Dulwich College (Singapore) has unveiled The Greenhouse, its new state-of-the-art learning lab. This net zero energy building includes many sustainability features. It’s also the first international school building in Singapore to be certified Green Mark Platinum Zero Energy by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
Net zero energy building – from idea to reality
Run entirely off solar power, the building was first conceived in 2019. Designing started in 2020, and it was completed in August 2023, a year later than originally planned due to COVID.
The new net-zero building at Dulwich Singapore is designed to produce the same amount of energy as it consumes annually. The end goal is to minimise its environmental impact, accomplished by reducing energy consumption and generating renewable energy onsite. An Environmental Sustainability Design Consultant was employed on the project to conduct energy consumption studies and recommend methods to reduce energy use and achieve a net-zero balance.
Integrated into Dulwich Singapore’s curriculum
The College says that The Greenhouse will give students opportunities to gain expertise in global issues such as sustainability and solutions at an early age – and make them aware of the ongoing efforts to tackle those issues.
The entire building is a learning lab that showcases engineering systems and sustainability features. It’s designed to remind students, staff and visitors to think about their personal energy consumption and its impact on the world. Data from the building will be integrated within the Senior School curriculum, too, woven into subjects such as maths, science, design technology and business studies.
Highlights of The Greenhouse’s sustainability features
The Greenhouse boasts a 400-seat multi-purpose auditorium, a STEAM workshop, a professional teaching kitchen, film and media suites, three black box theatres, and a vast IB library and workspace for pre-university students.
Innovative sustainability features were also added, including the following:
• Kinetic tiles
Located at the lobby, the floor tiles generate energy when people walk across them as part of a game related to Singapore’s Green Plan 2030. The energy produced is displayed on a screen, next to a building automation display and a dashboard showing energy and water consumption.
• Rain water harvesting
Four siphonic rainwater downpipes gather rainwater from the building’s upper roof. After going through an automatic backwash filter, irrigation pumps send it to water the rooftop garden.
• Solar panels
The first of its kind in Singapore, the “ecoenvelope” of The Greenhouse stretches from the north facade to the rooftop. It contains 1,300 square metres of buildingintegrated photovoltaic panels that offset 40 percent of the building’s yearly energy consumption. The other 60 percent comes from the campus’s solar panel installations. This produces 529,000 kWh of renewable energy a year, eliminating 216 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is equivalent to powering 122 four-room public flats and planting 8,600 trees!
• Light and AQI sensors
The building utilises energy-efficient technologies and IoT sensors connected to a Smart Digital Twin platform with Smart Facilities Management automation. This optimises building performance, reduces energy consumption, and controls, monitors and automates energy and water usage. Occupancy and photocell sensors help reduce artificial light usage. Indoor air-quality sensors monitor carbon dioxide levels and allow for more fresh air intake.
• Glass ceilings/walls
A generous light shaft from the roof brings natural light to each floor of the building. The atrium also provides natural ventilation to keep the building cool, reducing the need for air-conditioning systems.
Find out more about The Greenhouse here.
This article first appeared in the February 2024 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
Read on to find out how the kingergarten at Dulwich Singapore shapes students into global citizens. Also, check out our Kids section for things to do with kids in Singapore. And to make the most of living in Singapore, read our latest City Guide here for free!