Smart green homes

28 March 2016 | Research
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Assoc Prof Lee Siew Eang (far right) of NUS Building, who oversees the NUS-CDL Smart Green Home programme, explaining its concept to (from left) CDL Group General Manager Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, Mr Kelley, Mr Lee, Prof Heng and NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Prof Tan Eng Chye

NUS will soon have two new research laboratories to study smart building technologies for indoor and outdoor environments. They arise from a partnership between NUS Design and Environment and City Developments Limited (CDL), with support from Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB).

CDL gifted $2.25 million to the initiatives, as well as related research projects. The collaboration will help advance Singapore’s position as a key international Smart City and improve the quality of life in an urbanised environment. 

On 22 March, Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Home Affairs, officiated at the launch of the two programmes: NUS-CDL Smart Green Home and NUS-CDL Tropical Technologies Laboratory (T² Lab), the first such undertakings tailored to the tropical climate.

The NUS-CDL Smart Green Home, an indoor test-bed environment, will serve as a platform for holistic and innovative experimental studies on smart features, green building technologies and design for sustainable living. It will be designed as a 100 m2 full-size home for testing, analysing, evaluating and piloting evolving smart home innovations in a “plug-and-play” real-life environment, along with experimentation with the technology-human interface, using novel smart materials, systems and finishes.

Expected to be completed by December 2017, the facility will be located within a new building at NUS Design and Environment, managed by the School’s Department of Building.

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Artist’s Impression of the NUS-CDL Smart Green Home

The 107 m2 NUS-CDL T² Lab is created as an adaptable indoor-outdoor research space, customised to test lifestyle scenarios, space-use configurations and features, as well as integrated leading-edge or emerging technologies for people-centric, climate-responsive buildings. It will be employed for studying ideas relating to themes such as “healthy, green living”, which explores the integration of passive and active building systems to reduce carbon emissions; as well as “future lifestyles”, which looks at the modifications of the Singapore home to ageing, safety, security, work-life balance, and social and cultural expectations.

The new laboratory, targeted for completion end of this year, is managed by the School’s Department of Architecture.

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Artist’s Impression of the NUS-CDL Tropical Technologies Laboratory

Mr Lee noted that the NUS-CDL Smart Green Home and NUS-CDL Tropical Technologies Laboratory will make an important contribution to Singapore’s R&D ecosystem by creating more opportunities for test-bedding. “The solutions you produce and test-bed in them, can translate into tomorrow’s smart green buildings…these could be smart green home features, smart building materials or passive building systems.”

NUS Design and Environment Dean Professor Heng Chye Kiang looks forward to working closely with CDL and EDB “to promote and deepen our efforts in developing sustainable solutions and technologies for smart, urban living that are suited for the tropical climate, hence benefitting Singaporeans as well as the local and regional building sectors”.

Mr Grant Kelley, Chief Executive Officer of CDL, said the company will share its industry knowledge and carry out pilot testing at future developments. “The capabilities developed by the two NUS-CDL platforms will also set new benchmarks for our building industry, as Singapore gears up to become a smart and sustainable nation,” he added.

See press release and details of the two new research facilities.

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From left: Prof Heng, Prof Tan and Mr Kelley (far right) presenting an artwork depicting the two research labs to Mr Lee