Singapore’s climate change: Moving towards a zero network through greener buildings and technology in development


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Singapore recently experienced several floods after heavy rains, and the National Water Agency, PUB, issued more than 30 flood warnings at at least 10 locations at one time.

It seems that such extreme weather events will become the norm for Singapore if global warming emissions continue. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Singapore is in danger of experiencing more heat wave penalties, severe coastal floods and heavier rains if global warming is not reduced to zero by 2050.

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UN), the real estate sector has one of the largest carbon footprints in any sector, contributing 39 percent of global annual process-related carbon dioxide.

Within Singapore, this sector is responsible for 20 percent of the country’s carbon emissions. It is therefore crucial that real estate developers work to reduce such emissions by applying design and technology when retrofitting or developing new buildings.

The effects of climate change

From the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900, world temperatures rose by one degree Celsius, and according to the latest UN report on climate change, every region in the world will experience more extreme droughts, intense and frequent rainfall and floods.

In Singapore, annual annual temperatures have risen from 26.9 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius, and rainfall in the city has become intense in recent years, with total annual rainfall in Singapore increasing from an average rate of 67 millimeters per decade since 1980. until 2019.

Higher annual temperatures are likely to lead to an increase in the use of air conditioners, which would lead to increased energy needs and higher carbon emissions in the country. Therefore, the construction of air conditioners will need to be constantly monitored to ensure their optimal functioning.

Sensors, such as those enabled by the Transferfi wireless power solution, can be used to monitor vibration and equipment maintenance needs, enabling facility managers to ensure optimal operation of air conditioning systems in buildings.

Read also: Komunidad allocates 1 million US dollars to help companies adapt to the effects of climate change

Incorporating new technologies for sustainability

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a technology used by construction experts to gain advanced insights into building design and infrastructure. Since 2012, the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has made the submission of BIM for certain projects mandatory.

By digitally presenting all aspects of a given structure, organizations are able to reduce waste and delays by identifying potential challenges before field implementation. Although the submission of BIM has been determined for certain projects, industry professionals who are not properly trained cannot access its benefits.

As such, industry experts are turning to companies like VRcollab, which offers a game-like BIM model experience where architects, developers and contractors can easily collaborate with a shared view of a project, maximizing efficiency and potential for increased sustainability.

The use of digital modeling systems has also allowed architects to design the buildings they work with rather than against the local climate, reducing the energy required to cool buildings.

Other new technologies built into buildings include motion sensors and smart controls that help regulate building electricity consumption or adjust room temperatures in response to current outdoor temperatures.

One example of smart sensing technology is Xandar Kardian, who uses radar to detect human presence through their heart rate and breath, automatically turning off lights and climate when people are no longer detected.

Advantages of net network and green buildings

Green buildings are energy efficient structures, and the global green building industry has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent or more by 2050. However, currently the construction sector is responsible for global emissions roughly equivalent to China’s.

The sector must work at “net zero carbon” by 2050 if global warming remains below 2 degrees Celsius. As such, zero-zero buildings have come to the fore because these highly energy-efficient buildings generate or deliver the energy they need from renewable sources to achieve net carbon emissions.

Adoption of zero-zero buildings has been slow, with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) recording only 500 commercial zero-zero buildings and 2,000 net zero-houses in 2017, well below one percent of all buildings in the world. .

Businesses, governments and NGOs need monumental and coordinated efforts to bring the construction sector a long way from the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Increasing the adoption of green buildings and buildings with zero net is also beneficial for people. It has been found that green buildings with a net zero not only increase the health, functioning and well-being of residents, but also encourage higher productivity and improve cognitive functioning.

Recent research has found that green buildings provide an optimized environment that is beneficial to human health, thanks to its natural lighting characteristics and better air quality. On the other hand, zero-zero buildings help improve outdoor air quality, as they do not use fossil fuels and do not emit pollutants.

Zero-zero buildings could, in fact, produce more energy than they use, and could even power electric vehicles with the energy produced, further reducing outdoor air pollution.

Read also: Life after COVID-19: How and why smart cities should focus on sustainability

Towards a sustainable future

While green buildings are increasingly being adopted around the world and have been able to help us reduce our carbon footprint, the construction sector must work to work on “net-zero carbon” well before 2050 if global warming remains below two degree Celsius.

To achieve this, the construction sector must shift its focus from green buildings to zero-grid buildings in order to truly combat climate change.

While the additional costs of net zero buildings will be a concern for many, this premium will pay off in the long run as the savings by performing the operation will offset the initial additional costs.

In our fight against climate change, the adoption of zero net buildings will be the absolute key for us as we move towards a sustainable future.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to encourage thought leadership by publishing community views. Share your opinion with submission article, video, podcast or infographic

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Image credit: melis

After climate change in Singapore: Moving towards a zero grid through greener buildings and developing technology first appeared on the e27.

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