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Launch of Retrofitted Low-Carbon Buildings, NUS SDE1&3

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Seven years ago, IEN was appointed as the Energy Consultant for the energy efficient retrofit of the SDE1&3 university buildings at the National University of Singapore. Yesterday, it was a pleasure to take part in the official launch of the buildings, officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat. His message was clear: The Energy Efficient Retrofitting will play an important roll in Singapore's low-carbon transition:

The DPM's message was echoed by NUS Center of Design and Engineering, Aaron Thean, who stated that this project "represents the next benchmark for renovation and sustainability for built environment in the future”.

While the bigger SDE3 building only started operation in January 2023 and still is undergoing fine-tuning, the smaller SDE1 building has already been operating about two years with a measured very low energy consumption of 45 kWh/m2/year (EUI, energy use intensity). And with solar photovoltalics installed on the roof, the SDE1 produces more electricity than it consumes and was on 1st Feb 2023 awarded the Building Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark (GM) 2021 in Operation Platinum Positive Energy Award.

The launch received has received much media attention, including this coverage on Channel News Asia:

NUS has also put together an informative 8-minute video about the project, showing beautiful imagery of the retrofitted buildings and lush greenery interspersed with interviews of key people involved in the project:

At 7:08 into the video, Nirmal Kishnani states that this project "paves the way for policy. Meaning, it's made policymakers more confident that it can be done". Aka, the successful retrofitting buildings to become highly energy efficient, functional and beautiful. And that policies now must follow to ensure this such retrofits becomes the norm, rather than the exception.

At the launch event yesterday, the book "Renovating Carbon" about the SDE1&3 retrofit and broader aspects of low-carbon building retrofitting, was launched and a copy of the book was given to all the attendees:

A couple of day's after the SDE1&3 launch, we were happy to see DPM Heng Swee Keat's LinkedIn post commending the retrofit project as an inspiration for net-zero energy and positive energy solutions for Singapore and beyond:


For more information about SDE1&3, refer to our building project page:


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