Singapore's Net Zero Energy Building: A roadmap for the future?
National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment (SDE) building, the SDE4, certainly stands out for its unique structure.
SDE4 is NUS's foremost net-zero building, and the first of its kind in Singapore to be built from scratch. SDE4 gets its power through a "solar farm" on its roof which comprises over 1,200 solar photovoltaic panels and boasts a range of innovative building strategies that focus on improving the well-being of its users.
The SDE4 building makes use of the architectural concept of "floating boxes", which allows for cross-ventilation and it uses a very large roof to shield the spaces from the searing heat.
Curtain-like perforated screens were placed on the sides of the building, allowing natural light to come in, while stopping harsh solar rays from heating up the building. SDE4 also boasts what has been described as a "hybrid cooling system."
For example, fans combined with air conditioning are used in social spaces and set at higher temperatures to save energy.
This does not compromise comfort as fans move the air. Moreover, SDE4 constantly provides fresh air inside the building, while a team keeps tabs on CO2 levels to make sure the air quality is maintained to secure the well-being of its occupants.
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