Tengah is a cool town - with high-tech help

Visitors checking out the Tengah exhibition at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday. The first new HDB town since Punggol, Tengah will boast features like a forest corridor, car-free town centre and eco-friendly features.
Visitors checking out the Tengah exhibition at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh yesterday. The first new HDB town since Punggol, Tengah will boast features like a forest corridor, car-free town centre and eco-friendly features.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Planners will use computer simulations to achieve lower temperatures, optimum wind flow for new HDB town

Tengah, a new town in the west designed to be green and sustainable, will have lower temperatures and optimum wind flow, thanks to computer simulations used in its planning.

This is the first time such technology will be used on a townwide level. The 700ha Tengah is the first new Housing Board town since Punggol, and will have features such as a forest corridor and car-free town centre.

Special software allows planners to model different configurations of Tengah town and collect data to guide their final design, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee at the launch of the Tengah exhibition yesterday.

The software shows how different arrangements of blocks and greenery could affect wind flow, heat from the sun and temperature.

"Our planners and architects at HDB, and engineers, can then decide how best to plan the building layout to achieve the best comfort level for our residents," said Mr Lee.

For instance, the software can help to determine the ideal placement of buildings to improve wind flow.

Areas that receive more heat from the sun can also be identified, and more greenery can be planted there to lower the temperature.

The software, called the Urban Microclimate Multi-physics Integrated Simulation Tool, is just one of the smart technologies to be implemented across Tengah, after being trialled on a smaller scale in areas such as Yuhua and Punggol Northshore.

Others include sensors to track the performance of public amenities such as lifts and lights, which could help identify problems early.

Flats will also come with adequate digital infrastructure such as data points so that residents can install smart technologies like a utilities monitoring system, if they so choose.

The first smart-enabled flats were launched in Punggol Northshore in May last year. Selection has recently ended, with almost all units booked.

HDB is working with a consortium led by NCS to develop a Smart Urban Habitat Masterplan, setting out a strategy for implementing smart initiatives in towns.

Tengah will also be sustainable. It will boast eco-friendly features introduced in previous projects, from water-saving eco-pedestals in toilets, to a smart pneumatic waste collection system that transports household rubbish underground.

The exhibition on Tengah is ongoing at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh until Sept 25, from 9am to 8pm daily.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2016, with the headline 'Tengah is a cool town - with high-tech help'. Print Edition | Subscribe