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New NUS Centre for 5G Digital Building Technology

In a boost to Singapore’s future-built environment landscape, the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of the Built Environment has established a new research centre to augment the digital capability of Singapore’s construction industry, accelerate 5G training and promote the adoption of 5G technologies in Smart Facilities Management (FM).

As Singapore pushes to offer nationwide 5G coverage by 2025, the centre for 5G Digital Building Technology aims to play an important role in Singapore’s digital research. It has set its sights to be a leading centre in digital building technology through high impact research, broad-based education, and implementing best practices. It will harness 5G connectivity, cloud-based digital twin and robotics for Smart FM and Built Environment industry applications and seek to transform the way people design, deliver and manage Singapore’s built environment.

The Centre’s 5G-enabled cloud-based digital twin platform for Smart FM integrates systems, processes, and technologies to enhance the management of a building’s facilities. Successful implementation of Smart FM will help to increase productivity and efficiency, and also improve the general health and well-being of the occupants within the buildings. Digital building technology innovations will also provide a boost to the construction sector, as it results in cost reductions, higher quality of work, improved safety and better performance of facilities.

In this rapidly changing world, the built environment sector is confronted with unprecedented challenges to continuously evolve. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way we work and greatly accelerated the adoption of digital technology. Our new Centre for 5G Digital Building Technology will be a living laboratory where we can lead and test-bed innovative digital solutions to create healthier and smarter buildings. At the same time, it is a good learning ground for our students to be exposed to real-world scenarios and tools, where we can better nurture them into leaders of our smarter built environment.”

– Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean, NUS School of Design and Environment

The 5G Centre is uniquely positioned at Singapore’s first new-built net-zero energy building. This allows its researchers the ability to test and develop 5G digital technologies, which typically consumes a high amount of energy, within a net-zero energy environment. This is significant as more businesses will increasingly adopt 5G technology along with the nationwide coverage by 2025, and buildings are expected to be more energy-efficient by 2030 to mitigate climate change.

 The 5G Centre will focus on the following:

  • Develop high-impact research that advances the boundaries of 5G digital building technologies and test-bed new solutions
  • Develop best practices, case studies and guidelines
  • Develop new executive training programmes, workshops and seminars for industry workforce enhancement
  • Collaborate with industry stakeholders to enable more effective adoption of 5G digital building technologies.

The Centre’s unique position within a net-zero energy building not only allows NUS to power 5G sustainably but also allows THEM to study and create new digital and innovative solutions in Built Environment and Smart FM which will translate into smarter systems that are more energy-efficient and thereby reduce carbon emissions in the long-run.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, NUS has also rolled out recommendations on how society and organisations should approach Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ways that truly promote human interests and well-being. The manifesto “The Road to a Human-Centred Digital Society: Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities for Humans in the Age of Machines” advocates an approach that empowers human experiences of competence, belonging, control and well-being. It offers seven high-level recommendations that can guide businesses and policymakers in their pursuit of a Human-centered approach to AI (HCAI).

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