Smart HDB Homes Of The Future
11 Sep 2014
HDB today announced, a new “Smart HDB Town Framework”.
HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, “HDB has, in the past few years, introduced many fresh ideas into our plans and designs. Our next exciting step is to embark on the development of the Smart HDB Town. We want to leverage on Information and Communication Technology to make HDB towns and estates more liveable, efficient, sustainable and safe for our residents.”
Smart HDB Town Framework
The “Smart HDB Town Framework” maps out how HDB intends to introduce the “Smart” element in HDB towns and estates by focussing on four key dimensions:
Good planning and designs are instrumental in creating a conducive environment in HDB towns. Smart planning will augment current efforts and enhance HDB’s expertise, to provide residents with well-designed homes, located in a green and sustainable town. The use of computer simulation and data analytics will enable HDB to improve the way it plans and designs its towns, precincts and buildings, and also derive optimal and cost-effective solutions to achieve sustainability goals.
Some Smart planning technologies include:
a) Complex Systems Modelling Tool
It is a `decision making tool’ which helps planners to understand the trade-offs involved when introducing new sustainable features into HDB towns. For example, the tool enables HDB to assess the effectiveness of various initiatives (e.g. LED lighting, solar energy, skyrise and vertical greenery, rainwater harvesting, recycling, pneumatic waste collection), and make a decision on the best combination of these to achieve sustainability goals in a cost effective way. The tool, which had its first prototype unveiled in June 2014 at the World Cities Summit, will be employed for the planning of sustainability features in Punggol Northshore.
b) Smart Car Parks
Each car park will have an intelligent parking demand monitoring system that will automatically increase the number of available lots during non-peak hours for visitors, as residents with season parking ticket (SPT) are out. Conversely, it will also reduce the number of available lots for short-term parking visitors in the evening, to ensure sufficient lots are reserved for residents with SPT returning home.
HDB will look into linking estates with a network of sensors to create a “Smart environment”. These sensors will capture real-time information on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Innovative solutions can then be found to create a more pleasant environment for residents.
For example, Smart fans located in common areas can be triggered when certain thresholds of temperature and humidity are reached. The fan speed can be regulated to improve the thermal comfort level for residents, while reducing energy consumption.
To improve estate services, HDB will leverage on Smart technologies to collect and analyse data which helps to optimise maintenance cycles and pre-empt problems. For example, with data collected by sensors, we can better understand the usage patterns of common amenities, such as lifts and lights. Changes in these patterns could signify potential problems. These facilities or fittings can then be checked and any problem identified can be resolved promptly, with minimal disruption to services.
Some of the technologies that HDB will look into test-bedding include:
a) Smart Lighting with sensors
Lighting fitted with sensors, installed in the common areas, can help HDB to understand human traffic patterns and optimise the provision of lighting. The lighting in common areas with little or no human traffic detected, could be reduced to 30%, potentially reducing energy usage by as much as 40%.
b) Smart Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System
A Smart Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System will be adopted in new HDB developments. By fitting this facility with sensors, we can monitor waste disposal patterns and the volume. By analysing the data, we can improve the design of the waste bins and vary the frequency of waste collection based on the volume of waste collected. This can help to optimise the deployment of resources needed for waste collection. The first housing projects in Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol Northshore, will incorporate this Smart feature from the onset.
8 HDB will provide digital infrastructure in flats to pave the way for intelligent homes. With such infrastructure in place, residents will be able to tap on Smart home applications developed by commercial companies that can enhance energy savings, and enable them to access services like healthcare, in the comfort of their homes.
Some potential applications that can be developed by commercial companies for Smart homes include:
a) Smart Elderly Alert System
With digital enabled infrastructure in the home, commercial firms can develop Smart Elderly Alert Systems for families who may wish to monitor elderly relatives to keep them safe. Sensors placed in the flat can help to monitor the movements of the elderly, and caregivers will be alerted should irregular movements be detected (e.g. if no movements are detected for a period of time). The system can also include a panic button, so that the elderly can alert caregivers and family members quickly, in times of need.
b) Smart Home Energy Pilot
Using new technologies, HDB, together with the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Panasonic, are exploring a suite of different energy choices and solutions for households. The feasibility study for establishing a Smart Home Energy Pilot in Yuhua, commenced in June 2014.
c) Home Energy Management System
Residents can monitor their energy consumption patterns, and manage their home appliances in real time, from anywhere, and possibly reduce their energy usage. A year-long pilot conducted in Punggol in 2013 showed that this system helped to reduce residents’ monthly energy consumption by 20%.
HDB will work closely with the relevant agencies and industry players to study the design of the ICT infrastructure in HDB homes so that residents will be able to enjoy the convenience and savings when using Smart devices and appliances.
Test-bedding of Smart technologies in Punggol Northshore
In line with Punggol Northshore’s vision to be “A Smart and Sustainable District”, HDB will be test-bedding suitable Smart technologies in the first four housing projects in the district, which will be launched in 2015.
HDB PEAK Forum
The details of Smart HDB Town Framework were unveiled at the HDB PEAK (Professional Engagement And Knowledge-Sharing) Forum. The Forum is an annual gathering of building professionals and provides a platform for the sharing of new ideas and best practices in the building industry. It aims to raise the industry standards in design and construction excellence.
The theme for this year’s Forum is “Road to Better Homes – Sustainability & Greenery”. Besides exploring how “Sustainability and Greenery” may be exemplified in public housing developments, the Forum will also explore the development of Smart Towns, as a new initiative for the next phase of public housing developments. The keynote speaker for the Forum is Mr Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect for the Barcelona City Council. Barcelona is recognised as one of the cities which has put in place a comprehensive strategy in developing a Smart City. Mr Vicente Guallart will speak on “Barcelona 5.0: The self-sufficient city”.
Going forward, HDB will pilot selected Smart initiatives in Punggol Northshore so as to assess their viability and suitability, before extending them to other HDB estates.
For more details of HDB’s new Smart initiatives and new public housing projects in Northshore, Bidadari and Tampines North, the public is invited to visit the exhibition at HDB Hub or visit www.hdb.gov.sg/futurehomesbetterlives from today.
Press release issued by Housing & Development Board