Smart Estates (AR/VR; energy efficiency)

Singapore is redesigning jobs and skills to support its embrace of Smart Estates. By leveraging artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and 5G technology, smart estates will lead to higher quality lifestyles for both residents of and visitors to Singapore. Leading it forward with the unveiling ofa 42,000-home eco-town in Tengah, the reimagination of smart, sustainable estates through enhanced district cooling and pneumatic trash chutes are a future-proof plan. If successful, this will be a model for future residential projects in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Energy efficient solutions in Singaporean households are evolving from individual options into government-guided, full-scale reconstructions of public housing projects. While LED lighting and district cooling have been long-standing technologies, integrating automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) have rejuvenated and consolidated these into cost and energy saving Smart Estates. With an interconnected infrastructure network, daily energy consumption can be analyzed, monitored and configured constantly, enabling long-term strategic and effective plans to reduce per-capita emissions.­

In racing to meet the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) target of greening 80% of buildings by 2030, air conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) systems – accounting for more than 50% of total building energy consumption – should take top priority in upcoming smart and sustainable estates, as well as in redesigning existing buildings. Weather sensing and adaptive control help ACMV systems take predictive or proactive actions through data-driven building management systems, allowing occupants and facility management greater comfort in budgeting utility expenses and enjoying a better lifestyle. 

Besides cleaner energy, smart estates also promote cleaner living environments. As the Pulau Semakau landfill is in danger of running out of space, effective waste management strategies are crucial in maximising landfill capacity. With the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS), household waste is automatically sorted for recycling and propelled high-speed underground to a sealed container at a centralised bin centre, minimising manpower, foul odours, and spills. This promotes sustainability in smart estates, creating a green and hygienic built environment.   

City planners, now charged with transforming Singapore into a Smart Nation, are going full steam ahead with implementing various technological initiatives. However, making Singapore future-ready cannot be achieved by the Government singlehandedly, as stakeholders need to have a comprehensive understanding of smart facilities’ functionality to achieve slated goals. With the Smart Estates Talent Development Programme (SETDP) and GovTech’s recently launched Digital Academy, Singaporeans are able to reskill and upskill themselves to be future-ready across the build environment value-chain. Sustainable lifestyles will be the frontier of upcoming Smart Estates.

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