Location: Singapore, Singapore.

Architect: Serie + Multiply Architects.

SDE4 is a school building that has put forward an ambitious energy strategy that serves as a benchmark for future educational buildings in the region. The school takes its energy performance requirements as an opportunity to rethink the relationship between higher education learning environments. The design aims to emphasise learning and research as a creative and collaborative process. The building is designed to be climate responsive with net-zero energy consumption featuring a range of sustainable design features and more than 1200 solar photovoltaic panels on its rooftop. SDE4 exceeds standards of health and wellbeing creating new avenues for delivering comfort in the tropics, embracing an innovative hybrid cooling system that supplies rooms with 100% fresh pre-cooled air, albeit at higher temperatures and humidity levels than in a conventional system, and augments this with an elevated air speed by ceiling fans. The architecture becomes an agent of systemic enhancement—not just to do less harm, but to do systemic good—by making the discussion of design fundamentally public. SDE4 explores how we progress to net zero through design. During this process, the building has demystified the general perception of spatial quality, comfort, and cost for sustainable buildings. SDE4 changes the argument that green buildings cost more, as it has limited or no extra cost compared to similar, industry-standard models. Preliminary results of subjective surveys completed by occupants show high levels of user acceptance of the environmental conditions offered by the building.

Photo credit: Rory Gardiner.