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Singapore’s first new-built net zero energy building wins UK honours

The National University of Singapore’s School of Design & Environment (SDE4), Singapore’s first new-built net-zero-energy building, has recently won the UK Blueprint Award for Best Public-Use Project with Public Funding. Blueprint is a premium bi-monthly, 260-page magazine, providing critical, incisive, and entertaining architecture, design and art coverage. 

Various views of the SDE4 at National University of Singapore, Singapore’s first new-built net zero-energy building. Built in collaboration with Serie+Multiply Architects Ptd Ltd, it signals Surbana Jurong’s foray into net-zero energy building design.  

The School of Design & Environment 4 (SDE4) is a project by Surbana Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd in collaboration with Serie+Multiply Architects Pte Ltd for the school. Designed as an 8,500-square-metre, six-storey building with spaces for a multitude of student functions – studios, labs, workshops, library, offices and several types of shared spaces. It includes a cafeteria and a large plaza overlooking a lush verdant landscape.

Surbana Jurong’s M&E and Sustainability teams collaborated with Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH to make SDE4 a model of a high-performance building. Half of the total area is naturally ventilated. The air-conditioned spaces use an innovative hybrid system to deliver 100% fresh air to the occupants while substantially reducing the amount of energy consumed for cooling. A solar farm, comprising 1,225 solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop, harnesses enough solar energy to offset the building’s overall energy requirement over a year.

“The sustainability achievements of this building are outstanding,” wrote one judge. “This innovative approach in a tropical climate is tackled with clever design, while creating meaningful spaces for the future of learning.” “Resourceful and knowing, it uses landscape to great effect,” wrote another judge.

“SDE4 is a model of a high-performance building with a contemporary expression of traditional tropical architecture,” said Alakesh Dutta, a Senior Executive Architect at SJ architecture involved in the project. “It has completed a year of operating successfully as a net-zero energy Building.”

SDE4 been also been shortlisted for the Wallpaper Design Awards 2020 for the Best New Public Building, was a finalist at the 2019 World Architecture Festival (Category of Higher Institution and Research) and featured in Design Boom’s top-ten list of School and Educational Buildings for the year 2019. Congratulations to Alakesh and the team!

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