The Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”) has unveiled its new extension to the BCA Academy (“The Academy”) as it continues to lay the foundations for a future-ready built environment for Singapore.
With the new extension, the BCA Academy will become a living lab for built environment disciplines and professions, the first of its kind in Singapore. Future students of the Academy will learn and experience about how a building “lives”, “breathes”, functions and “interacts” with its occupants, thanks to features that facilitate experiential learning.
Commenting on the new extension, the BCA CEO Dr John Keung said: “Shaping a future-ready and highly productive built environment industry is not only about new technologies and equipment. People – talents and professionals – are as important to our industry, which is crucial to Singapore’s economic growth.
The new extension is the BCA’s plan to nurture our industry talents of tomorrow and inspire our industry professionals of today. It represents a microcosm of the future of the built environment that the BCA envisages for Singapore – safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly.”
A living lab and a microcosm of BCA’s initiatives
As a living lab and a smart campus, students and professionals can learn through direct experience in the latest building technologies, equipment and methods at the Academy. Such an experience will enrich their skills, expertise and knowledge, reinforcing their course content and theory in their programmes. Through these experiential learning, students and professionals can strengthen their decision-making skills and apply what they learnt in their work.
The new extension, which has attained the BCA Green Mark Platinum certification, boasts many green building features that contribute to 35% energy savings – one of the highest in Singapore. To raise awareness of the importance of accessibility and Universal Design among students and professionals, the new extension also incorporates Universal Design features extensively. People of different abilities and needs can learn in an inclusive and user-friendly campus. They can also understand how considerations made to designs that benefit people of different abilities and needs through educational signs.
The new extension also features many advanced technologies and methods that improve construction productivity. One of the features is that the structural elements are constructed 88% pre-cast, one of the highest ever in Singapore. The project achieved a high Constructability score of 65, with 40 being the minimum required.
A Rotatable Laboratory will be constructed on the roof of the new extension in 2015 – the first to be built in Asia. A collaboration between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the USA and the BCA, the Laboratory will allow professionals and researchers to test building materials, components and systems that they have developed and monitor their effectiveness under our local climatic conditions. This will strengthen Singapore’s position in nurturing ground-breaking research and as a leader in energy-efficient buildings in the tropics by hosting many new and exciting eco-friendly building technologies.
For this new extension, Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) has been extensively used in the design and construction phase. The information that has been captured can also be extended for use in facilities management. This is a new area which the Academy plans to demonstrate how BIM, through the new extension, can be applied in facilities management.