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Housing & Development Board to collaborate with SP Group to develop smart and sustainable living spaces in Singapore

Housing & Development Board to collaborate with SP Group to develop smart and sustainable living spaces in Singapore

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) announced
three new research agreements with industry partners at the World Cities Summit
today. The projects aim to advance its goal of creating smart and sustainable
homes for Singaporeans. Through these partnerships, HDB aims to further
leverage technology to optimize energy usage, construction efficiency and
design capabilities in HDB estates of the future.

Powering
Tengah with Artificial Intelligence

The first project involves Tengah, HDB’s
newest town announced in 2016. It will be Singapore’s first and largest smart
and sustainable town, planned with green and sustainable features, and smart
technologies from the outset. HDB will partner the SP Group to study the
potential of developing Tengah into a Smart Energy Town. This involves
developing and test-bedding a centralised
energy software system, akin to a ‘brain’ that will collect, process, analyse, and learn data on energy consumption
at the town-, neighbourhood-, and
apartment-levels.

Called the Smart Energy Concierge, the
system will be powered by artificial intelligence and designed to be connected
to the energy grid, energy storage systems and solar photovoltaic (PV)
generators. It will be programmed to identify patterns and anomalies in energy flow to minimise
disruption to services, channel energy more efficiently to optimise energy use,
and promote greater conservation of energy.

Additionally, an Energy Concierge App will
be developed to tap on the artificial intelligence of the Smart Energy
Concierge software, opening up the potential for innovative services to be
created for residents. Future residents of Tengah, including the Town Council,
could link their utilities account to the app, to view their energy consumption
rates, pay utility bills, and much more.

This holistic approach to energy planning and management will be the
first-of-its-kind for an HDB town and the
largest of its scale in Singapore. It will enable a more efficient and sustainable
model of energy management, will be conducted over a one-year period from July
2018.

Expanding
Design and Construction Capabilities through 3D Concrete Printing

In the second project, another first for
public housing, HDB will embark on a 3-year research project with Robin Village
Development Pte Ltd and collaborators Witteveen+Bos South East Asia Pte Ltd and
Nanyang
Technological University
(NTU), to explore the potential adoption of
3D concrete printing for the production of unique architectural forms and
components which would otherwise be expensive and time-consuming to produce.

The research collaboration, costing an
estimated $3 million, will look into developing digital fabrication technologies
through the creation of a 3D concrete printer. If proven successful, it will
offer more design options for HDB developments, and expand the capabilities in
the construction industry. It will also raise construction productivity, and
reduce the dependency on conventional precast fabrication workers, thus
addressing potential labour shortages.

Exploring
New Terrain to Expand Solar Capabilities in the Open Sea

To support the acceleration of solar
adoption in Singapore, HDB is studying the use of its floating modular system –
an in-house invention – for the deployment of solar panels in open sea
conditions. It will partner ISO Landscape Pte Ltd to study and develop a
Floating Solar System for coastal marine conditions, that can address the
harsher environmental conditions at sea. The collaboration seeks to overcome
the challenges of marine conditions, like strong winds, wave action, and the
accumulation of marine organisms. The study is expected to be completed by
2019.

Enhanced
Quality of Life through Landscape Planning and Design

HDB has developed a Biophilic Town
Framework to guide the enhancement of existing natural assets and the
development of residential landscapes that promote a greater sense of place,
better health and well-being, and enhanced quality of life for residents. The
framework is documented in a book, titled “Nature, Place & People”, in collaboration
with NUS,
and with support from NParks, and URA. It outlines
the strategies needed to plan and design urban landscapes to achieve the larger
urban development goals of sustainability, liveability, and resilience, through a comprehensive set of considerations in
the aspects of soil, flora and fauna, outdoor comfort, water, and people.