Page 1


THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017 | MCI (P) 003/03/2017



SUSTAINABILITY: Environment-friendly technologies used to build NTU’s mega sports hall DESIGN FOR SAFETY: An exploratory study of bird-window collisions in Singapore CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY: Beyond BIM: What’s next for the industry?


COVER STORY: 22 Sustainable light art installa ons illuminate i Light Marina Bay 2017 The event drew a en on to the immense scope offered by energy-efficient ligh ng.


SUSTAINABILITY: 26 Environment-friendly technologies used to build NTU’s mega sports hall The innova ons contribute to structural integrity and energy savings. 30 Becoming future-ready with connected ligh ng The system can be used for illumina on and to transmit informa on.


34 A dynamic working environment defined by resource-efficient and smart technologies A radically new approach is adopted in the design of the office building in Amsterdam.


President Er. Edwin Khew Chief Editor T Bhaskaran Chief Execu ve Alvin Charm



Publica ons Manager Desmond Teo Publica ons Execu ve Queek Jiayu

Published by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108

Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong

Media Representa ve Mul nine Corpora on Pte Ltd sales@mul

Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover image by i Light Marina Bay 2017

Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore

DESIGN FOR SAFETY: 36 An exploratory study of bird-window collisions in Singapore The ar cle provides an overview, based on literature published here and elsewhere, and presents a case study.



42 Ground-condi oning admixtures improve tunnelling opera ons Appropriate chemical products and applica on processes ensured successful outcomes.

CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY: 44 Beyond BIM: What’s next for the industry? Technology trends, that will contribute to greater automa on, are outlined.





The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publica on is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publica on do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press me, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contribu ons are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discre on of the Editor.




PROJECTS ON LEVITATING TOYS AND KIDNEY DISORDER AMONG THOSE RECOGNISED AT A*STAR TALENT SEARCH More than 300 budding scien sts and researchers gathered at The Star Gallery on 28 April to celebrate innova ons for the future at the A*STAR Talent Search (ATS) and Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) Awards Presenta on Ceremony 2017. According to a statement from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the entries this year “clearly demonstrated the students’ abili es to cri cally apply scien fic concepts to solu ons that address real, everyday challenges”. These include a paper-based Zika diagnos cs kit that enables accurate detec on of the virus within 10 minutes, and an advanced biomarker detec on for ICU diagnosis of mul ple organ failure and acute coagulopathy, among others. A total of 123 Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit awards were presented as part of SSEF 2017. The SSEF award winners were eligible to proceed for ATS, which recognises student projects that excel in scien fic research across mul ple disciplines such as biomedical engineering, environmental sciences, materials sciences and medical sciences. The projects were also selected based on the level of innova on, cri cal thinking and problem-solving abili es and a total of eleven outstanding projects were selected as ATS finalists.

A*STAR Talent Search (ATS) A total of 731 students from various secondary and ter ary ins tu ons registered for this year’s A*STAR Talent Search, 19 per cent more than last year. Eight students from three schools were shortlisted as finalists, with projects ranging from using spent coffee for water purifica on to the op misa on of assays for the measurement of an bodies and an body-producing cells in lupus-prone mice. Professor Ng Huck Hui, Execu ve Director of the A*STAR Graduate Academy, said, “Compe ons such as the A*STAR Talent Search and Singapore Science and Engineering Fair seek to inculcate a strong sense of curiosity and dedica on to problem-solving among students through science and research. “Through these experiences, we hope students are inspired to pursue careers in science and technology and contribute to Singapore’s future economy.” The first prize for the Student Category at this year’s ATS was bagged by Ms Rachel Qing Pang, who is currently 04


Ms Rachel Qing Pang (right), ATS 2017 1st Prize Winner, explaining her project, “The Physics of the Levitron”. Photo: A*STAR

studying at Raffles Ins tu on. Ms Qing conducted her project on the physics of the Levitron, a physics toy which consists of a spinning top levita ng above a magne c base. In the School Category, NUS High School of Mathema cs and Science clinched the top posi on. Schools are ranked and awarded based on a points system ed to the results of their students’ projects. The ATS 2017 judging was helmed by an esteemed panel of dis nguished scien sts and researchers from A*STAR and the universi es in Singapore. Said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, the Chief Execuve of Science Centre Singapore, “Science, technology, engineering and mathema cs (STEM) are crucial to the development of Singapore to stay globally compe ve and enable our young to design solu ons to the problems we are faced with. “We need strong STEM capabili es in order for our na on to achieve its dream of becoming a Smart Na on and pla orms such as ATS and SSEF provide the right learning opportuni es to nurture bright, inquisi ve minds.”

Intel Interna onal Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Following their success at SSEF, six projects across five categories were selected to represent Singapore at the Intel ISEF, the world’s largest interna onal pre-college science compe on. This year’s edi on took place in Los Angeles during the third week of May. Represen ng Singapore on the interna onal stage, the selected students competed amongst 1,800 students from over 75 countries, regions and territories and showcased their independent research.



All smiles for the camera a er the signing of the MOU between TUM Asia and NYP. (Standing, le to right) Dr Chris an Storost, Head of Foreign Trade Promo on, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy; Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Na onal Development; Dr Steffen Koch, Ac ng Head of Mission, German Embassy Singapore. (Seated, from le to right) Dr Markus Waechter, Managing Director, TUM Asia; Ms Jeanne Liew, Principal & CEO, Nanyang Polytechnic. Photo: TUM Asia

A symposium on Industrie (Industry) 4.0, organised by the Singapore-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC) took place in early April at Mandarin Orchard. It served as a pla orm for German delegates to present their technology and exchange informa on on the manufacturing environment of Singapore with local experts. During the symposium, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)’s School of Engineering and the Singapore campus of Germany’s top engineering university – Technical University of Munich (TUM) – was signed. The objec ve of the MOU was to raise engineering standards at both ins tu ons, who will, among other things, cooperate on researching process op misa on in 3D metal prin ng. Findings for the advanced technology will benefit users worldwide. Students and staff from both ins tu ons will also have opportuni es for exchange programmes. In addi on,

joint plans for execu ve training courses, seminars and conferences for the industry are in the pipeline. The ceremony was witnessed by the guest-of-honour, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Na onal Development & Ministry of Trade and Industry. Ms Jeanne Liew, Principal and CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic, said, “Nanyang Polytechnic is proud to be working with TUM Asia – a renowned global ins tu on that shares our values for excellence and innova on. This collaboraon facilitates the acquisi on of deeper skills in engineering and prepares our students to meet future challenges.” Echoing her sen ments, Dr Markus Wächter, Managing Director, TUM Asia said, “Germany and Singapore have a long-standing rela onship in trade and are commi ed to technology transfer at the highest level. This partnership is the first between our university and Nanyang Polytechnic, and we are delighted to be able to offer these opportuni es to our students and facul es from both countries.” THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017




On 5 April 2017, mainboard-listed SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) and Nasdaq-listed Stratasys announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a strategic partnership specialising in addive manufacturing, so as to accelerate the adop on of 3D-printed produc on parts for commercial avia on. Under the MOU, both par es will explore a joint venture to be majority-owned by SIAEC. This strategic partnership combines Stratasys’ deep know-how and exper se in addi ve manufacturing with SIAEC’s comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service offerings to provide airline customers across the globe with scheduled maintenance and on-demand parts solu ons. The main objec ve of the joint venture is to establish a Singapore-based Addi ve Manufacturing Service Centre, offering design, engineering, cer fica on support and part produc on to SIAEC’s well-established network of partners and customers. Stratasys will provide the domain exper se related to addi ve manufacturing and 06


drive the development of aerospace applica ons together with SIAEC. Mr Png Kim Chiang, CEO of SIAEC, said: “We are delighted to partner with Stratasys, a leader in its field, in our pursuit of innova on and the adop on of the latest addi ve manufacturing technologies. Our collabora on will strengthen SIAEC’s comprehensive suite of MRO soluons and enhance our support to customers, especially in the region.” “This strategic partnership marks an important milestone for addi ve manufacturing in the avia on industry,” commented Mr Ilan Levin, CEO of Stratasys. “As we have shown with our exis ng rela onships with leading aerospace manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, we are commi ed to advancing the use of addi ve manufacturing for high requirement aerospace applica ons. By working closely with SIAEC, we are extending that focus to solve the unique challenges of the MRO segment and further drive adop on.”


SIKORSKY ANNOUNCES EXPANDED SUPPORT IN ASIA WITH PLANS FOR NEW CUSTOMER SUPPORT CENTRE Rotorcra specialist Sikorsky, a Lockheed Mar n company, has announced plans to expand its S-92 and S-76 helicopter support services in the Asia-Pacific. Thai Avia on Services is scheduled to become the first Sikorsky Customer Support Center in Thailand by the end of 2017. The announcement was made at the inaugural 2017 Rotorcra Asia show, which took place in Singapore in April. “This decision further exemplifies Sikorsky’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific and to our con nued focus on customer support excellence,” said Mr Christophe Nurit, Sikorsky’s regional sales execu ve, Asia. “As the preferred service centre in Thailand, Thai Avia on Services will provide a cri cal role in offering the highest level of support for Sikorsky helicopters in a strategically important region.” “Thai Avia on Services has a long-standing partnership with Sikorsky over the past 25 years. We look forward to expand-

ing this partnership through the designa on as a Customer Support Center and pu ng our extensive experience opera ng Sikorsky aircra to use for the benefit of suppor ng all Sikorsky aircra opera ng in this region,” added Mr Craig Havas, Thai Avia on Services Deputy Managing Director for Opera ons and S-92 Chief Pilot. Customer Support Centers enable quick access to Sikorsky logis cs and spare parts inventory for operators while providing advanced service capabili es. This support centre will represent Sikorsky’s seventh in the Asia-Pacific and is amongst 20 such facili es around the world. In addi on to authorised support centres, Sikorsky’s customer support organisa on maintains four forward stocking loca ons in S-92 and S-76 fleet-concentrated regions and fields more than 100 customer service representa ves, all connected through Sikorsky’s state-of-the-art Customer Care Center in Trumbull, Connec cut.





SELF DRIVING CARS IN REGULATING TRAFFIC FLOW University and the University of Arizona also par cipated in the study.

Photo: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The presence of just a few autonomous vehicles can eliminate the stop-and-go driving of the human drivers in traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes, according to new research. This finding indicates that self-driving cars and related technology may be even closer to revolu onising traffic control than previously thought. “Our experiments show that with as few as five per cent of vehicles being automated and carefully controlled, we can eliminate stop-and-go waves caused by human driving behaviour,” said Dr Daniel B. Work, assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a lead researcher in the study. The use of autonomous vehicles to regulate traffic flow is the next innova on in the rapidly evolving science of traffic monitoring and control, said Prof Work. Just as fixed traffic sensors have been replaced by crowdsourced GPS data in many naviga on systems, the use of self-driving cars is poised to replace classical expressway traffic control concepts like variable speed limits. Cri cal to the success of this innova on is a deeper understanding of the dynamic between autonomous vehicles and human drivers on the road. The research was led by a mul -disciplinary team of researchers with exper se in traffic flow theory, control theory, robo cs, cyber-physical systems, and transportaon engineering. Apart from Prof Work, who represented UIUC, researchers from Rutgers University, Temple 08


The team conducted field experiments in Tucson, Arizona, in which a single autonomous vehicle circled a track con nuously with at least 20 other human-driven cars. Under normal circumstances, human drivers naturally create stop-and-go traffic, even in the absence of bo lenecks, lane changes, merges or other disrupons. This phenomenon is called the “phantom traffic jam.” By controlling the pace of the autonomous car in the study, they were able to smooth out the traffic flow for all the cars. For the first me, researchers demonstrated experimentally that even a small percentage of such vehicles can have a significant impact on the road, elimina ng waves and reducing total fuel consumpon by up to 40 per cent. This latest research suggests that even the related technology available now – such as adap ve cruise control – has the power to improve traffic even before there are large numbers of autonomous vehicles on the road. “Fully autonomous vehicles in common traffic may be s ll far away in the future due to many technological, market and policy constraints,” said Rutgers University’s Professor Benede o Piccoli. “However, increased communica on among vehicles and increased levels of autonomy in human-driven vehicles is in the near future.” Professor Benjamin Seibold of Temple University concluded that the proper design of autonomous vehicles required a profound understanding of the reac on of humans to them, and traffic experiments played a crucial role in understanding the interplay of human and robo c agents. The researchers say the next step will be to study the impact of autonomous vehicles in denser traffic with more freedom granted to the human drivers, such as the ability to change lanes.






GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Sembcorp Industries announced the launch of its Global Asset Management System (GAMS) on 31 March 2017. U lising advanced digital tools, the system puts Sembcorp at the forefront of using predic ve analy cs in the opera ons of u li es plants. The official launch ceremony was graced by Ms Low Yen Ling, currently Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Educa on, and Mayor of South West District. Housed with the Sembcorp Technology & Innova on Centre on Jurong Island, GAMS is able to leverage on the Group’s global knowledge and experience to drive opera onal excellence. It also enables the Group, which has utilities operations across 14 countries including Singapore, India, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the UK, to manage its global businesses and assets reliably and efficiently. The system consolidates opera onal data for Sembcorp’s

global opera ons on a real- me basis and focuses on three key areas: 1. Plant Op misa on: To ensure op mal plant performance by benchmarking plant performance data and providing automated alerts of abnormal occurrences. 2. Predic ve Maintenance: To reduce unplanned outages by early detec on of equipment problems and by op mising the ming of maintenance. 3. Process Improvement: To maximise efficiency and produc vity by proac ve iden fica on and enhancement of exis ng plant processes and by op mising assets. Mr Tang Kin Fei, Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries, said, “In today’s digital era, it is excep onally important for companies to leverage the full poten al of technological solu ons. The introduc on and launch of the Sembcorp Global Asset Management System is part and parcel of Sembcorp’s con nued investment in platforms and partnerships that enable us to strengthen our technological edge and stay globally compe ve.”

DE NORA PERMELEC LTD COMPLETES FIRST COMMERCIAL INSTALLATION OF CECHLO® THREE COMPARTMENT CELL ELECTROLYSERS De Nora Permelec Ltd has successfully completed its first commercial installa on of CECHLO® three-compartment cell electrolysers, paving the way for more cost-effec ve and sustainable industrial wastewater recovery, while also crea ng an addi onal revenue stream for its clients. An East Asian chemical manufacturer contracted De Nora to install the electrolysers – the largest in the industry when it comes to three-compartment cell design – to improve its treatment process, which it has been opera ng at full capacity since January 2017. The success of the electrolysers is brought about by the proven and reliable performance of the membrane cell technology used in it, which was developed by the Japan-based team of ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers Ltd. The new electrolysers also recover tetramethylammonium, a valuable chemical, from wastewater discharged by the plant’s semi-conductor, and this has enabled the company to resell it as tetramethylammonium hydroxide.



De Nora Representa ve Managing Director Makoto Okura said, “(The company) has a long history in leading industry innova on in water treatment and electrolysis, and developing bespoke solu ons for clients. This project is a great example of innova ng and harnessing new technology to meet specific needs together with our clients.” He added that the electrolysers were key to turning wastewater handling for the client into a revenue-genera ng opportunity, using the electrochemical route to recover valuable chemicals and raw materials. As well as increasing efficiency through being three mes larger than conven onal electrolysers, the unique structure of the CECHLO® electrolyser’s middle chamber cuts power consump on by 20 per cent, thus reducing its carbon footprint by the same amount. Following this installa on, De Nora has received further enquiries for both the lithium-ion ba ery market and the pulp and paper market.




The VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland is coordina ng the “5G-Safe” project, which aims to reduce traffic accidents. It involves the development of new vehicular network solu ons, and enhanced local road weather and safety services, which will support drivers, road operators and autonomous vehicle management systems. The new services will require no ac on from motorists while driving – data will be gathered and warnings will be sent to users automa cally. “The wide introduc on of real- me services, based on sensor and video data collected from vehicles, is being made possible by next-genera on 5G mobile network technology and new solu ons suppor ng op mal data collec on and exchange,” said Dr Tiia Ojanperä, a project manager from VTT. “5G will form the cornerstone of interac on between robot cars, for example. Finnish ICT firms have major export poten al in this area. Contem-

porary driver support systems are mainly vision-based, relying on signals generated by the vehicle’s sensors. 5G and short-range radios will also bring the power of speech and hearing to vehicles, taking their capabili es to a new level,” she added. The services currently being developed will automa cally iden fy the prevailing local weather and road condi ons based on data collected from vehicles. Warnings and other useful informaon are sent in real- me to road users, road operators and autonomous vehicle control systems. The new network and cloud compu ng technologies being researched under the project will reduce delays in data exchange and be more scalable than current services. In addi on, 5G-Safe, which is part of Tekes’ Challenge Finland compe on, also aims to enable the exchange of real- me video and radar data between passing vehicles. Other issues being inves gated

include the use of data on local road weather condi ons to improve the situa onal awareness of autonomous vehicles and the enhancement of autonomous opera on in harsh weather. New business is being sought for the par cipa ng companies via this project, which began recently and will end in 2018. Private-sector partners have been ac vely involved in defining the project’s content from the beginning, which improves the prospects of commercialising the results. In addi on to VTT, the research partners include Des a, the Finnish Meteorological Ins tute and its commercial services, Kal o Technologies Oy, SITO, Tieto and Unikie. Nokia, Sunit and VR Transpoint are par cipa ng as sponsors. Support is also being provided by a technical expert group including Bi um, Dynniq (the Netherlands), the Finnish Transport Agency, Telia and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017



GROOMING HIGHLY-SKILLED CIVIL ENGINEERS IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Sustainable development is gaining attention in recent years. Practitioners today are trying to integrate environmental concerns into the design, construction and operation of facilities. Singapore’s BCA Green Mark Scheme is an excellent example of how Singapore seeks to progress in sustainable development in the light of environmental pollution control and management needs, as well as limited natural resources.

in their first year, where they will be exposed to the environmental impact of civil engineering activities and learn to use the environmental management system as a framework to develop programmes to minimise harmful impact. Examples of integrated, holistic solutions to climate changes that influence urban planning for sustainable development in the Singapore context will be discussed.

The new Civil Engineering degree programme, jointly offered by Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and University of Glasgow (UofG), aims to address the need for local manpower with the necessary civil engineering professional qualifications in the face of sustained building and infrastructure development.

In this 13-week module, students also will work on a case study where a rural toilet facility is plagued with a ‘no tap water’ problem. Students will be grouped into small teams and given a problem statement. They will learn to use the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) framework to troubleshoot for possible causes of the problem. Subsequently, students may visit the site to verify their assumptions and resolve the issues systematically. The project will end with recommendations, budgeting, purchasing of relevant parts and a final practical session to put the toilet facility to working order.

Through a heavy emphasis on project-based applied learning and industrial immersion, this programme aims to produce industry-ready graduates who are equipped with a high level of technical expertise to address multidisciplinary challenges, provide technically sound and sustainable solutions to complex problems. Students will be encouraged to explore innovations in environmental management for the built environment. They will be given opportunities to create prototypes via hands-on workshops in The Catalyst – a makerspace in SIT to turn ideas into action. SIT-UofG Civil Engineering students will study a module called ‘Civil Engineering & Sustainable Built Environment’



This is a bold step to take a real problem in sustainable living and rural civil engineering works to the classroom and eventually solve it on-site to achieve the desired outcomes. It seeks to develop in students a curious mind set, a troubleshooting mentality, a systematic approach methodology, a repair capability, a cross-disciplinary outlook and a persistence to solve a practical problem in a cost-efficient manner. The learning outcomes can be extended to complex civil engineering problems as the students progress into the senior years of study.





TO TRANSFORM THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT SECTOR Construc on firms will receive more support from the Singapore Government to improve their produc vity and explore growth opportuni es. A strong pipeline of public sector projects The total value of construc on contracts to be awarded this year is expected to be between SGD 28 billion and SGD 35 billion. However, private sector demand is expected to remain subdued. To moderate this, the government will be pushing out a strong pipeline of major infrastructure projects in the next few years. This includes Tengah HDB Town, LTA’s Circle Line 6 and Changi Airport Terminal 5. In addi on, as announced earlier, the government will be bringing forward SGD 700 million worth of public sector infrastructure projects, so that construc on work can commence in 2017 and 2018. These are smaller building projects such as the upgrading of community clubs and sports facili es, which small and medium-sized firms may be able to take up. The government will also encourage public agencies to parcel out larger projects into smaller ones, where appropriate, to help diversify risk and enable more local firms to par cipate.

Produc vity improvements Annual site produc vity has improved from 0.3% per year in 2010 to about 2% per year from 2014 to 2016. Site produc vity is measured by the floor area (m2) completed per man-day. To further raise produc vity in the sector, a SGD 150 million Public Sector Construc on Produc vity Fund (PSCPF) will be introduced to spur the adop on of innova ve and produc ve solu ons for public sector projects. This will help to offset the cost premium of adop ng these technologies. Firms can also tap on BCA’s Construc on Produc vity and Capability Fund (CPCF) to purchase or lease equipment, implement process improvement plans, adopt infocomm technologies (ICT) and upgrade their workforce. As of last year, around SGD 450 million of the CPCF has been commi ed, benefi ng more than 9,000 firms - of which about 90% are small and medium-sized firms.



Also, the Land Intensifica on Allowance (LIA) scheme will be extended to support the development of Integrated Construc on and Prefabrica on Hubs (ICPHs) which are mul -storey advanced manufacturing facili es for producing prefabricated construc on elements. Under the scheme, firms will receive a tax relief on the capital expenditure incurred in the construc on of ICPHs. LIA is a tax incen ve scheme to support the intensifica on of industrial land use in more land-efficient and higher value-added ac vi es. To improve produc vity in the built environment sector, the online submission of building plans will also be enhanced to make the process easier and more transparent. BCA is exploring the use of automated checking so ware to iden fy non-compliance with building requirements, when processing building plans. Since November 2014, selected sites under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme are required to use high-impact, produc ve, construc on technologies to drive the adop on of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA). To-date, 15 GLS sites have been specified to adopt Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construc on (PPVC), where building modules complete with internal finishes and fi ngs are manufactured off-site before they are transported to site for assembly. Moving forward, the government is looking at pilo ng a GLS site that specifies produc vity outcomes. This is to encourage innova ve solu ons by providing developers the flexibility to propose the most suitable technologies to adopt.

Venturing overseas To help local firms venture overseas and secure market opportuni es, an interna onalisa on taskforce has been formed to iden fy synergies across the construc on, environmental services, landscape, real estate and security sectors, to enable local companies to band together and provide integrated services, as part of the interna onalisa on push. Recommenda ons by the taskforce will be announced, when ready.






IBC BIFACIAL SOLAR MODULE The Solar Energy Research Ins tute of Singapore (SERIS) at the Na onal University of Singapore (NUS) has developed, what is said to be, the world’s first full-size Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) bifacial solar module using ZEBRA solar cells from the Interna onal Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz (ISC Konstanz), in Germany. With high-efficiency IBC silicon solar cells, six inches in width, the 60-cell bifacial module is capable of producing up to 400 W of electric power, compared to conven onal modules with power outputs in the range of 270 W to 290 W.

The full-size IBC bifacial module developed at SERIS has no metal connec ons on the front side and minimal connec ons on the rear side, thereby increasing the cell ac ve-area for electricity genera on.

The first prototype of the module was produced using bifacial ZEBRA IBC solar cells from ISC Konstanz, with efficiencies as high as 22%. The cells were fabricated using industrially proven process equipment and standard industrial 6-inch n-type Cz monocrystalline silicon wafers. The module’s structural reliability is ensured by using a double-glass insula on technique perfected by SERIS, since 2009. Encapsulated using the double-glass structure, IBC bifacial solar modules could offer a longer warranty period of 30 years or more. Furthermore, by u lising the bifacial nature of the solar cells, as much as 30% extra power is generated by the double-glass module, due to reflec on of sunlight from the ground towards the module’s rear surface. “With SERIS’ new module design, panels with 350 W front-side power can be made with sixty 23% efficient screen-printed IBC cells. Considering an addi onal 20% of power via the panel’s transparent rear surface, each 60-cell IBC bifacial module will produce a stunning 400 W of power in the real world”, said Dr Wang Yan, Director of SERIS’ PV Module Cluster.



The full-size IBC bifacial module has several unique features: • All back contact: This eliminates metal shading losses from the cells’ front surface. As a result, the module can achieve higher current and efficiency outputs. • Bifacial nature: The module is able to absorb light from both its front and rear surface, with a bifaciality of 75%. This enables the module to convert sunlight that enters via its rear surface, as a result of reflec on from the ground and the surroundings. • Double-glass structure: The cells are encapsulated between two glass panes using polyolefin elastomer (POE) which guarantees a long module life me in the field. • Low-temperature interconnec ons: This prevents warping of the IBC cells due to hea ng. • Specially designed and customised electrical junc on box: This prevents shading of the rear surface of the bifacial IBC cells.


• Industrially feasible solar cell and module fabrica on process and equipment: This enables the module to achieve high efficiency at lower cost and means that the technology is ready for industrial produc on. Dr Radovan Kopecek, Founder of ISC Konstanz, Director of Advanced Solar Cells and Lead Scien st for ZEBRA development since 2009, has ambi ous future plans for this technology. “Many people now might think that pu ng highly efficient IBC cells into bifacial modules does not make sense - but our consor um will prove them wrong. The ZEBRA process is extremely simple and cost-effec ve and so is the module manufacturing process. In large bifacial systems, this technology will lead to the lowest LCOEs ever. Bifaciality is quickly gaining popularity and, since a few weeks ago, one can also simulate the bifacial advantage using PVsyst. Such developments will

give many bifacial technologies the breakthrough in the PV systems arena”, he said. Prof Armin Aberle, SERIS CEO, is also enthusias c about the development. “IBC cells are famous for their efficiency, reliability and durability in the field. The newly developed IBC bifacial module is a tes mony of SERIS’ R&D capabili es in the PV module technology sector. The module technology offers world-class front side power while providing free extra power from the rear side. As a result, it has excellent LCOE poten al” he explained. “The prototype module made at SERIS serves as a proof of concept for mass produc on. The next step will be to transfer the technology to industrial partners”, Prof Aberle added. He believes that such a high-power product could be made available in the market within two years.





TO BE HELD IN SINGAPORE The conference comes to Asia for the first me. Bentley Systems Incorporated, a leading global provider of so ware solu ons for advancing infrastructure, will be hos ng its ‘The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference’ at the Sands Expo and Convenon Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, from 10 to 12 October 2017.

impact on best pracces”, said Mr Carey Mann, Chief Marke ng Officer, Bentley Systems.

‘The Year in Infrastructure Conference’ provides an opportunity to learn about best prac ces in advancing collabora on and technological innova on among the architectural, engineering, construcon, and opera ons disciplines. The event will feature global leaders in infrastructure design, construc on, and opera ons sharing knowledge and best prac ces through presentaons, interac ve workshops, and projects nominated for the annual Be Inspired Awards. The Be Inspired Awards programme recognises outstanding BIM advancements and achievements in designing, engineering, construc ng, delivering, and/or opera ng safer, more resilient, sustainable, and intelligent roads, bridges, buildings, plants, water distribu on networks, and other infrastructure assets. The conference will also offer networking opportuni es with industry peers and thought leaders from around the world.

Singapore - the ideal venue in Asia The event has been held in London, UK, for many years. “We went to London, because we felt that it was one of a handful of places in the world that was showcasing some of the most innovave projects and providing the thought leadership around infrastructure. This forward-thinking has a global 18


“We see Singapore as one such place. We think Singapore is one of the most forward-looking countries, in terms of leading thought around infrastructure and obviously we see some very amazing projects, including Marina Bay Sands, the venue for the conference. We see Singapore providing that kind of leadership throughout the region and the rest of Asia, where an exci ng amount of work is taking place in infrastructure. It is in recogni on of this that we decided to come to Singapore”, he added. “We are expec ng that, like London, we will have significant par cipa on in presenta ons, juries and all aspects of ‘The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference’, from the leadership from Asian countries, along with colleagues from around the world”, Mr Mann con nued. Mr Mann pointed out that, although Bentley Systems is the facilitator, ‘The Year in Infrastructure Conference’ should be viewed as an industry event. “We are here with all the stakeholders in the industry, and the stakeholders include the project delivery firms who design and build these projects, the owner-operators who operate the assets, the press who cover the community, other vendors who work in the space, and we are all there to talk about how to advance infrastructure, celebrate the work that has gone on, learn from the best prac ces and progress the thinking. We are really excited about it”, he said.

Alliance Partner Pavilion and Sessions

Mr Carey Mann

A new feature at this year’s event is the Alliance Partner Pavilion, featuring live applica on and technology presenta ons from Microso , Siemens, Topcon and Bureau Veritas. A endees can meet with the partners, to learn how, together with Bentley, a range of advanced soluons can be provided.


SCPW 2017 TO EMPHASISE INNOVATION Organised by Singapore’s Building and Construc on Authority (BCA), together with its partner, SPHERE Exhibits, Singapore Construc on Produc vity Week 2017 (SCPW 2017) will address the theme ‘Embracing Innova on, Building Our Future’. SCPW 2017 will be held from 24 to 26 October 2017, at Singapore EXPO. The new theme reflects the important need for firms to move away from tradi onal construc on methods, embrace innova on, and change the way they build, in order to improve their compe veness and transform the built environment sector. SCPW 2017 will be focusing on four key areas: • Building up an eco-system for Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) • Iden fying possibili es through integrated digital delivery • Driving produc vity through integrated prefabricated Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems • Achieving high quality construc on through DfMA

Ac ve involvement of students At SCPW 2017, students will be ac vely involved in all the events. This will help them to understand the role they will play in transforming the construc on industry. Student events during SCPW, such as the Interna onal Building Informa on Modelling (BIM) Compe on and Produc vity Challenge, will allow them to interact and exercise their crea vity.

KEY INDUSTRY EVENTS BuildTech Asia 2017 BuildTech Asia 2017, the 7th edi on of the annual trade show, will address the challenges across various ver cal industries, such as Construc on Machinery and Equipment, Produc ve Technologies, Building Materials & Architectural Solu ons and Quality Finishes. GPE Pavilion More Government Procurement En es (GPEs) are expected to join the GPE Pavilion at BuildTech Asia 2017. The GPEs will showcase the produc ve technologies they have adopted in their projects and highlight how the public sector is taking the lead in driving higher produc vity. Interna onal par cipa on China, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Poland and Taiwan will be hos ng na onal pavilions at BuildTech Asia 2017.



With the par cipa on and involvement of these countries, more cu ng-edge technologies will be showcased at the exhibi on.

Manufacturing Solu ons Expo 2017 The 4th edi on of Manufacturing Solu ons Expo 2017 will be held concurrently with BuildTech Asia 2017. This expo, which has synergy with BuildTech Asia 2017, is expected to a ract 4,500 trade interna onal and regional visitors.

Knowledge-based sharing pla orms The BuildSmart Conference 2017 will be held on 24 and 25 October 2017. Organised by the Singapore Contractors Associa on Limited (SCAL), the inaugural Built Environment Summit 2017 will be held on 26 October 2017. The summit will focus on innova on and produc vity in construc on, and the respec ve roles and perspec ves across the built environment value chain.

ProTech ProTech will showcase how prefabricated and integrated modular MEP solu ons can reduce labour-intensive, on-site installa on works and shorten installa on me significantly. To create greater awareness of prefabricated MEP systems in building projects, the prefabrica on of different MEP modules will be demonstrated and showcased over the three days at the exhibi on. Addi onally, an MEP main contractor will provide visitors with informa on on these prefabricated MEP modules.

Good Quality Prac ces Workshop The Good Quality Prac ces Workshop will promote the use of produc ve and good quality architectural finishes. Besides the workshop, developers and builders with high CONQUAS scores will be invited to share their experiences and best prac ces on ensuring quality for DfMA construc on.

Produc vity Innova on Award With the con nuous support of SCAL, a member of CIJC (Construc on Industry Joint Council), the Produc vity Innova on Award is coming back bigger and stronger. To promote ‘thinking out of the box’, the Award aims to encourage construc on firms and their employees to generate and implement produc ve and innova ve ideas. SCAL will be engaging more contractors to put in their entries and showcase how these ideas can be implemented to enhance current processes.






ILLUMINATE i LIGHT MARINA BAY 2017 The event highlighted aesthe c and func onal possibili es with energy-saving ligh ng and eco-friendly materials, whilst also drawing a en on to broader environmental issues. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), i Light Marina Bay 2017, the fi h edi on of the sustainable light art fes val, was held from 3 March 2017 to 26 March 2017. The event featured 20 sustainable light art installa ons illumina ng the Marina Bay waterfront, in a colourful showcase. Three complementary fes val hubs were introduced at i Light Marina Bay 2017 which also a racted the par cipa on of community partners to champion the fes val’s sustainability cause, in different ways.

Community in unity for sustainability This year, ar sts from nine countries, including Singapore, presented sustainable light art installa ons anchored on the theme ‘Light & Nature’. Created with environment-friendly materials and energy-saving ligh ng, the installa ons highlighted the importance of sustainability and reinforced Marina Bay’s posi on as a sustainable precinct. Marking the official opening of the fes val was Ocean Pavilion, a light art installa on designed by Luke Jerram from the UK. Measuring up to 8.5 m in height, the upcycled dome-shaped structures were made of more than 25,000 re-purposed plas c water bo les and illuminated by energy-efficient LED ligh ng. The installa on was put together by more than 300 members of the community, including students from 11 local ins tu ons, over three weeks, during which the bo les were a ached onto structural sheets and assembled into the final artwork. Beyond the light art installa ons, the support for the sustainability cause was expressed through more tangible means by the business community around and beyond Marina Bay, by reducing energy consump on throughout the fes val. This year, a record number of 79 building owners and organisa ons pledged their support for the ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’ campaign, by switching off non-essen al ligh ng and turning up air-condi oning temperatures, throughout the fes val period. The energy saved from this fes val tradi on offset the power consump on of the light art installa ons at the fes val. 22


Mr Jason Chen, Fes val Director and Director (Place Management) of URA, said, “The fes val has grown beyond a showcase of sustainable light art installa ons. It is also a pla orm for ac ve involvement of the community and partners, to drive the sustainability cause in various ways. It is encouraging to see more partners ge ng involved in the fes val and suppor ng its cause, making it a fes val for the community and by the community”.

Sensory experience to learn about sustainability Beyond a visual treat of light art installa ons, i Light Marina Bay 2017 also featured a variety of sustainability-centric programmes organised by fes val partners, to provide a sensory and interac ve experience for the public. Championing the vision of a sustainable tomorrow and to provide a mee ng place for advocates, interest groups and communi es promo ng sustainable living, The RICE Company Ltd and Global Cultural Alliance Ltd presented one of this year’s three new fes val hubs - The Fantascal World of which included a recycling and upcycling marketplace, an urban garden, a learning yard, a kine c energy playground, as well as other ac vi es such as immersive performances, music and a host of upcycling and green ac vi es within these spaces. On the opposite side of Marina Bay, another fes val hub, Art-Zoo, created by Mr Jackson Tan, Crea ve Director of local mul -disciplinary agency BLACK, informed children and families about wildlife and about crea ng a sustainable world through a visual adventure, with 11 giant animal and plant inflatables set in an imagina ve play-garden at The Float @ Marina Bay. Fes val ar sts and industry prac oners also discussed the topic of sustainability at the i Light Symposium. Themed ‘Social-Light’, the symposium addressed ways in which light can be expressed and employed in various social situa ons and how light can play an integral role in community building and place-making.



OCEAN PAVILION by Luke Jerram (UK) Inspired by the natural forms of the microscopic diatoms and radiolarians found in the river and sea around Singapore, the Ocean Pavilion is both a space for contempla on and wonder. Constructed with repurposed plas c bo les and lit from within, with energy-eďŹƒcient LEDs, it is a stunningly beau ful structure of both order and an organic disorder, and a celebra on of the coexistence of nature and the built environment. Image by i Light Marina Bay 2017.

NORTHERN LIGHTS by Aleksandra Stra mirovic (Sweden) Northern Lights is a lightart piece inspired by the enthralling experience of the aurora borealis, the spectacular and poe c natural light phenomenon that occurs in the sky, in the northern hemisphere. Using a carefully programmed light story, performed through 100 ver cally posi oned light lines equipped with LED sources, the dynamic movement of the lights evokes a mesmerising and poe c sensa on in an unpredictable flow which interacts in mately with its surroundings. Image by i Light Marina Bay 2017.




(ULTRA) LIGHT NETWORK by Felix Raspall, Carlos Bañón, Manuel Garrido and Mohan Elara (Singapore) (Ultra) Light Network exposes nature’s basis, as networks of energy and information flows, and portrays the duality of light as luminous energy and light as immaterial quality. An ultra-light structure floats 2.5 m overhead, consisting of 150 organic-shaped 3D printed nodes connected into a volumetric mesh. The presence of activity near the structure triggers dynamic patterns of light that pick up in intensity as more people approach the structure. Image by i Light Marina Bay 2017.

KALEIDOSCOPIC MONOLITH by Kenneth Tracy, Chris ne Yogiaman, Suranga Nanayakkara, Singapore University of Technology and Design (Singapore) Kaleidoscopic Monolith incites curiosity from spectators through light, reflec on and form. At a distance, it is perceived as a single convex form with a subtly changing profile as visitors approach. On closer inspec on, its rippling surface reveals a pa ern of concavi es which distort, repeat, and reorient the context, while a pa ern of light on the surface surrounds the piece in an ambient, glowing pool and illuminates onlookers whose own reflec ons become part of the spectacle. Evoking a kaleidoscope, the colourful pa erns created by the installa on resists a singular meaning and instead provokes par cipants to discover their own allusions through interac ve play. Image by Singapore University of Technology and Design.




HYBYCOZO by Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu (USA and Canada) HYBYCOZO sits at the intersec on of science, technology, geometry, materials, and the ar sts’ favourite book, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Taking these farranging influences, the ar sts have borrowed everything from ancient Islamic les to the pa erns created by par cle physicists when modelling the unified field theory to translate the appearance of beauty within naturally occurring harmonic rela onships and pa erns in the natural world into sculptural form. Image by i Light Marina Bay 2017.

DANDE-LIER by COLOURS x Web Structure x Prof Yuen’s Research Team (Singapore) Dande-lier conveys a feeling of weightlessness by using lightweight umbrellas, transforming an everyday object into a device to change visitors’ perspec ves of their surroundings. The umbrella spans across scales, individually as a chandelier, and collec vely as a dandelion – hence the name ‘Dande-lier’. Within, the view of the outside world is warped, transpor ng visitors into an alternate world, with a smart ligh ng system that responds dynamically to the visitors’ posi on in the sculpture. Image by COLOURS.

URCHIN by Choi+Shine Architects (USA) Urchin is inspired by sea urchins. The textured and permeable surfaces interact with the light, while the mathema cal repe on in the lace brings visual rhythm and harmony, and sets this delicate and natural form against the skyline of the city. Image by Choi+Shine.jpg




ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGIES USED TO BUILD NTU’S MEGA SPORTS HALL The facility represents innova on in design, construc on and opera on.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Na onal Development & Second Minister for Finance (pictured centre), launches The Wave.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) recently unveiled its new sports hall named The Wave, which is claimed to be the first large-scale building in Southeast Asia that has been built using an innova ve mber construc on method known as Mass Engineered Timber technology. The Wave was officially opened by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Na onal Development & Second Minister for Finance. Mass Engineered Timber is said to provide five mes better heat insula on than concrete. Further, in this project, Mass Engineered Timber has been used to create and support a con nuous, 72 m wave-like roof, without the need for internal columns. Since there are no internal pillars, a huge three-storey space is opened up, which can host three full-sized basketball courts or 13 badminton courts. A showpiece of innova ve technologies, The Wave is fi ed with 980 mechanised retractable seats and a special cooling system that chills the air as it enters the hall, so that no conven onal air-condi oning systems are needed.

Breaking new grounds in sustainability Buildings with large roofs typically need columns to support the weight, and their size is limited if built without internal columns. 26


The Wave at NTU not only pushes new fron ers in construc on technologies, but also comes with a host of sustainable technologies such as a special cooling system that gives students a ‘unique sports experience’.


NTU’s sports hall is designed with external columns to support the seven long-span mber arches which weigh over 440 t. This is possible because Mass Engineered Timber has a higher strength-to-weight ra o than concrete or steel. As the building process involves assembling prefabricated parts, construc on is sped up, resul ng in 25% savings in manpower. The Wave comes with eco-friendly features such as energy-saving LED ligh ng and solar powered systems, and is designed to take advantage of its natural surroundings. The building designers used computer modelling of the sun path and wind pa erns on-site, in order to take advantage of the natural wind flow. Students within the building will enjoy good ven la on with average wind speeds of about 0.4 m /sec. Each external wall has two layers, with a pocket of air between them, that insulates the building on hot days. The walls have special metal coils installed, with chilled water flowing through them. This cools the wind that enters the hall allowing warmer air to escape through convec on. These eco features are es mated to save over 40% of energy. Students can play badminton in this dra -free environment as there will be no wind disrup on from fans. Neither is there a need for conven onal air-condi oning to stay cool.

All images by Nanyang Technological University.

PROJECT CREDITS Project Owner Nanyang Technological University Design Architect Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects Project Architect Sembcorp Architects & Engineers Pte Ltd Civil & Structural Consultant T.Y. Lin Interna onal Pte Ltd Mechanical & Electrical Consultant T.Y. Lin Interna onal Pte Ltd Quan ty Surveyor Sembcorp Architects & Engineers Pte Ltd PDV System Consultant ME (TCS) Consul ng Engineers ESD Consultant TÜV SÜD PSB Pte Ltd Ligh ng Specialist Highlight Systems Acous cs Consultant Acviron Acous cs Consultants Pte Ltd Builder B19 Technologies Pte Ltd

A PIONEER IN GREEN CONSTRUCTION The Wave is NTU’s latest architectural icon, built using green construc on technology. NTU’s student residences at North Hill and the upcoming ones at Nanyang Crescent are the first public highrise buildings in Singapore to be built using Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construc on (PPVC), a ground-breaking eco-friendly technology. This ‘Lego-style’ construc on method can save about 25% to 40% in manpower, and 15% to 20% in construc on me. It also reduces noise and dust pollu on onsite, as more ac vi es are done off-site. Another example is NTU’s learning hub, named The Hive. The building has a unique ven la on system and no fans are required for air distribu on, thereby making the climate control system more sustainable than convenonal air-condi oning. The various openings between the pods also allow for natural ven la on at the atrium, corridors, staircases and li lobbies. NTU holds the na onal record of 53 BCA Green Mark Pla num Awards. The university is also the first recipient of the BCA Green Mark Pla numSTAR Champion Award - the highest accolade in Singapore for outstanding commitment to sustainable design. NTU hopes to achieve a 35% reduc on in energy and water usage, and waste genera on, at its campus, by 2020, and thereby acquire the dis nc on of owning the greenest eco-campus in the world.




MASS ENGINEERED TIMBER The term Mass Engineered Timber (MET) refers to engineered wood products that exhibit improved structural integrity for various construc on purposes. Examples of MET include Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). MET components can be prefabricated o-site, in factories, to precise specifica ons. A CLT panel consists of layers of wood, with each layer stacked perpendicular to the adjacent layers, and bonded together with structural adhesives. CLT panels can be ideally used for walls, floors and roofs. The produc on of Glulam is similar to the produc on of CLT, but here the wood boards are all stacked in the same direc on as the adjacent layers. Glulam panels can be used for structural beams and roof trusses.

CLT roof slab installa on

Glulam beam installa on

Mass Engineered Timber is used in the construc on of The Wave.



CLT slab hois ng and installa on

Glulam column



CONNECTED LIGHTING The shi from analog to digital, in the last 30 years, has changed the world. Today, technology has become a personal tool that can help people stay connected with other people and organisa ons, wherever they are. For Philips Ligh ng, ligh ng is now not just about illumina on, it is also a channel to transmit informa on. Communica on and data through ligh ng Connected ligh ng systems offer a digital ceiling infrastructure that provides high-quality, reliable illumina on as well as a smart, high-bandwidth communica ons pla orm that delivers value beyond illumina on. Informa on collected through a connected ligh ng system offers deeper insights into building usage and greater control over the distribu on and consump on of resources. Building owners and managers can then reap savings from op mising ligh ng and other building ver cals, such as HVAC.

Enabling light to provide illumina on and more The Philips PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) smart, connected ligh ng system is said to be the world’s first disrup ve and innova ve smart office ligh ng system. It can integrate with other systems in a building or city, to create new synergies and efficiencies, and make ligh ng an integral part of the new digital ecology. Making use of the exis ng network, it turns every luminaire into a node in the basic network, that can be used to collect a variety of data, in order to create a pla orm for the Internet of Things (IoT) and exploit the poten al for its applica on. With PoE, both power and data can be transmi ed over just one cable, to cater to the needs of the ligh ng and control system. In a connected ligh ng system, every luminaire is directly connected to and uniquely iden fied within a building’s IT network, allowing system managers to monitor, manage and maintain individual light points via ligh ng management so ware.


Advantages of a PoE-driven smart office Future-proofing with smart technology Future-proofing of the building with smart technology, within a digital ceiling infrastructure, provides the ability to cater to future informa on needs, since it is possible to increase the number of sensors to collect a variety of informa on. Future changes in the office spaces can be accommodated since the shared facili es are provided with Ethernet and no rewiring is needed. The ability to add on beacons such as Bluetooth or Wifi caters to diverse telecommunica ons needs. Timely upgrades can be provided through so ware and hardware updates, as well as system integra on.

Increasing management efficiency Collec on of data through built-in sensors in luminaires facilitates big data analysis on staff and department acvi es, helps policy making, op mises workspace u lisaon, and allows for efficient alloca on and maintenance of resources.

Increasing produc vity Innova ve light coding technology helps in indoor naviga on. Luminaires can be scanned to iden fy staff posi ons in the office building. Further, mobile phones provide route naviga on to help staff or visitors locate mee ng rooms and office clusters, as well as mobile work sta ons.

Comfort and control

With integrated sensors, connected luminaires become points of intelligence that share data on occupancy, acvity pa erns, and changes in temperature and daylight levels.

Ligh ng in offices has a profound effect on workers’ well-being and vitality, influencing daily produc vity. Connected ligh ng offers individual, personalised control of environments, through mobile apps, crea ng a much more pleasant and comfortable workplace.

The wireless communica ons also allows for connected luminaires to deliver loca on-based services and in-context informa on to people in the illuminated spaces.

Third-party devices and systems can be integrated with the Philips Ligh ng system, becoming part of a ‘smart building’ app.



Employees are in control of their working environment with customisable ligh ng brightness and temperature.

Achieving the Green Building status Energy savings can be obtained through LED lights with high op cal efficiency, together with a control system and energy management.

Personalisa on with Visible Light Communica on

Using a central, computerised energy control so ware, energy usage data can be collated, analysed, monitored and compiled into a report. It allows for integra on of ligh ng and other building automa on systems, such as air-condi oning, security etc. Through real- me updates of staff numbers and locaons, it can automa cally adjust ligh ng levels, and air-condi oning temperatures, saving me, energy and money. When integrated with office systems such as Outlook and Lotus Note, lights and air-condi oning can be turned off automa cally a er a mee ng to prevent energy wastage. Connected ligh ng thus supports businesses who wish to achieve the green building cer fica on ra ngs and energy savings.

Quick and easy management of informa on

System components where do they go?

Architecture of the system THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017




THE DIGITAL ERA Philips Ligh ng, a major provider of ligh ng solu ons, sees major possibili es in the applica on of its Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology in buildings. In the office buildings sector of the building and construc on industry, the major drivers that will influence the direc on of progress are workplace trends, the regula ons for achieving greater sustainability, as well as the trends and challenges impac ng developers and tenants, according to Mr Jitender Khurana, Head of Professional Ligh ng Solu ons for Singapore and Interna onal Accounts, Philips Ligh ng (S) Pte Ltd. “In the Singapore context, effec ve usage of space is so relevant. Due to space constraints, every square metre needs to be op mised”, he said. Mr Khurana also believes that in the design of the workplace, people-centricity is very important and should not be overwhelmed by “all the technologies, all the smartness and all the connectedness”. “The digitalisa on has to be used to create a certain level of personalisa on for the people who are using the workplace. They have to be central to whatever we are doing. The well-being and emo onal aspects of the people using the workspace are important. Otherwise there is always the possibility for a disconnect. It then becomes more of a technology push and not really something that people who are using the space need”, he said. According to Mr Khurana, there are many different ways to use the new technologies to achieve greater sustainability. From a ligh ng standpoint, there are huge energy savings through adop ng LED technology. By moving from conven onal ligh ng to LEDs, there is 40% to 50% in energy savings. Connec ng LED light points wirelessly and managing them through the use of smart controls can reduce energy consump on by a further 20% to 30%. Although ligh ng contributes to only 20% to 25% of a building’s energy cost, by reducing this by 60% to 70%, the gains are substan al. Another important ques on is can technology, can all the connected solu ons also provide a certain level of flexibility and make buildings future-proof? When a building owner completes a project, which could take two or three years, and starts to maximise the u lisa on of the building, o en, newer and more innova ve solu ons could have entered the market, pushing the technologies



Mr Jitender Khurana

used in the building towards obsolescence. Mr Khurana says that future-proofing should be be er thought-through, than what is being done now, and that technology can be put to good use to future-proof buildings to some extent. Speaking of the PoE ligh ng technology from Philips Ligh ng, Mr Khurana said that the totally connected ligh ng a empts to address the trends and challenges men oned earlier. Sensors are integral in every PoE luminaire. The ligh ng network includes a number of data points that collect data on daylight levels, lux levels, occupancy levels etc, from different areas of the building, at different mes of the day. Data analy cs can be used for analysing the data, in order to enhance space op misa on. “With PoE ligh ng, the whole premise is that lights are now not running on electric cables. They are running on Internet cables, like Cat 5 / Cat 6 cables, delivering both power and data. It is why you have an IP (Internet Protocol) network now. It has a unique IP and can be controlled, monitored and managed from a central server room or central dashboard”, he said. Mr Khurana pointed out that there is a large, growing ecosystem of devices running on IP. “It means that all challenges that we had in system integra on, between different ver cals, are being addressed. We are not there yet, not every device is on IP, but the ecosystem is growing very fast, with various IP devices connected to the digital ceiling, on a single backbone. System integra on, data flow from one ver cal to another and decision-making, are improving”, he said. The architecture of the PoE ligh ng system is simple to deploy and manage, explained Mr Khurana. Sensors can be integrated into luminaires, powering other technologies such as Visible Light Communica on (VLC), which enable indoor posi oning and personal control capabili es. All luminaires are connected to a PoE switch, and all switches are connected to a gateway which is the aggrega on point. The gateway, in turn, is linked to a dashboard.




The Edge is an office building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Opened in 2015, it received an ‘Outstanding’ (the highest) BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) sustainability ra ng, with a score of 98.36%.

The Edge, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands has gained worldwide recogni on for its sustainability and intelligence. Philips Ligh ng has contributed to the design and implementa on of this project.

Connected ligh ng system Developed by OVG Real Estate, The Edge is Deloi e’s new office building. OVG and Deloi e worked closely with Philips Ligh ng to deliver a connected ligh ng system that uses cu ng-edge technologies to enhance the flexibility of the open-plan office. It not only allows employees to personalise the ligh ng and temperature at their workplaces, using a smartphone app, but also provides real- me data on opera ons and ac vi es. This data helps facility managers maximise opera onal efficiency as well as reduce the building’s CO2 footprint.

Op misa on of building opera ons The system uses nearly 6,500 connected LED luminaires to create a ‘digital ceiling’ across the building’s 15 storeys. Three thousand of these luminaires have sensors that work with Philips Envision ligh ng management so ware, the system that captures, stores, shares and distributes informa on throughout the illuminated space. Facility managers use the so ware to visualise and analyse this data, track energy consump on and streamline maintenance opera ons. The system uses 750 Power-over- Ethernet (PoE) switches to connect ligh ng fixtures to the building’s IT network. The integrated sensors capture anonymous data on room occupancy, temperature, and humidity, which are used to precisely deliver ligh ng, hea ng, cooling and cleaning

The Edge is also characterised by innova ve configura on of spaces.

resources, with maximum energy efficiency. Light levels, hea ng, cooling and cleaning are reduced in low-occupancy areas, to save me, money and energy.

Personalisa on of workspace Individual employees can use the system to create a personal space. For example, the connected luminaires use Visible Light Communica ons (VLC) to offer services to employees in the illuminated space. VLC sends a code via the LED light beam and the employee’s smartphone camera receives this code, registering his or her loca on. With an iPhone app designed for The Edge, the employee can control the ligh ng above a specific desk, even in an open plan office. Employees also use the app to adjust the ligh ng and temperature in mee ng rooms. The connected ligh ng system also enables employees to locate colleagues, check on room availability and navigate from place to place. LED ligh ng is also known for its low power consump on and resul ng energy cost savings.

Successful applica on of good prac ces The Philips connected ligh ng system at The Edge is the first fully-realised system of its kind. By communica ng and interac ng with the environment, office life becomes an immersive experience. With the ability to personalise work spaces, employees find the building a more invi ng place to work in. The system demonstrates leadership in sustainable pracces and human-centric working environments, a vision shared by OVG, Deloi e and Philips. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017



A DYNAMIC WORKING ENVIRONMENT DEFINED BY RESOURCE EFFICIENT AND SMART TECHNOLOGIES The Edge in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has become famous for its innova ve design.

The Edge is a ‘smart building’ that houses Deloi e’s employees. Image by Dirk Verwoerd / PLP Architecture.

In 2009, PLP Architecture (PLP) was invited to design The Edge, Deloi e’s new office building in Zuidas, Amsterdam’s business centre in the Netherlands. The ambion of the project was two-fold - firstly, to consolidate the workplace of Deloi e’s employees, within a single environment, as previously it was spread across mul ple buildings throughout the city, and secondly, to create a ‘smart building’ that would act as a catalyst for Deloi e’s transi on into the digital age. PLP’s design for the building, which won first prize in the compe on, addressed these condi ons directly: • What is the role of architecture when the workplace is permeated by layers of technology that fundamentally alter the way that we interact with our environment? • How can design augment these virtual frameworks to create places that encourage spontaneous sociability? PLP proposed a building that creates a symbolic display out of the informal collabora on spaces and the mul34


The atrium in the building is a natural gathering place lit by natural light filtering in through the glass façade and roof. Image by Ronald Tilleman / PLP Architecture.

tude of different working atmospheres demanded by new pa erns of working - flexible and social, physically and virtually interconnected. The star ng point was the design of a ‘social condenser’ - a nucleus for the building. Taking the form of an atrium interspersed with bridges and exposed li cores, which act as nodes of horizontal and ver cal ac vity, this nucleus collates a series of social environments, in order to galvanise a specific internal working culture. The atrium acts as a giant theatrical device - a stage that is visible from the surrounding offices which are arrayed as an amphitheatre around it, as well as a lens through which the mul plicity of social encounters is broadcast, as a civic spectacle, to the city beyond. The scale of the space, and the atmosphere created by a subtle differen a on in materials and ligh ng, make the atrium a natural gathering place. It is lo y but calm, filled with steady north light which filters in through the low-e glass of the atrium façade. As a con nuous surface, this


façade folds into the roof to animate the building, not only ac ng as a window that unveils its daily ac vi es to the outside, but also framing the varying surroundings to the inside.

Image by Horizon Photoworks / Fokkema & Partners (Interior Architect)

In The Edge, employees do not have assigned desks. This allows Image by Raimond Wouda PLP Architecture them to work anywhere in the building in varying levels/of introspec on or sociability.

AWARDS 2015 AIA Con nental Europe Award (Environmental Design Category) Winner 2015 Blueprint Awards (Best Sustainable Design Category) Shortlisted 2015 Leaf Awards (‘Developer of the Year’ Category) Shortlisted 2015 WAN Sustainable Building Awards Shortlisted 2016 BREEAM Award (Offices New Construc on Category) Winner PROJECT DATA Client OVG Real Estate Loca on The Zuidas, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Date Completed May 2015 Type of Project Office Building Size & Programme 40,000 m2 including mul ple tenancy offices, shared communal spaces, café and other ameni es

In The Edge, employees no longer have assigned desks. This allows them to work anywhere in the building in varying levels of introspec on or sociability. There are work-booths, focus rooms, concentra on rooms, si ng desks, standing desks and balcony desks, along with the many work-sta ons within the sun-filled atrium itself. The building adapts to the users’ preferences for ligh ng and hea ng via a mobile app which also allows users to locate their colleagues and find free desks. The combina on of app and architecture supports ac vity-based working. Employees ac vely choose the environment, mood and atmosphere they want to work in, for different tasks, throughout the day. The Edge creates a radically new working environment which is enabled by sustainable technologies. With the BREEAM ra ng of ‘Outstanding’, the highest ra ng for sustainability, awarded to an office building by BRE, The Edge combines numerous smart technologies, in tandem, thereby crea ng an adaptable and intelligent workplace.

PROJECT CREDITS Architects PLP Architecture, London, UK Main Tenant Deloi e Interior Architects Fokkema & Partners Structural Engineer Van Rossum Consul ng Engineers MEP Consultant Deerns Local Architect OeverZaaijer Sustainability Consultant C2N Bouwmanagement Building Physics LBP Sight Landscape Design Delta Vorm Groep Contractor G&S Bouw Façade Contractor Rollecate Glass Roof Brakel Atmos




AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF BIRD WINDOW COLLISIONS IN SINGAPORE by Prof Low Sui Pheng and Mr Lim Diam Han, Department of Building, Na onal University of Singapore Bird-window collisions account for a significantly high number of bird fatali es worldwide. This is because birds do not recognise the building’s transparent and reflec ve façade created by the glazed windows. There is li le exis ng research on bird-window collisions in the Asian, including Singaporean context. Also, reports and documenta on of bird-window collisions are not generally made, because there is no requirement to do so. Prof Low Sui Pheng Mr Lim Diam Han This seems to suggest that there could be more bird-window collisions that went unreported, with the building management team merely disposing the bird carcasses in a passive manner. There is a s ll a dire lack of informa on on how many birds are killed annually in Singapore, through bird-window collisions. This study aims to heighten the awareness on bird-window collisions and to gain a be er understanding of this phenomenon in the context of Singapore’s built environment. Introduc on Annually in the US, bird-window collisions account for millions of bird fatali es, ranking it as the second highest cause of bird deaths, behind cats [11]. This is primarily because birds do not recognise the building’s transparent and reflec ve façade created by the glazed windows. Consequently, birds flying through the city and neighbourhoods crash into windows [12]. At the same me, it appears that public awareness on this issue of bird-window collisions is s ll sorely lacking.

can also influence the rate of collisions. It has been proven that angled windows reduce the rate of collisions, but this is, however, dependent on the direc ons of flight of the birds [11].

Not all buildings, however, pose the same threat to birds, as concluded from studies conducted in the US. Low- and medium-rise buildings account for up to 54% of the total bird-window collisions during the day when the birds are ac vely naviga ng around buildings [16], [5]. High-rise towers, on the other hand, tend to pose a greater threat to the birds at night [15]. The glass area of a building façade is the most significant cause of bird-window collisions. [2], [8]. The nature of the building’s surroundings, such as foresta on and water sources, as well as the clear reflec on on the glass panels, render the window surface undetectable to the birds, thus leading to the collision [7]. In this context, much can be done to minimise such collisions, through the adop on of suitable building façades, such as nted and undula ng building façades. The posi oning of windows, which affects the reflec on of sunlight and glare during different mes of the day, 36


Tinted and undula ng building façades minimise mirror-like reflec on.


Bird-window collisions Man-made structures have posed threats to migratory birds for many years, with bird-window collisions accoun ng for millions of bird fatali es, annually [12], [11]. There is ample evidence in urban areas in North America, such as New York, Toronto and Chicago, to suggest that bird-window collisions involved the use of glass windows in buildings, especially during the migratory periods of spring and fall [4]. In Canada, over 25 million birds are killed by bird-window collisions annually, mainly involving houses [17].

Building façade with angled, weave-like, windows.

There is li le exis ng research on bird-window collisions in the Asian, including Singaporean, context, for many reasons. One possible reason is that the building regulaons in Singapore have yet to take into considera on the preven on of bird-window collisions. Another reason for this lacuna may be due to the low sigh ngs of bird-window collisions when compared to the corresponding figures for the western hemisphere. The lack of awareness among members of the public, on fatal bird-window collisions, also gives rise to scant a en on being paid to this ‘invisible’ issue in the built environment. Lastly, the scant a en on may also be the result of the social s gma a ached to the deaths of birds, which many people associate closely with serious disease outbreaks such as Avian Influenza. As a result, there is a lack of proper documenta on of bird-window collisions in Singapore and the corresponding bird fatality rates. The aim of this exploratory study is, therefore, to heighten the awareness of bird-window collisions and to gain a be er understanding of this phenomenon, in the context of Singapore’s built environment. As part of the work, a case study was conducted on a high-rise building in the Central Business District of Singapore, to understand the current protocol adopted by the building management team, following the iden fiaca on of bird-window collisions.

During the annual migratory period, up to 50 million birds cross the southern part of the US, in a span of a few short hours. Migra on distances can vary for different bird species; some making mul ple short flights, while others fly non-stop over a long distance. Hence, the migra on behaviour of birds can also vary [20]. In Singapore, the most commonly seen local birds are the Javan myna and the common pigeon which can be spo ed around areas where there is le over food, such as hawker centres and canteens. Migratory birds, such as the brown-chested jungle flycatcher and blue-winged pi a, use Singapore as a pit stop, between early October and early May. However, in recent years, these migratory birds have been observed to extend their stay in Singapore [1]. All birds, in general, will be able to see violet light, that is, they are violet sensi ve (VS), but some birds are also ultraviolet sensi ve (UVS). UV light is a type of electromagne c radia on from the sun, which birds rely heavily on, during flight [19], [3]. Innova ons that incorporate UV technology in the glass used for the facades, have been introduced, so that UVS birds would be able to avoid the glass facades [21]. However, the effec veness of such innova ons in preven ng bird-window collisions is unclear. Only a few species of birds have been studied, because of the complexi es associated with such studies that could possibly span thousands of different bird species [19]. Extensive studies have also concluded that UV markings might prevent bird-window collisions, but this applies only to birds with UVS vision and not to those with VS vision, with many birds falling into the la er category [9]. One out of two bird-window collisions results in instantaneous death of the bird, with the other resul ng in THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017



severe injury and shock [13]. The cause of death is o en mistaken to be a broken neck, when the real cause is head trauma, intra-cranial pressure and bleeding in the brain of the bird [23].

Detrimental effects of glass façades With glass being specified for facades in many buildings all over the world, the use of a double-skin or double glazing has become popular, to improve the energy efficiency of such buildings. However, with glass being one of the major causes for bird-window collisions, the glass used would have to be designed such that the birds will be able to recognise the glass panels as barriers. In a hot tropical country like Singapore, the double glazed façade of buildings does contribute to sustainable energy performance. Aesthe cally, the glass façade can provide a sophis cated, modern-day look and at the same me, allow the interior area to look more spacious. Glass is also lighter than other façade materials, hence reducing the dead load on the founda ons that can, in turn, lead to cost savings [6]. Transparency is an important property of glass, which makes it suitable for use as building façades. Its transparent property allows natural sunlight penetra on. However, this same transparent property has resulted in more bird fatali es due to bird-window collisions than avian deaths caused by humans, through other means [10]. Studies have shown that birds display behaviour suggesting that they are unable to iden fy the twin proper es of transparency and reflec vity of glass [10]. During different periods of the day, birds appear to perceive glass windows differently. Understanding how birds view the glass could mark the beginning of measures that can be taken to prevent bird-window collisions. During the day, due to the reflec vity of the glass and the images of the natural surroundings (eg sky, trees and clouds) reflected on the building’s glass panels, birds are generally unable to iden fy glass as an obstacle within their path of flight. At the same me, due to the transparency of the glass, the birds, a racted by the plants, food, water etc, placed internally behind the glass windows or façades, crash into them. Hence, with their inability to see the glass during the day, due to the two above-men oned reasons, the birds will crash into an invisible glass window or façade, at top speed, thinking that it was a con nuous stretch of sky or that they are able to reach the lures placed behind the glass. Likewise, buildings lit in the night pose hazards to birds flying and looking for res ng spots. In addi on, natural condi ons (eg mist, fog and haze) increase the illuminated area surrounding the buildings, distrac ng or confusing the birds and resul ng in bird-window collisions. Unless the birds have the ability to iden fy transparent glass as a barrier, bird-window collisions are bound to 38


happen. There is presently no one solu on to prevent bird-window collisions, that has been adopted universally. Many studies have been conducted to ac vely look for a solu on. However, conduc ng such trials has been costly, and the results were mixed, with some measures proving to be acceptable at certain loca ons and unacceptable at others [10]. Nevertheless, over the years, there has been some agreement that bird-window collisions can be reduced by making the birds visually aware of the existence of the glass barrier.

Non-technological approach A basic non-technological approach in deterring bird-window collisions lies with the 2 x 4 rule. This means that horizontal lines should not be spaced more than two inches apart and likewise for ver cal lines, not more than four inches apart. Birds will a empt to fly through any space that is bigger than that [14]. Suppor ng this 2 x 4 rule are solu ons such as the use of screens, nets, exterior shades and decals, placed at appropriate posi ons on building façades. These solu ons render glass visible to the birds and can readily be either retrofi ed to exis ng buildings or planned for installa on in new buildings [22]. Decals, unless used in large numbers and in accordance with the 2 x 4 rule, are however deemed to be ineffecve in reducing the occurrence of bird-window collisions [10]. The decals solu on seems to be only a short-term strategy, for use with smaller windows.

Technological approach Through technological advancements, over the years, the proper es of glass have been improved, especially in terms of increasing its durabiity and strength. To prevent bird-window collisions, caused by the inability of the birds to recognise transparent or reflec ve glass, the glass industry has a empted to enhance the property of glass, so as to warn birds of its presence. Etched pa erns of dots within the glass can prevent bird-window collisions effec vely, while remaining aesthe cally pleasing [10]. This approach was tested in New York City for a par cular building and no bird-window mortality was recorded in the ensuing two years of study [22]. As noted earlier, some birds have the ability to see UV light which is invisible to the human eye. Hence, glass panels with UV pa erns have been created, for this purpose. Another glass product, intended to achieve similar results, in the preven on of bird-window collisions, is based on a different approach. In this case, birds are able to view larger UV stripes or columns on the glass, again which are invisible to the human eye. Effec ve bird collision deterrent materials should therefore be considered more seriously for adop on in the built environment.


The management of B-Towers reported two fatal bird-window collisions in one week.

Case study A case study of an exis ng high-rise building was conducted, to understand the occurrence of bird-window collisions in the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore. This case study provides an insight into the occurrence of bird-window collisions in tall buildings, in an urban se ng. Glass was used for the façade of the building in the case study. Built in 1987 and standing at 38-storeys high, the building (henceforth referred to as B-Towers) was selected due to its loca on within the CBD area, with the north side of the building facing other skyscrapers within the CBD, while the south side faces the sea. Trees line the roads surrounding B-Towers. The phenomenon of bird-window collisions can be better understood by observing which side of the building the bird-window collisions occurred and the me of their occurrence. Contacts were ini ated with the building management staff of B-Towers, who were requested to no fy the research team of any sigh ng of bird-window collisions, within a one-month period from 18 July to 17 August 2016. This was also with a view to understand and document the procedure followed by the building management team for removal of the bird carcasses, along with the protocols that they followed, if any. The first case of a bird-window collision was reported to the research team on 2 August 2016, at 10.00 am. A pigeon was found dead on the building’s ledge, on the north side, facing other skyscrapers. This was iden fied as a bird-window collision, according to the accounts given by eye-witnesses on-site, as well as an imprint le on the window.

The building manager was no fied, who then promptly dispatched his cleaning staff on-site to remove the carcass. For safety reasons, a technician was also sent to assess the on-site situa on and to report if any damage was caused to the building. Following clearance by the technician that the building safety was not compromised, the cleaner proceeded to remove the carcass and dispose of it in the general refuse area. This appeared to be the first case of a bird-window collision that the building manager had encountered or, at least, that was brought to his a en on through working with the research team. As this incident did not fall under the category of ‘Building faults and maintenance’, in the standard opera ng procedures, no documenta on of this bird-window collision was produced because there was no specific requirement to do so. The second case of a bird-window collision happened on 5 August 2016, at 2.00 pm, that is, within the span of one week, following the first incident. The building management team learned about a dead pigeon being found on the ledge at the 5th floor, again on the north side, facing other skyscrapers. The procedure adopted to dispose of the second bird carcass was similar to that adopted for disposing of the carcass of the first dead bird.

Conclusion Interviews with the building management team members in the B-Towers case study seemed to suggest that repor ng the sigh ngs of dead birds can be a taboo subject, because this may be interpreted by others to mean an outbreak of avian diseases in the building vicinity. Furthermore, no requirement or regula on is in place to mandate the repor ng of such sigh ngs. Consequently, this seems to suggest that there could be more bird-winTHE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017



dow collisions that went unreported, with the building management team merely disposing of the bird carcasses in a passive manner. As a result, there appears to be no official records of how many birds were injured or killed annually from bird-window collisions in Singapore. The installa on of an -bird window collision technology does not appear to be a rac ve because of the poten ally high costs. In addi on, there is no assurance that such installa on will indeed lead to fewer incidents of bird-window collisions. It appears that buildings are generally designed without considering measures that can poten ally help to avert incidents of bird-window collisions.

[8] Hager S B et al (2013): ‘Window Area and Development Drive Spa al Varia on in Bird-Window Collisions in an Urban Landscape’. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from PLoS ONE: h p:// cle?id=10.1371/journal. pone.0053371. [9] Håstad O and Ödeen A (2014): ‘A vision physiological es maon of ultraviolet window marking visibility to birds’. Retrieved (23/7/2017) from PeerJ: h ps:// cles/621/. [10] Klem D J (2006): ‘Glass: A Deadly Conserva on Issue for Birds’, Bird Observer, 34:73–81.

The B-Towers case study reported two incidents of bird-window collisions within the short span of one week. Both incidents occurred on the side of the building that faces other skyscrapers. These seem to be caused by the transparent glass used in the building façade that reflected the neighbouring skyscrapers, thus misleading the birds into thinking that there is s ll uninhibited air space ahead, as they reach the façade of the building in the case study.

[11] Klem D J (1990): ‘Collisions between birds and windows: mortality and preven on’, Journal of Field Ornithology, 61(1): 120-128.

There is a s ll no informa on on how many birds are killed annually in Singapore through bird-window collisions. However, with the Singapore built environment moving increasingly towards a glazed façade environment, the poten al threats posed to birds are expected to increase rapidly. Because bird carcasses are disposed of efficiently, members of the public may not be aware of such incidents in their built environment. The general public must be made aware of how the built environment can be detrimental to birds.

[14] Lee J J (2014): ‘How Be er Glass Can Save Hundreds of Millions of Birds a Year’. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from Naonal Geographic: h p:// news/2014/11/141113-bird-safe-glass-window-collision-animals-science/.

Engineers and scien sts, on their part, can help by developing technologies, including those for glazing, that can help to eliminate this problem. References [1] Chua G (2014): ‘Migratory birds staying in Singapore for longer periods’. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from The Straits Times: h p://www.straits [2] Cusa M et al (2015): ‘Window collisions by migratory bird species: urban geographical pa erns and habitat associa ons’, Urban Ecosystems, 18(4):1427-1446. [3] Flap Canada (2015): ‘Birds and Ultraviolet Light’. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from h p:// birds-uv-light.pdf. [4] Gelb Y (2006): ‘Avian Window Strike Mortality At An Urban Office Building’, The Kingbird, 56 (3):190-191. [5] Gelb Y and Delacretaz N (2009): ‘Windows and Vegeta on: Primary Factors in Manha an Bird Collisions’, Northeastern Naturalist, 16(3):455-70. [6] Goradia P (2012): ‘Glass facades: Know the pros and cons’. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from The Economic Times: h p://economic mes.india cleshow/13961584.cms. 40

[7] Hager S B and Craig M E (2014): ‘Bird-window collisions in the summer breeding season’. Retrieved (23/7/2017) from PeerJ: h ps:// cles/460/.


[12] Klem D J (1989): ‘Bird:Window Collisions’, The Wilson Bulle n, 101(4):606-620. [13] Klem D J et al (2004): ‘Effects of window angling, feeder placement, and scavengers on avian mortality at plate glass’, The Wilson Bulle n, 116(1):69-73.

[15] Longcore T et al (2013): ‘Avian mortality at communica on towers in the United States and Canada: which species, how many, and where?’, Biological Conserva on, 158:410–419. [16] Loss S R et al (2014): ‘Bird-building collisions in the United States: Es mates of annual mortality and species vulnerability’, The Condor, 116(1):8-23. [17] Machtans C S et al (2013): ‘A First Es mate for Canada of the Number of Birds Killed by Colliding’, Avian Conserva on and Ecology, 8(2):6. [18] NParks (2016): ‘Singapore’s Common Trees’. Retrieved (23/7/2017) from Na onal Parks Board: h ps://www.nparks. [19] Ödeen A and Håstad O (2013): ‘The phylogene c distribuon of ultraviolet sensi vity in birds’. Retrieved (23/7/2017) from BioMed Central: h p:// ar cles/10.1186/1471-2148-13-36. [20] Ogden L J (1996): ‘Collision Course: The Hazards of Lighted Structures and Windows to Migra ng Birds’, Paper 3. Retrieved (23/3/2017) from Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) in Canada: h p:// [21] Ornilux (2015): ‘Birds and glass’, Retrieved (23/3/2017) from Ornilux Bird Protec on Glass: h p:// birds-glass.html. [22] Sheppard C (2011): ‘Bird-Friendly Building Design’, American Bird Conservancy. [23] Veltri C and Klem D J (2005): ‘Comparison of fatal bird injuries from collisions with towers and windows’, Journal of Field Ornithology, 76(2):127-133.




GROUND CONDITIONING ADMIXTURES IMPROVE TUNNELLING OPERATIONS Complex challenges were sa sfactorily addressed in the construc on of the Ejpovice tunnel in the Czech Republic.

Work progressing on the construc on of the Ejpovice tunnel.

A er almost two years of hard work, the contractors officially broke through the diaphragm of the south tube of the Ejpovice tunnel, near the portal located in Doubravka, a suburb of Pilsen along the Prague-Pilsen railway line in the Czech Republic. The tunnel is a key element of the Rokycany-Pilsen line that forms part of the trans-European transport network and the na onal Third Railway Transit Corridor which runs all the way to the German border. The tunnel will reduce the length of this stretch of the railway line by more than 6 km, once work is completed, in 2018. It will take less than one hour to travel from Prague to Pilsen, and trains will be able to travel at speeds of 120 km/h to 160 km/h. It currently takes around one-and-a-half hours to travel between the two ci es. The modernisa on of the Rokycany-Pilsen railway line is part of a larger project rela ng to the na onal railway in the Czech Republic. The project also fits into the concept of trans-European transport networks, put forward 42


by the European Commission, and complies with the requirements for interoperability of the European railway network. The Ejpovice tunnel is the main tunnel in this project and its construc on is expected to improve the safety of railway opera ons. The project includes the construcon of two parallel, single-track tunnels, each 9.89 m in diameter and 4,150 m long. The tunnels were bored by a tunnel boring machine (TBM), named Victoria, which weighs 1,800 t and has a length of 114 m and a diameter of 10 m. Its rota ng head enables tunnels to be bored, through both hard rocks and so er ground, and below aquifers, and then lined with segmented concrete rings, all automa cally. According to the original schedule planned by the designers of the tunnel, the TBM Victoria should have completed digging opera ons in November 2015, but during tunnelling opera ons, it encountered unexpected problems due to the geological condi ons at the site.


The TBM was then disassembled and refurbished, and transported to the town of Kyšice, where it started to dig the second tube of the tunnel.

Admixtures for a complex project Mapei’s Underground Technology Team cooperated closely with the contractors, to choose the most appropriate chemical products for ground-condi oning and determine their ideal applica on methods. The process included several laboratory tests conducted at the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy, and then directly at the building site. The soil at the tunnel face was generally condi oned with the injec on of POLYFOAMER FP/ CC liquid foaming agent, with its parameters constantly adapted to the changing geological condi ons. In some tunnel sec ons, the condi ons were par cularly complex, with the presence of huge amounts of water at the tunnel face. This required measures other than just using the foaming agent. In these sec ons, MAPEDRILL M1 synthe c polymer in liquid form, fully compa ble with the foaming agent used, was injected into the excava on chamber of the TBM. The polymer is able to improve the muck consistency immediately, thus allowing its extrac on by means of the screw conveyor. The use of the polymer allowed the contractors to significantly increase the efficiency of the TBM, thereby improving the speed of the excava on works and reducing the me loss due to produc on breaks. One of the characteris cs of the func oning of the TBM with Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) Shield is building the lining, using precast reinforced concrete elements. The diameter of the shield is always larger than the outer diameter of the tunnel lining ring. Therefore, cavi es

MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM is a system specifically designed for use in cemen ous mixes that need to possess workability over a long period. It includes MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 1, a liquid retarding agent, and MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 2 liquid ac vator admixture. MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 1 is a low viscosity solu on that is able to retard cemen ous mixes, whilst maintaining mix workability. In addi on, the solu on assists in reducing bleeding of the grout and decreases the grout viscosity. MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 2 is suitable for ac vating the se ng of cement in mortars or slurries used in injec ons. It also increases the viscosity of cement-based mixes, even where there is a high water/cement ra o. The main applica on of the MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM is in the injec on of cemen ous mixes used in backfill grou ng, behind the precast concrete segments in tunnels excavated by means of TBMs.

between the lining and the soil arise naturally, during the boring, and it is necessary to fill them by injec on. MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM, a two-component system for cement-based mixes for injec on, was chosen for the Ejpovice tunnel. It is a system made up of MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 1 liquid retarding agent which, during the applica on phase, is mixed with the MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 2 liquid ac vator admixture which is able to ensure quick se ng of the mix. DEFOAMER XP liquid defoaming agent was used at this building site, to get rid of the foam during its release to the machine or on the surface. MAPEQUICK AFK 889 alkali-free accelerator for sprayed concrete was used during smaller addi onal boring works such as in the entrance and access pits.

This editorial feature is based on an ar cle from Realtà MAPEI INTERNATIONAL Issue 61. All images by Mapei.

PROJECT DATA Project Ejpovice Tunnels, Rokycany-Pilsen Railway Line, Czech Republic Period of Construc on 2015 - 2017 Client ŠŽDC Design Sudop Praha a.s. Works Direc on Štefan Ivor Contractors Sdružení MTS SBT - MTÚ Rokycany Metrostav a.s. INTERVENTION BY MAPEI Year of the Interven on 2015 Contribu on by Mapei Supply of products and admixtures for excavaon works performed with TBMs Mapei Products used DEFOAMER XP MAPEDRILL M1 MAPEQUICK AFK 889 MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 1 MAPEQUICK CBS SYSTEM 2 POLYFOAMER FP/CC Website for further informa on www.u






by Thomas Phang, Area Director, Southeast Asia, Trimble Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construc on (PPVC), and Virtual Design and Construc on (VDC) are transforming the building and construc on industry. Mega-structures like Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Dongdaemum Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea, Beijing Na onal Stadium (Bird’s Nest) in Beijing, China and Ngurah Rai Interna onal Airport in Bali, Indonesia, all have something in common. They were all constructed using Building Informa on Modelling (BIM) solu ons which contributed to their status as landmarks. With a boom in infrastructure projects expected in Asia, with reports indica ng that investment in these projects could reach approximately 60% of global infrastructure spending, by 2025, the industry has reason to con nue feeling op mis c about the future. More emerging markets in Asia are aware that BIM is cri cal to achieving their ambi ous targets, too. In Singapore, the BIM adop on rate is as high as 65%, and site produc vity increased by 2% per annum in the last 2 years. It is hard to deny the benefits of BIM - increased visualisa on, allowing for be er resource alloca on, and greater accuracy when planning for future rework, which ul mately yield increased efficiency. With the u lisa on of BIM technology fast becoming the industry standard, it is well worth looking into other future construc on trends, and tapping on them.

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly With massive urbanisa on comes a greater need for more sustainable BIM data management and construcon. Whilst BIM offers be er ways of working, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) makes data exchange at the earliest stages of a project, a priority. This allows for error-free communica on and streamlines collabora on throughout the construc on lifecycle. The implementa on of DfMA simplifies the planning phase, by transforming the tradi onal, ‘siloed’ industry into one that encourages effec ve business collabora on. By integra ng processes covering the en re construc on workflow, from structural design to manufacturing of parts in a factory and transpor ng them to site for safe assembly, the BIM system will empower architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to make decisions any me, anywhere. In the UK, the adop on of DfMA has been iden fied as 44


a game-changer for achieving the UK Government’s Construc on 2025 blueprint Mr Thomas Phang which spells out targets for the construc on industry - 50% faster delivery and 50% lower greenhouse gas emissions, in the next decade.

Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construc on Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construc on (PPVC) uses a Lego-like assembly method to build structures in a modular fashion. Depending on the complexity of projects, PPVC processes have the poten al to improve onsite produc vity by up to 50%, thereby reducing the amount of labour required on-site by as much as 25% - 40%. The speeding up of construc on not only brings cost benefits but also contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. As more ac vi es are done off-site, there will be a reduc on in environmental pollu on and an improvement in site safety. From residen al developments, such as The Wisteria in Singapore, to mixed-used integrated buildings, the usage of PPVC is gaining trac on. Industry regulators are also beginning to recognise that efficient technologies such as PPVC are revolu onising the way we build. In Singapore, Government Land Sales regula ons s pulate that the minimum level of use of PPVC should be 65% of the total superstructural floor area of the building or the component of the building to be used as a residen al (non-landed) building. This regulatory requirement offers flexibility and systemisa on of PPVC design for buildings under construc on and even provides maintenance guidelines for exis ng buildings.

Virtual Design and Construc on With rising construc on and demoli on waste (in the UK, this amounts to as much as 100.23 million tonnes a year), largely due to fragmenta on of the construc on


industry and the lack of interoperability of the tools used to share informa on between project par cipants, mul -disciplinary stakeholders in the construc on industry need to adopt a more integrated approach. As its name suggests, Virtual Design and Construc on (VDC) integrates various phases of a project and allows all stakeholders to collaborate virtually. O en a part of a mixed reality solu on suite for construc on site safety planning, inspec on, and analysis, VDC essen ally improves collabora on and project transparency, leading to savings in me and cost. It is also said to have the poten al to transform work processes to the extent of improving produc vity by over 20%, compared with conven onal methods of construcon. In eect, it enables you to rehearse in a virtual environment before the actual physical construc on starts!

Next genera on BIM PPVC, DfMA and VDC are exactly the kind of new technologies that the industry is looking for and are available without huge investment. However, it should be noted that leveraging BIM technology across the value chain is s ll integral to reap the full poten al of the above-menoned technologies. For example, an integrated BIMVDC or BIM-DfMA approach will support a truly digital

model to drive produc on planning and automa on. The introduc on of such lean construc on thinking streamlines work processes and makes way for further digital collabora on and innova on. Digi sing project management workflows has substan al benefits. Its greater use in the construc on-planning process and on the construc on site itself will enable firms to gain insight into advanced analy cs of construc on projects which can help to improve eďŹƒciency, melines and risk management. Today, regulators such as the Building and Construc on Authority in Singapore and the Construc on Industry Development Board in Malaysia already play an important role in defining new standards for emerging technologies, star ng with their applica on in public sector projects and moving on to their applica on in private sector projects. Now, the onus lies with the industry to develop digital roadmaps and train the next genera on of building and construc on experts to be adept at these digital technologies and solu ons.

Work in progress on the construc on of the Ngurah Rai Interna onal Airport in Bali, Indonesia. The digital model of the structural elements is shown on the top right-hand corner.




TECHNICAL COMMITTEE EVENTS ROUND UP: APRIL & MAY 2017 The various technical commi ees in IES frequently organise talks, seminars and visits so as to keep members appraised of developments in the myriad engineering disciplines under their purview. Below is a quick summary of some of the more notable events that took place in the past couple of months. To keep yourself informed of our latest events and courses, do check back regularly on our website at or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Environment and Water Engineering Technical Commi ee (EWETC) Chairman: Mr. Dalson Chung On 12 April 2017, IES supported the HDB Environmental Seminar 2017, which was well-a ended by over 300 engineers, Qualified Erosion Control Professionals, REs/ RTOs and consultants at the HDB Hub Auditorium. The objec ve of the Seminar was to raise awareness on regulatory requirements and share good environmental prac ces on-site.

Civil & Structural Engineering Technical Commi ee (C&S TC) – Transporta on Division Chairman: Er. Emily Tan On 29 April 2017, the C&S TC, through its Transporta on Division, organised a technical trip to the Land Transport Authority’s Intelligent Transport Systems Centre (ITSC) at River Valley Road. The 20 par cipants who were in a endance witnessed day-to-day opera ons in the Centre, which keeps us safe on our city’s roads and tunnel systems. On 21 April 2017, the Water Sub-Commi ee conducted two technical visits; one to the Tuas South Reclama on Development, with a focus on its Environmental Monitoring & Management Programme, and the other to the Tuas South Incinera on Plant (TSIP), with an emphasis on upcoming developments for the Na onal Environment Agency’s Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF). Some 70 par cipants turned up for both visits, the general consensus being that they were frui ul and enabled them to gain deeper insight into environmental management efforts and IWMF opera ons in Tuas. 46





Mr Lewis (right, in grey suit) ge ng par cipants to stand up in prepara on for a communica on exercise during his workshop.

American author and presiden al speechwriter James Humes once said, “The art of communica on is the language of leadership.” The two are inextricably linked, as communica on enables humans to convey complex informa on to each other, and not just verbally or in print. The leader who is so in tle only will very soon run into trouble, if he or she does not acquire the know-how on communica ng ideas and expecta ons to their team(s), and then to expect them to deliver as intended. To educate par cipants on the nuances of effec ve communica on, IES Academy (IESA) brought in a special guest through its network – Mr David Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Pinnacle Performance Company – to conduct a high-

ly-customised workshop for the Young Engineers Leadership Programme. Flying in from Chicago, Mr Lewis spent one-and-a-half hours on 16 March 2017 instruc ng young engineers on the many methods used by professional presenters and speakers to make a strong first impression. He also taught par cipants some techniques to determine the objec ve of the message that was to be transmi ed, and how to deliver it to influence the order. He also gave some ps on aligning voice and body language to clearly communicate that message, since it is a known fact a large part of communica on is non-verbal. The Pinnacle Method, which is the training pedagogy developed by his company, focuses on how to analyse

the audience, understand ac ons and reac ons desired from the message and lastly, how the modifica on of delivery methods in order to achieve those reac ons. Mr Lewis’ engaging and enlightening lessons le the young engineers hungry for more, even as the day drew to a close. Feedback was overwhelmingly posi ve, with many agreeing that the knowledge and skills learnt would go a long way with them in the course of their careers and in future leadership posi ons. IESA has indicated that it is working on bringing Mr Lewis and his team back to Singapore for a two-day masterclass in the 4th quarter of 2017. Keep watching this space for more updates as they come! THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER May 2017



SOLARISING BUSINESSES Steve O’Neil, Chief Execu ve Officer, REC

As escala ng climate change remains the biggest challenge today, industry pundits would be aware that the global energy u lity landscape has vastly evolved. Consequently, the renewable energy industry has also grown at an exponen al scale and speed. Closer to home in Singapore, the Government has pledged to reduce emissions intensity by 36 per cent by 2030, and the spotlight is on companies to exercise environmentally-responsible business prac ces more than ever through energy-efficient technologies. As a geographically small country, Singapore has limited natural resources, but abundant solar irradia on. That said, with the high amount of sunlight Singapore receives – Singapore receives 4.55 peak sun hours per day, one of the highest in the world – solar energy as a sustainable source of power is taking off, with the Government suppor ng its large-scale adop on. The Way Forward To maximise the poten al of solar and ensure its economic viability with zero carbon footprint, a slew of ini a ves to build capabili es in research and development, new renewable energy and energy management technology, and financing for the clean energy sector have been announced. This support plays a vital role in contribu ng to more energy-efficient alterna ves with tremendous growth prospects today. In fact, according to released figures at the recent Commi ee of Supply debate, the clean energy industry in Singapore has grown from a small base of about 10 firms in 2007 to around 100 last year. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology and adop on methods, solar electricity is more affordable today for companies and households alike than it was just two years’ ago. Data from the Energy Market Authority shows that the total installed capacity of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore swelled from just 0.4 megawa -peak in 2008 to 125.7 megawa -peak in the fourth quarter of 2016. Clearly, all these make for an integral ecosystem for businesses to provide solar energy as an alterna ve energy source in Singapore, while maintaining a zero carbon footprint as a consumer. For example, at REC, Singapore’s largest clean tech player, there is a close partnership with Solar Energy Research Ins tute of Singapore (SERIS) to develop the next-genera on solar panel. This close partnership in Singapore has made it possible to pioneer a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to change the way businesses adopt renewable energy, such as Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore. Building owners only need to pay for the consumed solar energy generated from their roof space at an agreed rate, and the investment and maintenance costs of installing the roo op solar systems are absorbed by REC. As the solar industry picks up speed, there is a huge opportunity for companies here to commercialise on innova on and surpass boundaries though solar-powered solu ons. When Singapore succeeds in this endeavour, it will help push the country onto the world stage as a leader in renewable energy and as a sustainable ecosystem.



Annual Dinner ––––––––––––––––––– Inside Front Cover

Mul nine Corpora on Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––– Page 29

Building and Construc on Authority ––––––––– Page 15

SBS Transit Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 17

Cementaid S.E.A. Pte Ltd –––––––––––––––––– Page 09

Singapore University of Social Sciences –––––––– Page 01

Mapei Far East Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––– Page 41

Singapore Ins tute of Technology ––––––––––––– Page 13

Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd ––––– Outside Back Cover

World Engineers Summit 2017 ––––––––––––––– Page 19


The Singapore Engineer May 2017  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you