Jan 23, 2020 14:46

Singapore’s first new-built net-zero energy building wins UK honours

The SDE4, built in collaboration with Serie+Multiply Architects Ptd Ltd, signals Surbana Jurong’s foray into net-zero energy building design.

The National University of Singapore’s School of Design & Environment (SDE4), Singapore’s first new-built net-zero energy building, has recently won the UK Blueprint Award for Best Public-Use Project with Public Funding. Blueprint is a premium bi-monthly magazine, providing critical, incisive, and entertaining architecture, design and art coverage.

The School of Design & Environment 4 (SDE4) is a project by Surbana Jurong in collaboration with Serie+Multiply Architects for the school. Designed as an 8,500-square-metre, six-storey building with spaces for a multitude of student functions – studios, labs, workshops, library, offices and several types of shared spaces, it includes a cafeteria and a large plaza overlooking a lush verdant landscape.

Surbana Jurong’s mechanical & electrical engineering and sustainability teams collaborated with Transsolar KlimaEngineering to make SDE4 a model of a high-performance building. Half of the total area is naturally ventilated. The air-conditioned spaces use an innovative hybrid system to deliver 100% fresh air to the occupants while substantially reducing the amount of energy consumed for cooling. 1,225 solar photovoltaic panels on the rooftop harness enough solar energy to offset the building’s overall energy requirement over a year.

“The sustainability achievements of this building are outstanding,” wrote one judge. “This innovative approach in a tropical climate is tackled with clever design, while creating meaningful spaces for the future of learning.” “Resourceful and knowing, it uses landscape to great effect,” wrote another judge.

“SDE4 is a model of a high-performance building with a contemporary expression of traditional tropical architecture,” said Alakesh Dutta, a Senior Executive Architect at SJ architecture involved in the project. “It has completed a year of operating successfully as a net-zero energy building.”

SDE4 been also been shortlisted for the Wallpaper Design Awards 2020 for the Best New Public Building, was a finalist at the 2019 World Architecture Festival (Category of Higher Institution and Research) and featured in designboom’s top ten list of school and educational buildings for  2019.