As one might expect, a sustainable building for the tropics has significantly different boundary conditions compared to a building in temperate areas. A major of available information on green building has not been produced for tropic areas. The different climate conditions may not only influence energy-related issues. Also water, wastewater, solid waste, construction materials, indoor environment and local environment can be a subject. The first thing associated with tropical conditions is an higher outside air temperature or an increased air humidity. Indeed, this are two significant differences. Others, for example, may be the sun path, the user behavior, wind and precipitation patterns or the availability of other building materials.
In order to investigate this topic in more detail the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment inaugurated on 19 November 2015 the Centre for Integrated Building Energy and Sustainability in the Tropics (CiBEST). “The establishment of CiBEST contributes directly to Singapore’s vision of becoming a Smart Nation, as smart buildings and facilities are integral to this vision.” Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment, said.
The Centre presently has a team of 36 researchers and is subdivided into two research clusters: Sustainable Buildings and Building Energy Efficiency. The Sustainable Buildings Cluster conducts research in areas such as green and smart building materials and climatic assessment of urban spaces and buildings in a holistic way. The Building Energy Efficiency Cluster develops expertise in the energy efficiency of various types of buildings. To conduct joint research in the areas of data analytics software, building energy efficiency, energy management and Smart Nation, CiBEST signed four Memorandums of Understanding with Keppel Land, Microsoft Singapore, JTC Corporation, and S3 Innovate Pte Ltd.
Mr Tan Swee Yiow, President (Singapore) of Keppel Land, shared, “Keppel Land adopts a proactive and holistic approach in the way we design, build and operate our properties to ensure that they harmonize with the environment as well as enhance the quality of life of the community. Through this research and development initiative with NUS, we aim to enhance overall building performance, including energy management, via data analytics and software development. With the implementation of innovative solutions to create smarter buildings, we strive to build a sustainable future for generations to come.”