Tham K.W.,National University of Singapore |
Wargocki P.,Technical University of Denmark |
Tan Y.F.,JTC Corporation
Science and Technology for the Built Environment | Year: 2015
The Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Scheme in Singapore encourages better indoor environmental quality for healthier workplaces for occupants. However, studies have shown that green buildings do not necessary ensure better indoor environmental quality. This case study aimed to compare the prevalence of sick building syndrome symptoms and sick leave in a Green Mark Platinum and a non-Green Mark-certified building. Thirty-two employees from the Green Mark Platinum building and 33 employees from the non-Green Mark-rated building were surveyed to investigate their perceptions of the indoor environmental quality and prevalence of sick building syndrome experienced. Information concerning the offices and absenteeism of staff was collected as well. Compared to the Green Mark Platinum-certified building, the non-Green Mark-certified building was more leaky and had a higher air change rate (between 2.5 to 3 times higher), was about 1◦C cooler, and had a lower illuminance level. The statistical analysis of the data showed that there are significant differences in occupant perception; the Green Mark Platinum-certified building was cooler (p = 0.002); had fresher cleaner air and less odor (p = 0.002), had more relaxed monitor/keyboard comfort (p = 0.029), and had more satisfactory ergonomics (p = 0.033) at a 95% confidence level. Findings also suggested that the most frequent symptoms in the non-Green Mark-certified building were dry or irritated throat (15.2%) and lethargy or tiredness (15.2%), whereas the most frequent symptoms in theGreen Mark Platinum building were blocked or stuffy nose (12.5%), dry or irritated throat (12.5%), dry skin (12.5%), and lethargy or tiredness (12.5%). However, there is no statistically significant association between sick building syndrome symptoms and the offices (p > 0.05). Furthermore, analysis of the sick leave records failed to show that occupants in the Green Mark Platinum-certified building took fewer sick leave days as compared to the non-Green Mark building. This unexpected finding is not affirmative due to aberrations attributable to (i) differences in industry type between the offices studied, (ii) plausible settling in effects of occupants in the Green Mark Platinum-rated office, and (iii) high leakage characteristics of the non-rated office that resulted in an unintended 2.5 to 3 times higher air change rate (ventilation) compared to that of the Platinum-rated office. © 2015, ASHRAE.
News Article | October 26, 2016
A new NTU robot will soon be spray-painting the interiors of industrial buildings in Singapore, saving time and manpower while improving safety. Known as PictoBot, the robot is invented by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and co-developed with JTC Corporation (JTC) and local start-up Aitech Robotics and Automation (Aitech). PictoBot can paint a high interior wall 25 per cent faster than a crew of two painters, improving both productivity and safety. Industrial buildings are designed with high ceilings to accommodate bulky industrial equipment and materials. Currently, painting the interiors of industrial buildings requires at least two painters using a scissor lift. Working at such heights exposes painters to various safety risks. In comparison, PictoBot needs only one human supervisor, as it can automatically scan its environment using its optical camera and laser scanner, to navigate and paint walls up to 10 metres high with its robotic arm. It can work four hours on one battery charge, giving walls an even coat of paint that matches industry standards. Equipped with advanced sensors, Pictobot can also operate in the dark, enabling 24-hours continuous painting. Developed in a year at NTU's Robotic Research Centre, PictoBot is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore, under its Test-Bedding and Demonstration of Innovative Research funding initiative. The initiative provides funding to facilitate the public sector's development and use of technologies that have the potential to improve service delivery. This is done through Government-led demand projects, where agencies use research findings to address a capability gap and quickly deploy the new technology upon successful demonstration. Principal Investigator Prof Chen I-Ming, the Director of NTU Robotic Research Centre, said the spray-painting robot can paint faster and more evenly in tests, and has a higher quality of finish compared to current methods. "Painting large industrial spaces is repetitive, labour intensive and time-consuming. PictoBot can paint while a supervisor focuses on operating it," said Prof Chen, who is also a faculty at NTU's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "The autonomous behaviour also means that a single operator can handle multiple robots and refill their paint reservoirs." Mr Anil Das, Director, Innovation Programme Office and Corporate Planning, JTC, shared that through collaborations with academic institutes and the industry such as NTU and Aitech, JTC hopes to continue developing new and innovative approaches to enhance construction productivity, reliability and safety for industrial infrastructure projects. "Using PictoBot to automate spray painting helps us mitigate the risks of working at heights when painting high walls typically found in industrial buildings. In addition, it helps to reduce labour-intensive work, thus improving productivity and ensuring the quality of interior finishes. We look forward to seeing the results from the pilot deployment of PictoBot at JTC Space @ Gul." Mr George Loh, Director (Programmes), NRF Singapore said, "In Singapore, the demand for construction projects is expected to increase as we continue to develop. PictoBot is an example of how autonomous robots can be deployed to boost productivity and overcome the manpower constraints that Singapore faces in the construction industry. NRF will continue to encourage the public sector to identify and adopt technologies that can address our national needs." The PictoBot integrates several high-tech components to automate the spray-painting of interior walls of various specifications: To enable the robot to reach high places and to move around quickly, the research team worked closely with engineers from Aitech to integrate the PictoBot's mobile jack-up platform with its robotic arm. The next step is to testbed the new robot at industrial developments such as JTC Space @ Gul, to ensure that the quality of PictoBot's spray painting is comparable or better than industry standards. This test-bedding phase will be done jointly with engineers at the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation (I³) Centre. The joint research centre between NTU and JTC aims to develop solutions that can tackle challenges such as safety, productivity as well as manpower and resource constraints, faced by Singapore and its companies.
News Article | February 28, 2017
SINGAPORE, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Spacemob, the Vertex Ventures backed coworking space operator, today announced a strategic partnership with Ascendas-Singbridge -- Asia's leading provider of sustainable urban and business space solutions -- to open a coworking space in Singapore Science Park at the end of March 2017. The 14,000 sq ft space at Ascent, a new Ascendas-Singbridge development located opposite Kent Ridge MRT Station at Singapore Science Park 1, will provide small businesses with cost-effective spaces, close proximity to key research and tertiary institutions, R&D, high-tech innovation and start-up communities. Ascendas-Singbridge Group CEO, Mr Miguel Ko says; "We are delighted to partner with Spacemob to provide coworking spaces to entrepreneurs and small-medium businesses in the thriving ecosystem at Singapore Science Park. With their track record in attracting members, community building, and integration of technology into coworking, Spacemob stands out as a key player in this rapidly emerging market." Spacemob Founder and CEO, Turochas "T" Fuad has a track record of disrupting industries to unlock sources of growth. Spacemob forms partnerships with property owners to operate coworking spaces and generate new revenue streams for them. With their first space at Claymore Hill in Orchard, they are also one of the first major coworking players located outside the CBD. He says; "We are delighted to be working with Ascendas-Singbridge on our second coworking space in Singapore. One of our objectives as a company is to enable space as a service and maximise space usage for our property partners. This will allow us to house a hundred companies and expand our coworking community at a convenient and accessible location. We look forward to growing across the region with similar partnerships and offerings." Spacemob at Ascent offers members state-of-the-art facilities such as ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, complimentary group health insurance, payroll software, media rooms, and a host of Spacemob signature tools and technology that a business needs to thrive. By moving closer to city fringe areas, Spacemob is executing on its mission for space to follow its members. Spacemob is poised for further growth in 2017 with coworking spaces coming to Jakarta, Thailand and Vietnam. Spacemob launched its first site on Claymore Hill in October 2016. In November 2016, the company announced SGD7.9million seed funding led by Vertex Ventures. Recently voted 3rd 'Hottest Startups 2017' by Singapore Business Review, Spacemob is founded by Turochas 'T' Fuad (founder of Travelmob, the short-term rental site that was acquired by HomeAway in 2013). Spacemob develops proprietary technology to benefit members. The Claymore Hill site currently has entrepreneurs, freelancers and MNCs such as General Assembly and Big Sync (a Unilever company) as its members. Another one Spacemob site is due to open in Q1 of 2017 in Jakarta. The plan is to have 30 Spacemob sites across Asia Pacific within the next 36 months. Ascendas-Singbridge Group is Asia's leading sustainable urban and business space solutions provider. With the combined capabilities of Ascendas and Singbridge, the group is uniquely placed to undertake urbanisation projects spanning townships, mixed-use developments and business/industrial parks. Headquartered in Singapore, Ascendas-Singbridge has projects in 29 cities across 10 countries in Asia, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea. Ascendas-Singbridge Group has a substantial interest in and also manages three Singapore-listed funds under its subsidiary Ascendas. Besides these listed funds -- Ascendas Reit, Ascendas India Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust, Ascendas also manages a series of private real estate funds, which hold commercial and industrial assets across Asia. Jointly owned by Temasek and JTC Corporation (JTC) through a 51:49 partnership, Ascendas-Singbridge Group is the asset and investment holding arm of the integrated urban solutions platform formed by Temasek and JTC to capitalise on urbanisation trends in the region. Strategically located at the gateway of Singapore Science Park 1, Ascent is a 7-storey integrated development offering approximately 40,000 sqm of business park space, with 4,000 sqm for retail and food and beverage outlets. A short 5-minute walk to the Kent Ridge MRT station, Ascent offers accessibility as well as efficiency of space with large, contiguous floor plates of up to 7,000 sqm. The iconic development redefines Singapore Science Park with human-centric architecture, and lush landscaping throughout the grounds.
Chu J.,Nanyang Technological University |
Chu J.,Iowa State University |
Yan S.,Tianjin University |
Lam K.P.,JTC Corporation
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Ground Improvement | Year: 2012
Clay slurry or sewage sludge may be used as fill materials for land reclamation. However, the treatment of very soft materials of high water content is difficult. One major difficulty is how to create a working platform on top of the slurry layer for required soil improvement works such as vacuum preloading to be carried out. Several methods that can be used to create a working platform on top of a slurry layer are reviewed in this paper. These include (1) sun drying; (2) capping with sand or other good soil; (3) use of geotextile; (4) cement mixing; and (5) dewatering using drainage. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are elaborated. Practical examples are given to illustrate the application of some of those methods. Sewage sludge is more difficult to treat because of its organic content and a combined chemical and mechanical method needs to be used. Two conceptual methods for using sewage sludge and other waste materials for land reclamation are also proposed.
Shao Z.,Nanyang Technological University |
Maruvanchery V.,Nanyang Technological University |
Tiong L.K.,Nanyang Technological University |
Teo T.Y.,JTC Corporation |
Ng K.W.,JTC Corporation
Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology | Year: 2015
The Decision Aids for Tunneling (DAT) have been used world-wide in underground construction projects as a risk assessment tool. However, compared to the linear tunnel construction, underground cavern construction projects involve higher construction risks due to larger sizes and more complex tunnel networks. Therefore, it is useful to examine the capability of the DAT in simulating underground cavern construction with complex networks. This paper discusses the applicability of the modified DAT technique to real construction situation by considering a large scale underground cavern construction. The results show that the overall construction time obtained from the DAT analysis is comparable with the scheduled construction time proposed by the contractor. Time-cost scattergrams for the three partial face excavation scenarios are plotted and a final prediction on the construction time/cost is made. Finally, a parametric study is conducted by increasing the number of simultaneous cavern excavations in order to optimize the resource allocation on the construction site. The overall construction time was found to decrease exponentially with increase in number of simultaneous cavern excavations. The results show that the DAT is a valuable tool in predicting construction parameters and managing resources for underground cavern projects. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
JTC Corporation | Date: 2013-10-21
News Article | August 23, 2013
No matter how robust a city's transportation infrastructure, no matter how timely or how many buses and trains run, there's still the issue of actually getting to the bus station. And it's not like you're going to walk there like a putz. Heck no, there are driver-less trolleys for that. Take the shuttle from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to JTC Corporation's CleanTech Park, for example. Sure, you could walk, bike, or skate the 1.2 miles between the campuses, or you could hop aboard an all-electric Navia. These 8-passenger open air transports are built by France’s Induct Technology. The Navia rely on LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) and optical cameras to generate real-time 3D navigation maps while avoiding obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles. Though with a top speed of 12.5 mph (20 km/h), any accident would generally be of the fender-bender variety. And unlike a human-controlled campus shuttles, passengers can select their desired destination from a touchscreen on the Navia's dash and automatically skip upcoming stops if no one is waiting to board. Even more impressive is that the Navia system doesn't require any infrastructure upgrades along its programmed route—no overhead power lines, no tracks, no nothing. When the shuttles are low on power, they'll drive themselves back to a wireless charging station (not unlike a Roomba) to top off. Google's driverless cars could well be the future. But there's nothing quite like futures that are already here today. [NTU via Gizmag]
News Article | February 6, 2014
Ashwin Gayam does not come across as your typical CEO. While he looks the part, he is fundamentally a technologist at heart. His resume bears that out: four years at business school INSEAD serving a technical role, rising through the ranks from software developer to research team leader. But he had to make a choice at the beginning of 2012: steer his ship or watch it sink. He switched from being the CTO of his company, Fisheye Analytics, to the chief executive. The move paid off. Eventually, Fisheye got acquired by global marketing conglomerate WPP for a few million dollars with an unaudited revenue of $622,000. They had no external investors. The situation leading up to his choice was grim. With grand ambitions of being a product company with consultancy and customer support elements, Fisheye sought to raise at least a couple million from venture capitalists. The company, which was founded in 2009, did not seek angel investments since they were able to pay employees with their first deal. It made no sense to raise six-digit investments from angels when they could easily use the time to secure contracts worth equally as much. But getting capital of that magnitude is time-consuming. It meant the company had to stop its sales activities and focus on talks with investors, negotiations over terms, and due diligence. The effort, which took up half a year, did result in three offers, but the company didn’t accept them. Gayam says: The company bled as they entertained investors. There wasn’t a right fit to begin with: venture capitalists sought high-risk, high-return businesses with 10x multiples, so they were listening for specific buzzwords in the pitches. But Gayam felt his approach towards the analytics business wasn’t suited for that – he wanted a more personal touch that traded off scalability for quality of service. The human element, he says, is necessary in this business, and the investors didn’t get that. At the end of the ordeal, their cash flow dwindled fast – they could only last for four months tops. Knowing exactly what needed to be done, the leadership team agreed that he should be in the driver’s seat. His co-founder and then CEO decided to step into a non-executive role as a director. “I felt then that we should just grow organically. No more changing of business strategy. No more pivots or changes,” he says. Fisheye, in its latest incarnation, would become a services company with a heavy tech component. It utilizes custom-built scrapers to scour the web for reactions to a client’s event or campaign. It builds its own software, too – a dashboard where clients can gauge sentiments in both online and offline media. This, Gayam reasoned, would be its ticket to success. The company struggled to stay afloat in the first few months after Gayam took over. Besides $40,000 – or 79 percent of expenses – in payroll every month for ten full-time employees, they also had to pay annual server costs worth $70,000. Office rent fortunately took up only $1,000 a month, and they were on friendly terms with JTC Corporation, which gave them the flexibility of giving up the space on just one month’s notice. With no liabilities but limited time, the team went on a mad scramble to secure contracts, and they needed a breakthrough. Fortunately, Gayam had a strong team of fresh graduates with good grades who eschewed the corporate job path to work in a startup. They believed in his vision, which Gayam made sure he communicated clearly. Celebrating small victories boosted morale: even if they don’t win, at least they had pleasant memories. While Gayam spearheaded sales efforts, everyone chipped in to an approach that drastically shortened the typically long, relationship-oriented corporate sales cycle. In short, it involves a lot of preparation work. Before contacting each potential client, the company would research past events organized by the target. They scoured the web with their home-baked scrapers to conduct sentiment analysis. They would then create a report and present to clients on how their event performed and what could be improved. It wasn’t a simple sales meeting – clients debated with the firm about the analysis, and this drastically shortened the sales cycle as they saw how useful the tool can be. Offering free consulting as a starter also worked. Fisheye offered free trials to some of its customers. In return, it asked that they take the offer seriously. The approach proved effective for Gayam, who embarked on an European business trip at the end of 2012 that became a turning point for the firm. Renting a cheap motel for two weeks, he leveraged on his contacts to secure meetings with various government bodies in Europe. He closed $350,000 worth of in-principle sales within two weeks – enough to sustain the firm for eight months. Not bad for a self-professed geek who has never sold to a single client. These weren’t small-time clients, either; they included OECD in France and the European Commission in Brussels. His trip to the Middle East yielded similar results, bagging him contracts with the two largest government bodies in the United Arab Emirates. Significantly, Fisheye was a small foreign firm that was on the home ground of some of the world’s largest marketing agencies. It’s like a third division football club entering Old Trafford to seal a win against Manchester United – humiliating for the richer, more established marketing firms. It helped that Fisheye already had the World Economic Forum as their first client, a coup that smoothed the way to securing deals with other governmental organizations. The trip gave more than a financial lifeline. Competitors sat up and took notice. They included Kantar, a subsidiary of WPP, a marketing giant with a revenue of $16 billion in 2012. “Big companies have big egos, and they don’t want to lose prestigious customers to small companies,” he says, adding half-jokingly, “if you can win tenders and customers, send a mail to your competitors saying that while we’ve won this customer, we are fine with working with you too.” Fisheye was in some ways an old-fashioned company. Unlike startups groveling after quick exits, Gayam preferred to grow the business slowly. In his words, he did not “resort to gimmicks” to get acquired. While he was aiming to build a sustainable business, the acquisition offer felt right. Fisheye’s product was really good, but had limited reach because it could not afford a sales force. It’s reassuring that as part of Kantar Media, they now have 40 people to push the product to clients. “That makes me happy,” he says. Now, besides servicing new clients and maintaining existing ones like the International Olympic Committee, Gayam is also helping to devise Kantar Media’s social media strategy. He has invested his money in stocks and is looking to become a hands-on angel investor who doesn’t just write checks. He also hopes to get back into the entrepreneurship game one day.
News Article | May 5, 2010
SINGAPORE--A thriving hub that houses environmentally-conscious businesses. An epicenter for research, innovation and commercialization in clean technology. A green icon in housing and utilizing cutting-edge clean technologies. That is what Singapore's upcoming CleanTech Park (CTP) is striving to be under one roof. Unveiled in February by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and local industrial developer and landlord JTC Corporation, CTP is set to boost the island-state's efforts toward building a greener, more energy-efficient and sustainable country. The development is said to contribute to Singapore's goal of becoming a "living laboratory", where clean tech companies can develop, testbed and commercialize green and urban solutions in the Republic before rolling out to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Spanning 50 hectares (ha) in the western part of the island, CTP will be developed in three phases beginning this July. When fully complete in 2030, it is expected to house 20,000 people in about 30 buildings. The first of these buildings, CleanTech One, will be built on a 1.5-ha plot. It will feature two towers covering a total of 37,500 square meters, and aim to be ready by December 2011. Construction costs alone for CleanTech One are estimated to be about S$90 million (US$65.5 million). In an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia, a JTC spokesperson shed more light on the ideas behind CTP, as well as some of the unique green features in the eco-business project. Q: Where did the ideas for CTP come about? Which countries did EDB and JTC base its template on? JTC: There are similar eco business parks around the world with different geographic locations presenting very different challenges. The team drew inspiration from Masdar City and the Sino-Singapore TianJin Eco-City when developing our ideas. The uniqueness of CTP lies in its objective of seeding and testbedding clean technologies in an urbanized and tropical setting. The development of CTP integrates and balances environment, economic and social objectives in a eco-sustainable approach. What has been some of the learning so far? What ideas or plans were discarded, and why? CTP is a testbedding platform where new technologies are being presented to us all the time. One idea that we had to do away with was basement carparks. Although a good solution to land optimization, underground carparks would result in diminishing the natural terrain and increasing the need for underground ventilation, thus increasing energy consumption. Other ideas presented included technologies that appeared to be ideal in generating alternative energy. However, the cost of these technologies was prohibitive. Our aim is to build a park that is sustainable, yet cost-effective at the same time. We have to ensure that there are still affordable spaces for businesses to grow, and that being green makes good economic sense to the tenant. Commercial buildings in Singapore have also taken the green path. The City Square Mall, for instance, has features such as waterless urinals and hybrid carpark lots with charging facilities. What are some interesting or novel green measures in CTP? Innovative technological applications in CleanTech One would include a 1-megawatt fuel cell plant for renewable energy, a biodigester to move toward a zero food waste environment, and a dehumidification chiller to attain a more comfortable working indoor environment at a cheaper price. At the bigger park level, recycled concrete will be used for roads and LED street lamps will also be testbedded to minimize light pollution and [reduce energy consumption by] 40 percent. Provisions to link buildings together with an integrated smart dashboard system will also be put in place so that energy and water usage can be compared on a district level, with feedback being provided to individual building owners and their tenants for improvement. What green features should businesses and individuals remember or associate with CTP? Two key important points underpin the design approach for CTP: 1. Conservation is important--existing greenery is kept as much as possible, bringing the tropical rainforest to the doorstep of businesses. We are doing away with the conventional method of cut-and-fill, [and instead] tailoring our infrastructure and building developments to the natural undulating terrain. Not only is biodiversity kept, cost of leveling the ground is also eliminated. 2. Ecologically sustainable yet affordable--CTP is looking at ways to build and operate in a cost-effective manner. While ecology and environmental sustainability are the park's distinguishing marks, commercial viability remains key. Predictive modeling is first used to minimize heat gain to the building, take advantage of natural prevailing winds in the park, and maximize solar and rain water collection at the roof. We hope that through our predictive modeling software, developers will find it easier and more cost-effective to build and operate a green building in CTP. The planning principles for CTP's eco-sensitive masterplan are based on the following considerations: