HDB’s Greenprint Profiled at Sustainable Cities Asia 2013
By Jovin Hurry
The recent IBC’s 4th Annual Sustainable Cities conference in Singapore featured dedicated tracks on green building and green city infrastructure, the latest sustainable city developments, projects and innovations.
HDB’s Director of Building Research, Teh Poh Suan gave a detailed exposé of the Housing Development Board’s Greenprint for Sustainable Towns. The idea is to have a community-oriented approach towards better living whereby voices of the residents are heard and ideas implemented.
HDB’s Greenprint forms part of the overall HDB roadmap that comes in three thrusts: better designed towns, sustainable towns and community-centric towns.
The better designed towns aim at having distinct identity and character; at capitalising on heritage and weaving in blue and green elements.
Sustainable towns will make use of viable and cost-effective technologies for energy efficiency, water management and comprehensive spatial design.
Community centric towns aim at developing responsible communities with a sense of belonging and building understanding towards the neighbours.
Punggol Eco Town was featured as a living lab where urban solutions are integrated right from the design stage. These urban solutions include water efficient fittings, smart grid meters and self-cleansing paint.
Under the Greenprint pilot initiative, the Yuhua neighbourhood totalling 38 blocks and over 3,000 units in Jurong East is being ‘greened’ with water and energy-saving solutions and a pneumatic refuse collection system. This initiative will also invite residents to choose the types of energy-saving appliances in their homes. The new collection system will also alleviate the current acute shortage of cleaners.
The Greenprint approach is rolled out on three fronts: place, people and function.
The place will be designed to include a car-sharing scheme, secured bicycle park facilities and a mix of greenery and biodiversity.
A green lifestyle for the residents will take root with a variety of community outreach and engagement programmes backed by a community estate self-management scheme.
The area will function efficiently with provisions for rainwater harvesting, a save-as-you-reduce incentive and intelligent LED lighting with wireless motion sensing.
A Greenprint community test-bedding fund of $1 million has been earmarked to support and fund green solutions development and trial implementations within the pilot green neighbourhood. The latter is developed jointly with the community, students, professionals, industry player and other stakeholders.
One of the challenges faced in the implementation is in the engagement of the residents, in specifically getting their buy-in as they may be inconvenienced by the construction needed for the pneumatic refuse collection system.
HDB has set up a Greenprint Fund to support green test-bedding solutions for implementation at Yuhua. Ideas that can achieve savings in water or electricity usage, increase recycling rates, heat reduction in environment, or improve community bonding, and quality of living and environment, could be supported with a grant of up to $100,000. Companies can submit their application by 20 May 2013.