Urban and Green Technology

How will climate change affect our lives? What if we run out of natural resources? What is the effect of pollution on us and our families? Singapore is a small country with limited natural resources — what can we do to mitigate such challenges?

The Urban and Green Technology Centre at A*STAR was established to provide tech consultancy and smart, sustainable solutions to public sector agencies and local enterprises. We aim to help them build up capabilities for a more sustainable built environment. The centre has collaborated with the following agencies and organisations: BCA, EMA, HDB, JTC, LTA, NEA, and NUS.

The Urban and Green Technology Horizontal Technology Centre coordinates, guides, and directs development of urban and green technologies in A*STAR. The centre’s focus lies in four key areas: decarbonisation, energy efficiency/electrification, infrastructure and waste management. It is supported by A*STAR capabilities in areas such as life cycle assessment, modelling and simulation, and digital technologies.

Our R&D and Technologies

Decarbonisation

  • Carbon Capture & Utilisation (CCU) – Through collaboration with industry, we have developed technologies to convert carbon dioxide to useful materials such as methane, olefins and sand.

Energy Efficiency

  • Cooling technologies for large-scale deployment to significantly reduce urban ambient temperature in Singapore and achieve air-conditioner energy savings. Technologies include encapsulated core-shell Phase Change Materials (PCMs) that can be incorporated in structural walls, and technologies that are compatible with skim coat and building materials to improve thermal conductivity.
  • Integrated Electricity-Cooling Network (IE-CN) – A fully integrated IE-CN hardware/software architecture with a model-predictive optimisation and control platform that has been implemented in developments at the Marina Bay New Business District.

Infrastructure

  • First-of-its kind Integrated Environmental Modeller (IEM) that accounts for solar heat gain, thermal loading, wind flow and noise coupling. See Tech Focus for more information.
  • Digital Twin software – Allows users to create a virtual replica of a physical system and gather insights from sensor data in real time, in order to improve operations, increase efficiency, or anticipate issues before they occur.
  • Urban Mobility and Transport Modelling – Modelling and simulation capabilities that can be used to understand the impact of planning decisions on different modes of transport island-wide.
  • Structural Health Monitoring System – Intended for residential building use and can automatically capture, wirelessly transmit, analyse and visualise the Building Structural Information (BSI) in real time.

Waste Management

  • Sustainability capabilities – Life-cycle assessment and waste management capabilities. These capabilities are carried out in conjunction with other government agencies, such as NEA and MEWR.

Tech Focus

Integrated Environmental Modeller

  • The IEM is an advanced modelling tool developed by a team from A*STAR and HDB. It was adopted in the planning of the new Tengah town to build a comfortable living environment. The IEM has also pushed technological boundaries in high performance supercomputing, creating the first-ever 3D wind-flow simulation at a 10-metre horizontal resolution that depicts all the buildings in Singapore.
  • The IEM has also garnered awards such as the Minister’s (National Development) R&D Merit Award 2019, Institute of Engineers Singapore Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award 2019, ASEAN Outstanding Engineering and Achievement Award 2019 and the PTA team 2019 citation IEM.

President's Technology Award 2019 IEM
The team behind IEM (from left): Dr Tan Sze Tiong (HDB), Dr Koh Wee Shing (IHPC), Dr Poh Hee Joo (IHPC) and Mr Fachmin Folianto (I2R)

Watch: PTA’s video

Operation and Technology Roadmap (OTR)

Through roadmapping workshops and exercises, A*STAR works closely with agencies to help them make better informed decisions in firm-level innovation strategies, or develop deeper technology capabilities.

We have worked with the following agencies on roadmaps in these areas:

  • Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) – EDB, EMA, NCCS, NRF
  • Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for grid – EMA
  • Built Environment (BE) Robotics and Advanced BE Materials – BCA
  • Facilities Management Consortium OTR – BCA, IMDA