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HDB inks three new agreements with industry partners

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Monday inked three new agreements for collaboration with industry partners at the World Cities Summit.

THE Housing & Development Board (HDB) on Monday inked three new agreements for collaboration with industry partners at the World Cities Summit.

These new partnerships will enable HDB to tap the expertise of the private industry partners, both locally and internationally, to better plan and design its HDB towns and built environment, it said.

The first deal is a S$10 million contract with the NCS consortium (comprising NCS, ARUP Singapore, Samsung SDS Asia Pacific, and AECOM Singapore) to develop a digital master plan and smart hub for HDB towns and estates over four years.

The master plan will map out a strategic approach towards the deployment of smart initiatives in HDB towns. It will also identify ground challenges for the introduction of smart solutions, highlight areas where more research efforts are needed, and explore potential viable business models that can be adopted.

"This will ensure that the solutions deployed are sustainable, and also provide opportunities for wider partnership with the private sector," it said.

For a start, the master plan will be developed for Punggol Town.

A new smart hub, akin to the "brain" for an HDB estate's operations, will also be developed to collect and integrate multiple sources of information, such as real-time data from sensors around estates, into a central repository sited at HDB.

"The data collected by the Smart Hub can transform the way HDB towns are planned, designed and maintained ... For instance, dashboards can be created to monitor and analyse the performance of key services, such as lighting, pumps and waste collection. This will enable HDB to better monitor estate operations and optimise maintenance cycles. The data can also be used to identify patterns, predict potential maintenance issues, allowing for proactive upgrading and replacement of systems," it said.

The second deal is a research collaboration with 3M Singapore to study new and creative ways to soften the impact of noise in Singapore's high-rise, high-density environment.

This will be a one-year research collaboration to understand in-depth the noise generated in an urban environment, such as those from traffic or human activities, and explore solutions to lessen their impact on residents.

This includes studying suitable materials for walls, floors and windows that can absorb, reflect or reduce the transmission of noise within flats, to create a more pleasant living environment.

The third is a memorandum of understanding with four parties - the International Federation for Housing and Planning, Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlement, Singapore Institute of Planners, and Centre for Liveable Cities - to organise a conference in Singapore in the later part of 2017.

This will bring together housing and planning experts and professionals worldwide to foster learning and exchange of information and ideas, HDB said.