Tue, Sep 03, 2019 - Page 6 News List

FEATURE: What lies beneath: Singapore plans a subterranean future

SPACE-STARVED:With reclamation becoming more expensive, the city-state is looking to house more critical facilities beneath the surface

AFP, SINGAPORE

Buildings that use the centralized system — rather than relying entirely on their own air conditioners — have reduced energy consumption by about 40 percent, said Foo Yang Kwang, chief engineer of Singapore District Cooling, SP Group, which is behind the project.

Reduced energy use has enabled the buildings to slash their annual carbon dioxide emissions by 34,500 tonnes, which is equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road, he said.

Other current subterranean facilities in Singapore include Southeast Asia’s longest underground expressway, measuring 12km, the metro train, an ammunitions depot and rock caverns beneath the seabed that are used to store oil.

NTU, one of the city’s top institutes of higher education, is considering building labs and even classrooms underground, Chu said.

However, he said shifting things underground is just one way of coping as the city-state grows: “It is the next frontier, but not the final frontier.

“I am confident that we will be able to figure out other ways to create new space,” he said.

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