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Next on BT: homes of the future

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The latest episode in the Smart City series explores various methods to make homes in land-scarce Singapore more sustainable, liveable and safer using smart technology.

Singapore

THEY are more comfortable and more energy-efficient. That's what the smart homes of the future aim to be.

The latest episode in the Smart City series explores various methods to make homes in land-scarce Singapore more sustainable, liveable and safer using smart technology.

A six-episode series produced by The Business Times, Smart City will cover some of the Smart Nation initiatives launched by Singapore in areas such as electronic payments, digital identity and transportation.

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With 80 per cent of Singaporeans living in Housing Board flats, HDB makes use of smart technology in the planning and designing of future towns.

The Integrated Environmental Modeller is a software HDB uses to simulate interactions with surrounding urban landscape, design open spaces and optimise building layout.

Supporting the move towards a smart estate, Punggol Northshore Residences, which will be completed in 2020, will showcase the first HDB blocks that come with in-built features.

One example is smart lighting in common areas.

"This has smart sensors, if you walk along the corridor, it can predict the path you are going to take and light up the area you're going to walk in," said Leroy Tan, senior engineer at HDB.

"Once you walk past the area, the lighting dims."

The use of smart lighting would further reduce energy usage in the estate by 40 per cent.

Another feature is the Smart Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System. It uses air to move rubbish via a network of pipes connected to a centralised bin centre.

This is a more efficient way of disposal, resulting in better air quality and a cleaner environment.

Technology has also enabled the reduction of carbon footprints through clean and renewable energy.

Singapore-based sustainable energy firm Sunseap is responsible for 90 per cent of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems found on rooftops of HDB flats, private homes, and commercial buildings.

The PV system takes light and converts it to direct current (DC). An inverter then converts the DC to alternating current (AC) which can then be used as electricity in homes.

Despite being a tropical country, 95 per cent of Singapore's electricity is generated from burning natural gas.

Sunseap hopes to work with government authorities and commercial building owners to make use of their roof space to fit more solar panels to produce electricity and solar energy.

Smart City is supported by the Info-communications Media Development Authority's PSB programme.

Smart Nation is an initiative by the Singapore government to transform the Republic into a global city through technology and digital innovation.

The next episode of Smart City will cover how technology is transforming the healthcare sector in Singapore.

The Web series will be released bi-weekly from September to November. It will be available on BT and other Singapore Press Holdings platforms.