The National University of Singapore (NUS) launched Singapore's first net-zero energy building to be built from scratch on Wednesday (Jan 30) at its School of Design and Environment (SDE).
The six-storey building, called SDE4, features several sustainable designs such as solar roof installations, a hybrid cooling system and a large overhanging roof.
Net-zero energy means the building produces more energy than it consumes - such as by harnessing solar energy.
The 1,225 solar panels installed on the roof can supply more than 500 megawatt hours of energy per year. This can power up to 1,500 three-room flats for more than a month.
The building is estimated to save about $180,000 in energy costs a year, although the cost of its construction was not revealed.
On days when there is insufficient sunlight, the building will draw energy from the university’s power grid, said NUS in a media release as quoted by Channel News Asia.
NUS president Tan Eng Chye said to The Straits Times at its launch that the building is "testament to our continuous efforts in incorporating sustainability in various aspects of our campus life".
"We hope that this novel concept will inspire future high-performance buildings and sustainable development designs in Singapore and beyond," he added.
Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and chairman of the National Research Foundation, officiated at the launch.
He said it is important that buildings like SDE4 play a part in tackling climate change, as the building sector contributes a quarter of Singapore's carbon emissions.
"(SDE4) is a good example of how we can achieve better and more sustainable outcomes when the Government, industry and academia work closely together," said Mr Heng.
He highlighted the building's hybrid cooling system, a mixed-ventilation design that combines air-conditioning and fresh air, as a way technology can help reduce energy consumption.
The public spaces in the building are also designed to maximise natural wind through SDE4.
Partners in the project include architecture firm Serie+Multiply, infrastructure consultancy Surbana-Jurong and contractor Kajima Corporation.
Construction for SDE4 began about two years ago and it is meant to hold about 400 students. Most of the spaces will be used as design studios.