Urban And Sustainability Research In Singapore Gets US$45 Million Boost

The joint laboratory will focus on three core themes—digitalization; green and sustainable urban solutions; and the future of industry and productivity.

AsianScientist (Aug. 15, 2018) – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), Surbana Jurong (SJ) and the National Research Foundation Singapore have set up a joint corporate laboratory to develop next-generation sustainable solutions to tackle industrial and complex urban challenges.

Located at NTU, the S$61 million (~US$45 million) joint corporate lab is underlined by a five-year partnership which leverages NTU’s strengths in engineering and sustainability research and Surbana Jurong’s track record in providing urban, infrastructure and industrial solutions to its global customers.

The key objective of the partnership is to translate research outcomes into practical and viable solutions that are focused around three core themes—digitalization; green and sustainable urban solutions; and the future of industry and productivity. It will include research to explore underground storage systems, sustainable indoor solutions for buildings and digital technologies to scale up productivity in the built environment.

For example, researchers will develop a thermal management system and an indoor air quality system that is not only energy efficient, but also uses a botanical solution to purify the air. Integrating selected plants with architectural and interior design, indoor air pollutants would be reduced while creating a natural and lush indoor environment.

Another project involves a chilled ceiling technology that uses special composite materials for ceiling panels which are linked to a central monitoring system. The composite panels transfer heat more effectively than conventional aluminum panels, reducing the need for air-conditioning and improving energy efficiency.

On the digital front, researchers will look into creating technologies to scan and map the external and internal parts of building structures such as piping networks, to create building information models. This technology could improve the efficiency of facility managers and change the way buildings are managed and maintained.

In its fully operational state, the lab will house 70 researchers, including NTU undergraduates and PhD students.

“The current dramatic shift to a digital and sustainable economy requires societies to push the boundaries of urban and industrial innovation, and develop new technologies that balance the built and natural environments,” said Professor Subra Suresh, president of NTU.

“The innovations developed at the SJ-NTU Corporate Lab will be tested on NTU’s smart campus, which is already pioneering the use of green construction technologies and is a testbed for innovations from autonomous electric vehicles to smart buildings and various applications of artificial intelligence.”

“The SJ-NTU Corporate Lab aims to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that will alleviate near term urban challenges and improve lives for people around the world,” said Mr. Wong Heang Fine, group CEO of Surbana Jurong said,


Source: Nanyang Technological University; Photo: Shutterstock.
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