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HDB’s use of technology for sustainable and smart homes

The Housing Development Board (HDB) will be using a silicon-based material in the roofing of HDB flats, in efforts to better equip the buildings with protection from Singapore’s heat.

HDB signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Evonik (SEA), which is the producer and manufacturer of this material, at the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress 2019 on July 23, 2019.


The material, called Calostat, can provide insulation and thus reduce the temperatures in HDB flats by 2 degree Celsius.

“The silicon-based material, which is sustainable, non-combustible, hydrophobic (able to repel water) and pressure-resistant, has been tested and proven to have good thermal insulation properties, and adopted in developments in Germany, Switzerland, and London,” said HDB.

The first trials are expected to take place in the first quarter of 2020. If the material proves to be effective, there is a potential for Calostat to be used in other parts of a HDB building.

3D printing of buildings

HDB and Evonik are also collaborating on the 3D printing of HDB building components. Instead of the traditional pre-cast production process, the 3D printing of building components will reduce the time needed to build flats and house buyers are given more design options for their homes.

It also makes up for the labour shortage in the construction industry and improves workers’ productivity as they have lesser areas to focus on.

Smart Homes

HDB has also signed an MoU with V-Key (software-based digital security solutions provider) to study and develop ways to better the current smart living systems in the Punggol Northshore flats. This study is aimed at bringing different types and brands of smart appliances together and implement them HDB homes. Some of these smart features include smart lighting, smart curtains and motion sensors.

In an earlier OpenGov article, we reported that HDB had signed two new research and development (R&D) agreements with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The New Urban Kampung Research Programme is a collaboration with SUTD and is a part of the ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ Programme. The Smart Integrated Construction System (SICS) is a collaboration with NTU.

New Urban Kampung Research Programme aims to:

  • Gain deeper insights into the composition of HDB residents
  • Identify new quality of life indicators that reflect residents’ needs
  • Find new ways to incorporate community-centric design
  • Forecast effects of new HDB living initiatives

Smart Integrated Construction System (SICS) key features are:

  • HDB Integrated Building Information System
  • 3-dimensional modelling of HDB projects for real-time information and

progress updates on projects

  • Smart Tracking System
  • virtually manage the logistics of construction inventory
  • Smart Crane System 
  • automate the manual hoisting process of building components on-site

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced at the congress that S$70 million of a previously allocated S$150 million will be put towards research and development as part of the ‘Cities of Tomorrow programme’. The funds will be used in the research and creating solutions for future challenges in living conditions due to factors such as climate change. The funds will also be put towards maintaining the city’s liveability.

He also announced the new Built Environment Technology Alliance initiative, which will provide firms in the built environment sector access to new technology and reduce costs.

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