Singapore : Smart planning tools for new generation housing

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Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced its smart planning tools implemented within Singapore’s first “Eco-Precinct” Punggol Town. These smart planning modelling tools are functioned to visualize heat, shade and wind flow used to plan and design new precincts and building forms.

The Housing Board explained that there are two types of smart planning tools aiming to improve the planning and design under the Smart HDB Town Framework.

The first tool, Urban Environmental Modelling, or UEM, stimulates environmental conditions such as wind flow and solar irradiance. These factors are the amount of energy generated by the sun per unit area.

The simulations created by UEM was used at the Treelodge in Punggol precinct, allowing town planners to orient blocks to maximize wind flow which in turn optimize natural ventilation and minimize the need for electrical cooling. By using UEM, planners are able to identify areas with large amounts of heat within the town, thereby introducing more greenery to reduce heat.

Mr. Leroy Tan, the senior engineer at HDB’s Building Research Institute emphasized that the modelling tool helps highlight shaded areas within the town which allows planners to identify better placement of community facilities to get more shade.

Complex System Modelling (CSM), on the other hand, is a decision-making tool and functions to simulate the impact of green initiatives which will help the architects, engineers and the planner to introduce sustainable features in HDB towns. This allows the planners to be more accurate when assessing the trade-offs involved and to accurately select the most effective solutions for sustainability targets.

CSM can be used to place rooftop solar panels in the most effective way possible. By doing so, this can influence the orientation and the building’s design. CSM has been tested in several projects, such as the Yuhua precinct in Jurong and Punggol Northshore’s urban planning.

The planners used “Smart Lighting” for the Yuhua Precint neighborhood to weigh energy savings. HBD also said that the tool will be applied to existing towns by helping its feasibility of rolling out the HDB Greenprint programme. The modelling tools will progressively be improved to provide well-designed homes in green, sustainable and self-sufficient towns.

 

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