Singapore's First Zero Energy Gallery

Monday, April 27, 2015

Purpose of the project:

CDL has a strong track record sustainable development and has undertaken green building innovations since the 1990s, having developed the first Eco-Condo and Eco-Mall in Singapore, and the first CarbonNeutral development in Asia Pacific. In celebration of CDL’s 50th anniversary in 2013 and in support of the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ (SBG) nomination bid as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, CDL developed the CDL Green Gallery at SBG Heritage Museum. CDL saw this project as an opportunity to help shape the practices of the real estate industry and promote greater environmental responsibility.

Approach:

The Gallery boasts two eco-innovative features introduced in Singapore for the first time: 1. External Walls were mostly made of a biomaterial known as Hempcrete (largely made from the hemp plant) that has good thermal properties, creating good indoor air quality. It is also highly durable, and naturally pest, mould, mildew and fire resistant. 2. The Gallery was built using a prefabricated modular system system. The steel components were prefabricated and assembled at an off-site production facility, then hoisted by crane into position onsite. Like building blocks, they are pieced together onsite to form the entire structure. It is easy-to-build, flexible, and took less than 24 hours to be installed into their final positions, with minimal impact on the environment of the Gardens. They can also be broken down and re-used at a later date if required. The Gallery’s 105 solar photovoltaic (PV) cladded roof panels are expected to harvest sufficient energy required for the building’s daily operations making this Singapore’s first zero energy Green Gallery. The East and West facades of the building have been clad with green walls composed of butterfly-attracting plant species, while a green roof composed drought resistant plant species was incorporated to lower the Urban Heat Island’ effect around the building (where a metropolitan area becomes significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities). Inside, the gallery was fitted with energy-efficient LED lights and air-conditioning systems.

Results:

The conceptualization, design and building of the CDL Green Gallery showcase have been an accomplishment on several levels. 1. With 4 million visitors to the SBG per year, CDL has shared and will continue to share the latest in green building technology with the community at large. 2. Pioneering the latest eco-innovations through this project has demonstrated our leadership in green buildings. It has also produced immediate results: -The solar panels are expected to generate an annual energy yield of over 31,000 kWh, which is more than the Gallery’s estimated annual energy consumption of about 30,000 kWh/year, making the Gallery self-sufficient. -The high energy-efficient, dimmable LED lights use approximately 57% less energy than conventional lighting. -High energy-efficient air-conditioning systems reduce consumption of electricity as the inverter air-conditioning system, coupled with an integrated building control system, consumes 50% less energy compared to conventional types. 3. This project showcased a successful multi-stakeholder partnership, where it involved the government agencies, CDL and the support of 10 CDL partners, including designers, engineers, green wall and lighting specialists, consultants and architects.

“Green innovation is a part of CDL’s building DNA - from design, construction and procurement practices to maintenance and even user engagement. By challenging conventional construction methodology, CDL constantly sets the pace and benchmark for the industry. The CDL Green Gallery is a case in point, achieving not only zero, but surplus energy.” - Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer