Green boost for NTU Singapore campus

University is constructing a sports hall and ‘Lego-style’ residential buildings to reduce energy consumption

Boosting its green credentials, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) is building the region’s first sports hall with a unique long-span timber roof structure which provides five times better heat insulation than concrete. This will reduce its energy consumption by at least 40%.

The university is also building Singapore’s first high-rise buildings where whole rooms complete with internal fixtures are constructed off-site and put together on-site – saving up to 40% in manpower and 20% in construction time.

These two new facilities are designed with sustainable features, in line with NTU’s emphasis on sustainability research and its ambition to achieve a 35% reduction in energy, water and waste by 2020 under its EcoCampus initiative.

“NTU is well-known for sustainability research but we also put it in practice by designing our green campus based on sustainability principles,” commented Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Associate Provost for Student Life.

Set to open this year, the new sports hall and residential buildings have already clinched the Green Mark Platinum – the highest award for sustainable building design in Singapore awarded by the Building Construction Authority (BCA).

Inspired by nature

Apart from sustainable features such as energy-saving LED lighting and solar powered systems, the sports hall and residential building are designed to take advantage of their natural surroundings. Using computer modelling of the sun and wind patterns on-site, the buildings’ designers aim to harness natural winds so students will enjoy good ventilation with average wind speeds calculated at about 0.5 metres per second.

To reduce the need for air-conditioning, all rooms in the residential hall will have windows that reflect heat using a special coating, and louvres that shield any direct sunlight.

The sports hall (below) will also have a similar feature, with two-layer walls designed for heat insulation on hot days. The walls will have special metal coils with cold water flowing through them. This cools the wind that enters the hall and removes hot air quickly through convection.

These eco features will save over 40% energy and 30% in water consumption, and also give students a unique sports experience. Students will be able to play badminton without any wind disruption from fans or the need for air-conditioning to stay cool.

Using an innovative wood construction method, the sports hall will have a continuous wave-like timber roof arching over 70 metres long. Not only does it provide five times better heat insulation, but it also saves up to 40% per cent in labour costs.

The three-storey sports hall will double the seating capacity of the current one with almost 1,000 mechanised seats that can be retracted and turned into 13 full-sized badminton courts or three basketball, volleyball, and netball courts.

It will also house a weights training gym, three activity rooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors for aerobics and dance, two multi-purpose activity rooms, a VIP lounge, and an activity space for various student activities.

The new 13-storey residential halls (below) will be a one-stop integrated hub with eateries, shops and common spaces such as rooftop gardens with BBQ pits, lounges and study rooms. It will accommodate over 1,850 students, and will house the campus’ largest fully-equipped gym, which is about five times the size of a four-room flat.

Professor Kwok added: “As a residential campus, we focus on providing a holistic education for our students. Residential living and sports are important components of a vibrant campus life and provide opportunities for students to develop positive attributes such as teamwork, leadership, discipline, and confidence.”

The sports and residential halls are part of NTU’s campus master plan. By 2016, NTU will be able to house an additional 5,000 students on campus with hall places for almost 14,000 NTU students.

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia. The University’s main Yunnan Garden campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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