BUILDING & ENGINEERING, ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Laboratory to develop digital urban solutions rolled out

Surbana Jurong, NTU and NRF set up the SJ-NTU Corporate Lab.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Surbana Jurong and the National Research Foundation Singapore have tied up to establish a joint corporate laboratory that will develop sustainable solutions to Singapore’s industrial and urban challenges, according to a media release.

Also read: JTC and ST Engineering team up for Punggol Digital District's Open Digital Platform

The $61m SJ-NTU Corporate Lab located at NTU will undergo research in underground storage systems, sustainable indoor solutions and digital technologies focused on the core areas of digitalisation, green and sustainable urban solutions and future of the industry and productivity.

The multidisciplinary Lab will include NTU scientists from various fields and Surbana Jurong professionals. In its fully operational state, the lab will have 70 researchers, including NTU undergraduates and PhD students.

“The innovations developed at the SJ-NTU Corporate Lab will be tested on NTU’s Smart Campus, which is already pioneering the use of green construction technologies and is a testbed for innovations from autonomous electric vehicles to smart buildings and various applications of artificial intelligence,” said NTU president professor Subra Suresh.

Researchers will start working on a total of 11 projects that will focus on optimising land usage, future-proofing building and infrastructure and the transformation of design and construction process.

Also read: Singapore's construction costs are the 4th highest in Asia

“The Lab will be working on projects which will not only be game changers for Singapore but will also help to further establish Singapore as a global hub for sustainable urban and infrastructure solutions,” said Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO of Surbana Jurong.

This includes a project on a thermal management system and an indoor air quality system that uses a botanical solution to purify the air. Another project involves a chilled ceiling technology using special composite materials for ceiling panels that transfer heat and reduce the need for air-conditioning.

Asia’s first ‘Cold Lab’ that will develop ‘Cold Energy Capture’ and ‘Cold Energy Storage’ technologies will also be set up. These technologies harness cold temperatures produced during regasification, a process where LNG is converted back to natural gas at atmospheric temperature. 

Researchers will also look into creating technologies to scan and map the external and internal parts of building structures such as piping networks, to create Building Information Models. The solution aims to improve the efficiency of facility managers and change the way buildings are managed and maintained. 

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