Amazing eco-tech innovations from Singapore Green Building Week

Eco-tech Innovations | Singapore

Amazing eco-tech innovations from Singapore Green Building Week

During Singapore Green Building Week 2018, more than 12,000 policy makers and professionals from 31 countries gathered for the Build Eco Xpo. The purpose of the event was to showcase solutions to help the built environment withstand rising challenges – like congestion, air pollution, rising temperatures, flooding and insecurity.

With Asia’s annual urban growth rate of 2.7% per year being nearly 27% greater than the global average, technology was a key focus of the event. Innovators showcased groundbreaking technologies that will help Asia’s built environment to thrive in a future shaped by climate change. Here are two of the best technologies that caught the eye of urban experts.

 

GraviPlant horizontal trees

Sideways-growing trees that appear to cheat gravity were a talking point at the Build Eco Xpo. Biologist Dr Alina Schick, managing director of Visioverdis, the German firm behind GraviPlant, explained how the trees are planted in pots clamped to the sides of buildings. The pots rotate, ‘tricking’ the trees into growing sideways.

Because they are continuously revolving, Visioverdis’ trees are exposed to more sunlight than ordinary trees. As a result, they are much bushier, with double the biomass of regular trees. That means they can filter more pollutants from the air, fix more carbon and produce more oxygen. They also have a cooling effect. In fact, according to Schick, a building adorned with greenery is about twice as cool as a concrete surface.

In terms of energy expenditure, you might think these trees would be expensive. However, Schick explains how the benefits offset the costs. “A single unit uses 30 watts of power from a computer that automates rotation, irrigation and lighting. But that’s offset by the cooling effect of the trees”, Schick says.

GraviPlants

The PHI 1080 – A solar-powered sustainable canopy

The PHI 1080 is a multi-purpose sustainable canopy developed by Indian entrepreneurs Priya Vakil Choksi and Samit Choksi. The canopy not only provides shade and solar-powered lighting, it also harvests rainwater and even charges your phone while you sit under it.

The canopy’s mast contains USB ports for charging, but its main function is as a filter for cleaning rainwater that funnels down. The mast is linked to an underground plumbing network, which can draw on the rainwater when needed. It features intelligent controls that automatically adjust the lighting levels, depending on the time of the day, plus a window that allows passers-by to view the rainwater harvesting process.

Yap Su Chii, director of food-saving non-government group ZeroWaste Food, said “The PHI 1080 canopy looks deceivingly simple. But it incorporates sustainable design elements such as harnessing solar and rainwater. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it is functional and can be easily installed anywhere and everywhere.”

Singapore’s futuristic horticulture park will be the first place outside of India that will feature the PHI 1080.

PHI 1080 canopy

Melbourne laneways set to go green

Coromandel Place, Guildford Lane, Katherine Place, and Meyers Place in Melbourne are set to go green as part of the ‘Green Your Laneway’ pilot project by the City of Melbourne.  With over 200 laneways in central Melbourne, totalling nearly 9 hectares, the Green Your Laneway program aims to transform the city’s laneways into relaxing places to sit and enjoy, full of leafy, green spaces with vertical gardens and new trees.

The Green Your Laneway pilot project argues that laneways should be greened for the following reasons:

  • Providing shading and local cooling
  • Improved aesthetics and local amenity
  • Ecological benefits
  • Health and wellbeing flow on effects
  • Increasing landscape permeability (and hence flood mitigation and passive watering)
  • Creating opportunities for relaxation and recreation

Working closely with residents and businesses, preliminary concept designs have been released for the four selected laneways showing a range of greening options that can be considered for each laneway. The concepts will be refined with further community engagement, and funded by the City of Melbourne.

The public is invited to share their views by exploring the initial designs and providing feedback on the Green Your Laneway site.

To find out more about the latest in vertical garden technology, click here.

Source:

https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/melbourne-lanes-to-go-green/

Singapore Exceeds Greening Targets Two Decades ahead of Schedule

Singapore exceeds greening targets

Singapore exceeds greening targets two decades ahead of schedule:

Urban greenery in the form of vertical gardens has been widely embraced in Singapore, with the city hitting its greening targets two decades ahead of schedule. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the Government has decided to raise the bar significantly.

As of last year, plants covering building exteriors totalled more than 61ha, an area the size of 195 school fields. This far exceeded the target of 50ha the government had hoped to hit by 2030. The new target is now 200ha of building greenery by the same deadline.

A spokesman from the National Parks Board (NParks) attributed the rapid increase of skyrise greenery to several programmes, including: the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s enhanced Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (Lush) programme, and NParks’ Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme, which offers incentives and subsidies to encourage the installation of skyrise greenery.

The greenery targets were outlined in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint – first in 2009 and again in the latest document released this year. Green roofs, vertical greenery, and gardens in the sky can reduce urban heat gain, which could translate into energy savings, said Mr Tan Seng Chai, group chief corporate officer of CapitaLand and chairman of the CapitaLand Sustainability Steering Committee.

“In land-scarce Singapore… more skyrise greenery can maximise the use of space to bring about many benefits,” said Mr Allen Ang, head of innovation and green building at property developer City Developments.

This new target of 200ha of building greenery by 2030 should lead to many innovative and exciting projects, so stay tuned.

photo credit . wiki

Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket

Citygreen - Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket

Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket:

Coles has achieved the first Green Star rating for a supermarket, awarded by The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Coles in Hallam (situated in outer-south-east Melbourne) achieved the 4 Star Green Star rating. Designed by Michael Carr Architect, key achievements at the Hallam store include:

  • 50% more fresh air compared to minimum standards through high-performance heating, ventilation, and air conditioning 
  • 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with highly-efficient chillers and heat reclaimed from refrigeration cases used to supply heating in other parts of the supermarket 
  • LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and internal heating loads 
  • 70% reduction in water consumption compared to traditional supermarkets with water-efficient fixtures and fittings, and 150,000-litre capacity water tanks 

Coles Hallam is also the first supermarket to undergo a, “Life Cycle Assessment, allowing Coles to make comparisons between different materials and products to select healthy, efficient and sustainable options.”

The GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, said, “Coles, in their determination to develop a supermarket of the future, has set a new benchmark for sustainable supermarket design in Australia. Coles now has a framework for sustainable supermarkets that are not only more efficient and cost effective to run, but are also more comfortable places in which to work and shop.”

Madew added that the GBCA has compelling international researching confirming that, “…green retail buildings featuring good natural light and ventilation, high-performance heating and cooling systems, and materials low in harmful chemicals, are not only more efficient and cheaper to operate, but can also improve the experience for customers and return on investment for owners.”

AILA puts Focus on Green Spaces for Schools

Citygreen - AILA puts Focus on Green Spaces for Schools

AILA puts Focus on Green Spaces for Schools:

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has teamed up with the University of Canberra (UC) and Torrens Primary School in the ACT to completely overhaul a courtyard located in the centre of the school.

Concerned about the lack of funding for outdoor environments in schools, AILA Chief Executive, Shahana McKenzie, said this is a pilot project for a national competition to be launched in September, with the aim to highlight the benefits of quality green spaces in urban areas – including schools.

Ms McKenzie said, “Children spent 20 per cent of their time outdoors when they’re at school. But unfortunately there isn’t 20 per cent of funding going from facilities’ funding to the outdoor environment.”

AILA National President, Mark Frisby, said he would like to see government funding increased for outdoor spaces. “It is one of the most effective ways to address growing community issues such as obesity and mental health, and it requires significantly less investment than constructing new buildings,” he said.

The project kicked off with a workshop involving 30 students from the school, and UC landscape architecture students. Landscape architecture student, Christopher Norris, said the students’ passion for their school was obvious during the workshop, including their insistence on using school colours.

Unfortunately, grand ideas such as chocolate fountains, water slides, and a rollercoaster did not make the cut. But many suggestions did, including a grass mound, a multi-level concert stage, a water feature for science education, and an outdoor lunch space for teachers. Torrens Primary School principal, Sue Mueller, said the new space would contribute to the learning and wellbeing of current and future generations of students.

The courtyard is expected to be completed by October 2016. Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming national competition.

image credit . The Canberra Times . Graham Tidy

Raising The Roof on Urban Landscape Design: Greenroof Future

Citygreen - Raising The Roof on Urban Landscape Design: Greenroof Future

Raising The Roof on Urban Landscape Design: Greenroof Future

As humans, we focus on what we see every day. It stands to reason that much of the discussion of urban canopy and landscape projects and developments take place at ground and subterranean level.

With each passing year for approximately the past 15 years, however, more and more design visionaries and their taskforces are raising their eyes upward…to our rooftops. With the massive amount of square miles taken up by buildings, re-purposing their roofs help us reclaim some of the lost land and create a whole other kind of landscape.

Diana Balmori of Balmori Associates, NY couldn’t agree more. “We need to create a different balance between the inert surfaces and the living surfaces,” Balmori said. With the exception of pockets of urban parks, cities have the sky, the earth, and stories of glass, metal, cement and rock between them. Watching how city dwellers flock to those park spaces, Balmori realizes that there’s a wealth of untapped, unutilized potential not only for the human city dwellers, but the flora and fauna grasping for a foothold in a gray world.

A robust example of the success a rooftop landscape is Balmori’s own 667 acre Public Administration complex in Sejong, Korea. Balmori Associates says, “We proposed a new approach to city-making, one that starts with landscape architecture. The master plan consists of a continuous linear park on a continuous roof joining all the ministries.” In conjunction to providing a reprieve for persons, the task of building a green roof with wildlife in mind requires a whole other set of considerations. “Creating biodiversity on a green roof or green wall is significantly different than restoring it on ground level. On a rooftop there is no preexisting ecology to enhance; everything is from scratch,” states the Green Roof Service webpage of Jörg Breuning, owner.

Given this, the plants, animals and insects are essentially living under an altered set of circumstances, which could affect their continuing habitation and ability to thrive under the new conditions, even with a perfect replication of a landscape indigenous to any particular area.

From an infrastructural standpoint, the installation of green roofs presents vast benefits, including prolonging the life spans of rooftop materials, decreased use and energy consumption of HVAC units, stormwater management, and significant moderation of the Urban Heat Island effect.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Community webpage states, “Through the daily dew and evaporation cycle, plants on vertical and horizontal surfaces are able to cool cities during hot summer months and reduce the UHI effect. The light absorbed by vegetation would otherwise be converted into heat energy.” With such evidence of benefits being discovered and explored from several standpoints: the human element, ecology, and infrastructure, a future with more green roof designs should be just on the horizon for landscape design experts, scientists, engineers, and others.

photo credit: Green Roof GardnerCC

Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announces S$20 million scheme to support green building innovation

Citygreen - Singapore Building Construction Authority BCA Green Building Innovation

Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) announces S$20 million scheme to support green building innovation:

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