NTU goes green for new campus buildings

Nanyang Technological University is building a sports hall and 'Lego-style' high-rise residential buildings for next year. The buildings are designed to reduce energy consumption and employ construction methods that are being used for the first time in Singapore.

Double-layered walls

Two layers of walls are used for heat insulation on hot days. The timber provides up to five times better heat insulation than concrete and reduces energy consumption by at least 40 per cent.


The hall can be ventilated mechanically or naturally with louvres that open.

Retractable seats

Over 900 mechanical seats can be retracted. The hall can house 13 full-sized badminton or other courts, depending on the configuration of the seats.

Cooling walls

The walls have special metal coils with cold water flowing through them. This cools the wind that enters the hall.

A sports hall made of mostly timber

Up to 85 per cent of the sports hall is made of timber. Construction is expected to be completed next year.

The three-storey sports hall will house a weights training gym, three activity rooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors for aerobics and dance, two multi-purpose activity rooms, a VIP lounge and space for student activities.

Two types of timber products used

Glued laminated timber (glulam) is a type of timber product comprising layers of timber bonded together with adhesives.

The strength and weight of laminated timber enables glulam beams and arches to span large distances without intermediate columns. The continuous wave-like timber arch of the sports hall is made with glulam and spans 70m.

Cross laminated timber is made by binding layers of timber at 90 degrees with adhesives to produce a solid timber panel. They can be used for flooring.

'Lego-style' residential hall

The new residential hall at NTU will be built using the prefabrication method, where whole rooms complete with internal fixtures are built at the factory and then put together on-site.

The rooms will be prefabricated at a factory before being transported to the campus for assembly.

This prefabricated pre-finished volumetric construction saves up to 40 per cent in manpower and 20 per cent in construction time.

At the campus, construction cranes will lift the rooms and slot them on top of one another.

Internal fixtures such as wiring are then connected. Loose items such as furniture are moved into the rooms at a later stage.

The six blocks of 13-storey buildings, which can house 1,850 students, are expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.


This article was first published on May 18, 2015.
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