Professor Subra Suresh, the new President of NTU, unveiled
the Smart Campus vision in January this year, aiming to harness the power of
digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and
living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of
Announced initiatives under the Smart Campus vision include
a Smart Pass embedded with a contactless identity chip to be used for cash-free
payments, and in the near future, for personal identification, security access
and more; trials
for Singapore’s first electric bicycle-sharing service; a cooperation
agreement with Volvo Buses for development of the autonomous electric buses;
of an ultra-fast charging electric shuttle in collaboration with BlueSG Pte
The learning hub, ARC, serves as a new nerve centre of the
NTU Smart Campus, where digital technologies are adopted to support better
learning and discovery, and improve the sustainability of resources.
The ARC is equipped with the latest technologies to support
the flipped classroom pedagogy, wherein students learn the course content
online before class and the face time with professors and classmates is devoted
to collaborative learning.
NTU had set a target to design at least 50 per cent of its
undergraduate courses using the flipped classroom pedagogy by 2020. The
university is on track with 314 or 32 per cent of courses already redesigned,
and another 170 currently undergoing conversion.
The 6-storey building has 56 smart classrooms, equipped with
multiple LED screens, wireless communication tools and flexible clustered
seating designed for group discussions.
With the completion of The Arc, NTU now has more than 280
smart classrooms. Together with other recently completed buildings such as The Hive and the
Clinical Sciences Building in Novena, 116 new smart classrooms have been built
since 2015. In addition, NTU has converted 166 smart classrooms from existing
The Arc also has 13 project discussion rooms, a dedicated
reading room, and a 108-seat lecture theatre. It has two lower levels with
rooms that serve as workshops for engineering students.
The Arc will also house the majority of NTU’s Singapore
Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) facilities, which researches various areas of
smart technologies such as printable electronics, lightweight aircraft
components, and even 3D printed medical implants.
The Arc has been designed with innovative and eco-friendly
features. It has aluminium sunscreens instead of walls to reduce solar glare
and hear. This keeps the rain out while allowing constant ventilation
throughout the day.
The air-conditioning system at the hub saves energy by using
passive cooling coils to chill the air without the use of fans. These coils
work by creating a natural convection cycle, cooling the air as it sinks
downwards, which displaces the warm air upwards. Other energy-saving features
include energy-efficient LED lighting and motion sensors.
The Arc has already been awarded the Green Mark Platinum in 2017 – the highest award for sustainable
building design in Singapore from the Building and Construction Authority.
Over 95 per cent of the buildings on the NTU campus are now
Green Mark Platinum certified (equivalent to LEED-Platinum certification in the
USA), well on track to achieving the target of 100 per cent by 2020.
Prof Suresh said, “We aim to be the world’s Smart Campus and
demonstrate how innovative tech-enabled solutions can help improve everyday
life in a sustainable manner. Of course, technology is just one side of the
coin as the other important element NTU will focus on is its impact on society
and how it bolsters the natural environment.”
The Arc was launched today by Professor Suresh and five Student Club presidents.
Prof Suresh said, “The Arc is designed not just for learning
but to create opportunities for students to get together to discuss ideas and
interact across disciplines. It is therefore fitting that we have five student
leaders with me today to officiate the opening of this new building together.”
He added, “The creation, transmission and dissemination of
knowledge is at the heart of any global university. In this digital age,
students learn using technologies in pedagogical modes that are often
distinctly different from those used by earlier generations, and they will
graduate into a rapidly changing workplace which will demand for
interdisciplinary and collaborative skills.”
“The Arc is one of the key pieces in NTU’s flipped classroom
transformation. This model of learning will prepare students with the necessary
skills to excel in jobs which may not even exist today.”
NTU Students’ Union
President (NTUSU), Edward Lim, a third-year undergraduate, said, “Like
many other students, I’m looking forward to having lessons at The Arc with its
state-of-the-art smart classrooms, project rooms and comfortable nooks and
corners that are conducive for group discussions.
“We enjoy the flipped classroom way of learning as we do not
just listen to lectures passively but now engage in discussions actively. With
lively interactions with professors and fellow students, students take on a
more dynamic and participative role in their own learning.”