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NUS students win big at green building contest

05 April 2013

Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Education Senior Parliamentary Secretary Ms Sim Ann (4th from left), BCA CEO Mr John Keung (5th from left), CDL Group General Manager Mr Chia Ngiang Hong (4th from right), and the winning team, The Greenworks from NUS

Ms Sim, Dr Keung and Mr Chia with the NUS second runner-up team SDE Sparklers

The Greenswitz design concept wowed the judges to win the first prize

SDE Sparklers flexi-frame design cuts the use of concrete in construction

NUS students have topped the second BCA-CDL Green Sparks Competition held recently, as well as secured the second runner-up position and two merit awards.

The Greenworks from the NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) beat 22 teams from five local tertiary institutions to clinch the first prize of S$10,000 cash and a plaque. Team members - comprising Wong Zhi Ying (Year 4, Project and Facilities Management), Lionel Gerard Chong Zhi Wei (Year 4, Project and Facilities Management), Hendry Sofian (Year 4, Project and Facilities Management), Louis Lim (Year 3, Architecture), Lai Chin Wee (Year 2, Architecture) and Poh Cai Ling (Year 4, Project and Facilities Management) - submitted "The Greenswitz", which impressed the judges with its unique approach that cleverly balances both passive and active architecture considerations with practical and reusable structural elements.

Singapore Green Building Council President and chief judge Tai Lee Siang praised the concept for its workable solutions that combined traditional architectural practice, functionality and contemporary ideas. "It's not easy to achieve as it requires a high level of competency and a well-thought out process," he said.

BCA-CDL Green Sparks Competition is a joint initiative by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and developer City Developments Limited (CDL) that seeks to engage local students and raise awareness of best green building practices and solutions for future practitioners.

This year's contest focused on the creation of a revolutionary green show suite with innovative design and energy-efficient features. Using one of CDL's upcoming residential development's show suites for real-case study, participants had to incorporate factors such as functionality, passive and active design, occupants' comfort and cost effectiveness.

Zhi Ying who headed The Greenworks said that the Green Sparks Competition presented a rare opportunity for undergraduates from different courses to jointly work on green building design and technology. "Tapping on the expertise of both architectural and project facilities management academia knowledge, we delivered a functional, contemporary and sustainable green show suite design. It was gratifying to see our efforts being recognised by the judges in both the public and private sectors. I would certainly encourage undergraduates to take part in such beneficial experiences," she added.

Allan Chang Keong Hong (Year 4, Project and Facilities Management), team leader of third prize winner SDE Sparklers, also highlighted that the multidisciplinary members with varying expertise enabled the group to collaborate efficiently to make the project successful. "Our team utilised Building Information Modelling and came up with a unique flexi-frame system which increases buildability and quality of show-flats, with reduced time required. Overall, the competition was highly beneficial as it allows us room to showcase our skills and ideas contributing to a greener built environment."

Two other NUS teams, from SDE and the Department of Civil Engineering, also performed well and took home a Merit Prize each.