For the built environment, climate change has brought to the fore the importance of sustainable design and eco-friendly building materials. What is equally important lies beyond a building’s life cycle stages of design and construction – as developers build green homes, how can they also help its residents lead more sustainable lifestyles?
One of the key priorities of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is to accelerate the country’s transition to a low-carbon built environment, by greening 80% of its buildings by 2030, having 80% of its new developments as Super Low Energy buildings from 2030, and an 80% improvement in energy efficiency in best-in-class green buildings over 2005 levels by 2030. In addition, the latest Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark scheme has placed greater emphasis on energy efficiency, maintainability, embodied carbon as well as healthier indoor environment.
The upcoming residential development in the HarbourFront and Keppel Bay precincts, The Reef at King’s Dock, which is jointly developed by Mapletree Investments and Keppel Land, goes beyond reducing the environmental impact of the development process. It has been awarded the BCA Green Mark GoldPLUS Award in 2020 for its sustainable features which help to enhance the surrounding environment, including for the marine life at Marina Keppel Bay. Slated for completion in 2025, the Reef at King’s Dock also incorporates a myriad of smart and sustainable features throughout the development’s units and public spaces, to enable residents to adopt a greener lifestyle and nurture their love for nature.
Its highlight – Singapore’s first floating deck in a residential development – will house The Reef at King’s Dock’s very own underwater marine viewing area where residents will be able to view and better appreciate the marine ecology in King’s Dock, thus further promoting environmental awareness and conservation.
Building homes for a thriving ecosystem
The development’s surrounding natural environment is conserved and enhanced through the combined expertise of leading marine biologists and engineers.
While seeking to minimise the impact on the environment, The Reef at King’s Dock is designed with a resolute vision: a commitment to the protection of King’s Dock and the preservation of the thriving marine biodiversity within its waters.
This waterfront development’s 180m-long floating deck, located within the waters of King’s Dock, will house a marine viewing area which will serve as a connection to nature, inspiring residents to care for and appreciate the marine biodiversity found right at their doorstep.
The project team collaborated with marine biologists to design the submerged surface of the floating deck that will encourage the settlement of marine flora and fauna and enhance marine biodiversity at King’s Dock. The 180m-long floating deck acts as a novel habitat by providing a larger surface area for marine life to encrust onto and proliferate.
Tapping on the latest innovations in their fields, these pioneering experts have integrated their knowledge of the marine ecosystem and construction technologies to create sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.
In the floating deck’s design, the project team has taken into careful consideration the protection of King’s Dock’s existing structure, as well as the preservation of the marine life in its waters. For example, the floating deck’s main structure will be constructed offsite and then floated into King’s Dock during installation.
Specially-treated concrete, which resembles natural rock and allows for marine life to build new habitats, was used in the construction of the floating deck.
The symbiotic efforts of marine biologists, marine engineers and architects have resulted in a floating deck that goes beyond an architectural marvel, as a catalyst for building awareness of marine biodiversity.
Thoughtfully designed with respect for the environment
The development has a high green plot ratio and incorporates lush foliage at its numerous sky decks, green roofs and communal gardens. Verdant greenery wraps around and between the residential blocks, offering privacy to residents of The Reef at King’s Dock. Units are oriented for natural coolness, while the bespoke façade and balcony screens provide a good balance of sunlight and sun protection. The staggered blocks also allow for natural ventilation and maximise the scenic views.
The façades of the blocks are designed with integrated moveable external shades at the balcony areas, where residents have the option to control their views, privacy and ingress of natural light into their units. Glass used for windows and sliding doors are laminated glass with solar control that helps to reduce solar heat gain.
Efficient energy performance throughout the development have been considered through: the provision of energy-efficient air conditioning system with 5-tick energy rating in all units; efficient lighting design with the use of LED lamps and provision of motion sensors for common areas; use of ductless jet fans with carbon monoxide (CO) sensors in the basement; and all lifts being equipped with regenerative features, VVFF (Variable Voltage and Variable Frequency) motor controller/driver and sleep function mode for maximum energy saving.
Water efficiency is optimised through the selection of WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme) ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’ water fittings, washing machines and dryers. Sub-meters for all the major water use within the development are also provided for water consumption monitoring. Moreover, rainwater harvesting has also been provisioned to serve as alternative water source for the development, combined with water efficient auto-irrigation system for landscape.
Facilities for responsible waste management recycling and recycling
Residents are highly encouraged to manage their waste responsibly through the provision of separate recycling chutes at each floor, common recycling bins and compost bins within the premises.
Photo credits: HarbourFront Three Pte Ltd