After a bad night watching football, the morning started early at 8 o’clock. After we had breakfast together, PhD student Clayton Miller joined us at the hostel to guide us through the day. Clayton is from the United States and finished his master on the National University of Singapore (NUS). After some work experience he started his PhD last year on the ETH university of Zurich, where he joined the Architecture and Building department to pursue research on the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) project.
At 9 o’clock we went by metro to our first destination. After a travel of almost 1,5 hours we arrived at one of the most sustainable buildings of Singapore, the Universal World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA). After our president Bart gave a short introduction about the TU/e and Mollier, a college of Clayton, who monitors the building operations, gave a presentation about the working principles of the building and the installed climate systems.
UWCSEA is designed and built within 36 months by a building team consisting of people with different technical specialization. Because of the warm and humid climate, it is a difficult task to realize comfortable indoor temperatures with acceptable humidity rates. The indoor conditions are treated by a HVAC systems equipped with chillers and dehumidifiers. The temperature settings are kept around 24 degrees and the humidity level between de 40 and 60%. To realize these settings 36 chillers are needed to cool the whole building. For these chillers the UWCSEA uses solar thermal cooling, with a capacity of 2x600ton and 1×400 ton chillers to cool down as much as possible. The system was designed with a COP of 4.9 (June 2011), but after tweaking by the system it is increased to 6.1. The maintenance engineer even has the entire system on his mobile phone to make adjustments on the spot. Next to that he hacked the site and implemented a background, which tells the weather (rainy image of the campus) and time (night image when it is dark).
After a great lunch at the campus we headed to the NUS and the Future Cities Lab (FCL) department in Singapore (a 2-hour journey across the whole of Singapore). Singapore has invested in knowledge from all over the world. Research teams from MIT, Berkley, the TU Munich, and the EHL are located in the building. They are funded to perform research for five years by the Singapore government. Over 100 PhD, postdoctoral, and Professional researchers are working on diverse themes varying from room level to urban and state level. All these themes are related to future cities and environmental sustainability. After an exchange of presentation from two PhD-ers on their side, and Bart, Patrick and Roel on our side, there was a small tour set up through the company where several finished projects are displayed. These differed from a solution to the warm ‘ back ally’ air conditioning units to the traffic jams in Singapore. The final destination of the FCL was the BubbelZERO lab. This was built in Zurich to test zero energy heating and ventilation systems in Switzerland, and was moved to Singapore to test the same systems under humid and warm circumstances.
The final stop of today was the Night Safari. It is the world’s fist safari park with over 2,500 nocturnal animals in their ‘ naturalistic’ nighttime habitats. The highlight was the show with ended with a educational note: “Remember: Waste should be Reduced, Reused, and RECYCLED!!
Patrick & Werner