HDB, NUS to embark on S’pore’s first Township Climatic Study in Punggol

Introduce more green features in flats and develop design guidelines for sustainable and energy efficient HDB townships.

That’s what the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and National University of Singapore (NUS) are embarking on through Singapore’s first Township Climatic Study in Punggol town.

The Sonic Detection and Ranging instrument, better known as SODAR, can measure wind speeds up to 300 metres high.

The instrument will be placed near the 4.2 kilometre long Punggol Waterway to find out if the water there can help cool nearby buildings.

It’s part of a study between the HDB and NUS to use Punggol as a prototype for a green and sustainable township.

HDB said it’s still too early to tell what benefits flat-dwellers can enjoy from the study results.

Alan Tan, deputy MD, Building Research Institute, Housing and Development Board, said: “Punggol is a new town. And there are a lot of opportunities for us to test-bed new technologies. That’s why this study is important for us to establish what are the key features or measures we should incorporate into this Punggol town.”

Other simulation software will look at optimising existing natural resources like wind flow and cross ventilation to reduce the energy used to cool buildings.

The wind tunnel will use data from Sodar to simulate conditions in Punggol so that architects can determine how well-ventilated their designs are.

Associate Professor Wong Nyuk Hien, School of Design & Environment, National University of Singapore, said: “We are going to use a number of simulation tools so that we can understand the climatic environment in this Punggol area.

“We will then work closely with HDB design team to see how we can improve the environment, for example, maybe we can propose introducing more greenery into those areas, maybe have a bigger spacing between the blocks.”

The study will also look at the effects of sunlight and shadows from existing and upcoming buildings.

The S$960,000 study is expected to be completed by end-2010.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Dec 2009

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