Halimah (3rd from right) and Prof Lam (2nd from right) with the winners of the #MyPicturePerfectSDE student photo competition, which was held in commemoration of SDE50