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HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD: WINNER, BEST ADOPTION - PUBLIC SECTOR

The brain behind estate operations

HDB's Smart Hub initiatives leverage data to help create a better living environment for its residents.

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The information provides HDB with a good oversight of what is happening in its towns, and to pick up on performance trends. Such analyses allow the agency to improve its town planning and building design, and also help its town councils to improve their estate management.

TO help reduce energy consumption at its estates, HDB collects data from the lights that have been fitted with sensors in common areas. This helps the agency to better understand human traffic patterns and optimise the provision of lighting.

The outcome of this analysis is a "smart lighting" system that can reduce the brightness of lights when there is little or no human traffic detected, potentially reducing energy usage in the process.

This solution is just one of many initiatives that HDB undertakes as part of its Smart Hub programme, which aims to improve an estate's services by integrating, managing and analysing data from various sources, such as lifts and pumps, feedback from residents, as well as data from municipal services.

IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

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"It is important for HDB towns to be environmentally sustainable in the long run, and with the Smart Hub, we can identify energy consumption patterns and come up with ways to improve energy efficiency, among others," said an HDB spokesperson.

"Like the 'brain' behind the estate services in our estates, the Smart Hub serves as HDB's central data repository."

The information provides HDB with a good oversight of what is happening in its towns, and to pick up on performance trends.

Such analyses allow the agency to improve its town planning and building design, and also help its town councils to improve their estate management. Ultimately, this serves to create a better living environment for residents.

The first phase of the Smart Hub was implemented in Yuhua estate in Jurong East, where data from some of the estate's services have been fed into the system for analysis.

The next phase will see data from another brownfield site, Teck Ghee in Ang Mo Kio and two greenfield sites, Punggol and Tengah Town, being transmitted to Smart Hub for monitoring and analysis.

Punggol is being developed as a residential project focussed on sustainable living through effective energy, water and waste management. Designed to be "A Waterfront Town of the 21st century", Punggol is the first town to test-bed smart and sustainable initiatives that are now progressively being implemented in other towns.

Meanwhile, Singapore's newest HDB town, Tengah, is set to be the largest smart and sustainable development to date. Known as the "Forest Town", it will see a car-free town centre and lush greenery surrounding the site.

The first batch of Tengah flats will be launched this month. Looking ahead, the Smart Hub initiative will eventually be scaled up to cover all HDB towns in Singapore.

LEARNING ESTATES

The eventual goal for Smart Hub is to create estates that "learn" through technology across HDB's 24 towns to create a better quality living environment. Estate management would be optimised as estates would be "trained" to be self-sensing and self-thinking, and constantly learning to improve.

"As the public housing authority looking out for more than 80 per cent of the population, it is essential that HDB thinks about challenges that will impact the public housing landscape, and how we can address these challenges sustainably. By harnessing the power of data, we can make HDB towns and estates more liveable, efficient, sustainable and safe for our residents," said the spokesperson.

HDB was the winner of SG:D Techblazer award in the "Best Adoption - Public Sector" category for Smart Hub.

"Through our participation in this award, we hope to increase awareness of the Smart Hub and encourage co-innovation with private companies, other public organisations and even residents to improve our living environment."


Smart HDB Town Framework

IN 2014, HDB unveiled the Smart Town Framework, which is a blueprint for the implementation of technologies at its estates. Smart Hub supports all aspect of this framework.

The framework covers the following key dimensions:

  • Smart Planning - HDB looks at the use of computer simulation and data analytics to improve the way it plans and designs its towns, precincts, and buildings. Real-time information is integrated into the simulation models to derive optimal and cost-effective solutions for urban design technologies in HDB towns.
  • Smart Environment - The aim is to link estates with a network of sensors to capture real-time environment information, such as temperature and humidity, which can be used to create a more pleasant environment for residents.
  • Smart Estate - HDB leverages smart technologies to collect and analyse estate data to optimise maintenance cycles and pre-empt problems.
  • Smart Living - This involves providing digital infrastructure in flats to pave the way for intelligent homes. Residents will be able to tap smart home applications developed by commercial companies.  
  • Smart Community - HDB uses data analytics and other technologies to better understand and engage residents, enhance community bonding efforts, and empower communities to take greater ownership in co-creating their living environments.