Building and Construction Authority lab wins award

The BCA SkyLab was one of 12 winners at the Institution of Engineers Singapore Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017.
The BCA SkyLab was one of 12 winners at the Institution of Engineers Singapore Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017.PHOTO: BCA

SINGAPORE - The BCA SkyLab celebrated its first birthday with an award on Thursday (July 20).

Built by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the laboratory was one of 12 winners at the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017.

It won in the Engineering Project category. The other three categories are Applied Research and Development, Technology Innovation and the Young Creators Award.

There were several winners in each category.

The BCA SkyLab, housed on the roof of the BCA building at Braddell Road, gives researchers a place to test and develop energy-efficient building technologies and materials.

In the past year, four types of green technologies were tested at the laboratory.

Most recently, researchers from Nanyang Technological University and BCA used the laboratory to test a system that automatically adjusts window blinds and dimmable lighting systems, to ensure rooms are neither too dark nor too bright.

BCA found that in tropical climates like Singapore's, such technology could save up to 74 per cent of the energy used by a lighting system that relies on manual window blinds and non-dimmable fluorescent tubes. The research was funded by the National Research Foundation.

Mr Lam Siew Wah, managing director of BCA's Built Environment Research Innovation Institute, said that a typical new 20-storey office building that uses such a technology could save between $20,000 and $50,000 annually.

More than 20 organisations have expressed strong interest in using the BCA SkyLab facilities, said BCA.

CapitaLand told The Straits Times that it wants to test technologies that can reduce the amount of solar heat absorbed through a building's exterior.

CapitaLand spokesman said the BCA SkyLab provides a place for it to conduct testing, in addition to its own facilities, and that it is also a good way to tap BCA's expertise.

"CapitaLand wants to play its part to address climate change risks through the reduction of its energy consumption as well as its other carbon emissions in its business operations," said the spokesman.

The awards ceremony took place during the World Engineers Summit 2017 conference dinner hosted by IES, held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.