HDB and Tampines Town Council launch cool paint pilot project
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Singapore – Residents in Tampines can potentially enjoy a cooler living environment under a pilot project by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Tampines Town Council (TC), which will see approximately 130 HDB blocks painted with cool paint. The pilot aims to reduce the ambient temperature of the site by up to 2oC, through the use of cool paint – a type of paint containing additives that reflect the heat of the sun to reduce surface heat absorption and emission. The large-scale pilot project is being rolled out under the HDB Green Towns Programme, a key initiative under the Singapore Green Plan which aims to build a greener Singapore in the face of climate change.

Tampines TC launched the tender for cyclical Repairs and Redecoration (R&R) works on 6 Aug 2021, which called for interested tenderers to use cool paint to re-paint the first batch of more than 20 blocks at Tampines Street 83 and 84 as well as pavements, among other repair works. The remaining blocks under the pilot will be re-painted with cool paint progressively, in tandem with the R&R works scheduled by Tampines TC.

HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tan Meng Dui said, “HDB is committed to providing our residents with quality homes and living environments. We are delighted to collaborate with Tampines TC on this unique pilot project under HDB’s Green Towns Programme, which marks the first-time cool paint will be used to re-paint HDB blocks starting on a precinct level and extending across neighbourhoods. The outcome of this pilot will help us test the market readiness of cool paints for wider implementation and pave the way for its use in more HDB towns, to mitigate urban heat effects and further improve the liveability of our HDB towns.”

Previous small-scale trial at Tuas and Bukit Purmei

To assess the efficacy of cool coatings in reducing ambient temperature, HDB had collaborated with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on a small-scale trial at eight blocks in Tuas and Bukit Purmei, between 2018 and 2020. During the trial, HDB and NTU studied the temperature reduction at the buildings which were coated with cool paint, as compared to the buildings coated with conventional paint. Temperature sensors were located at the roofs, façades and ground level to take regular readings to monitor the temperature changes. Preliminary findings have shown that cool paint could reduce the ambient temperature around the buildings coated with cool paint by up to 2oC in the day and night.

Large-scale pilot project in Tampines

While cool paints have been in the industry for some time, they were less economically viable before, and the thermal insulation efficacy and durability of cool paints also required further study. In recent years, the market for cool paint technology has matured significantly as more suppliers entered the market, leading to better performance of commercially available cool paints and more competitive pricing.

With the encouraging preliminary findings of the past small-scale trial in Tuas and Bukit Purmei, HDB with the assistance of Tampines TC, will be implementing a larger scale pilot involving about 130 HDB blocks in Tampines. The aim is similarly to reduce the ambient temperature by up to 2oC. Tampines was selected for this large-scale pilot as HDB’s analysis of satellite images and meteorological data on various towns showed that the town has a higher average land surface temperature compared to other towns.