SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING13 Mar 2024
Surbana Jurong’s “Campus in Nature” Embodies Commitment To Creating A Smart & Sustainable Future
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Singapore – Surbana Jurong (SJ) today announced the official opening of SJ Campus, the company’s new global headquarters with a built-up area of 1,200,000 square feet, at a ceremony graced by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong.

Set within CleanTech Park in Jurong Innovation District (JID), the campus is a strategic centre for collaboration, learning, and a living lab for innovative solutions for the built environment. JID is a vibrant ecosystem of enterprises in smart city and urban solutions.

Designed by Safdie Architects working with SJ’s architects, SJ Campus re-envisions the relationship between nature and the workplace. Aligning with the character of Singapore as a “City in Nature”, SJ Campus is a “Campus in Nature” that can accommodate 4,000 onsite employees and the wider community.

For the first time since SJ’s formation as a collective of built environment consultants in 2015, employees from different entities in Singapore finally congregate under one roof. The campus has been designed with both the SJ community and the community-at-large in mind, creating uplifting spaces that maximise engagement, facilitated by the site’s natural setting.

Sean Chiao, Group CEO, SJ, shared: “This campus is more than a global headquarters; it’s a living lab for innovating solutions and pushing the boundaries of sustainable development. Over the years, SJ has assembled a portfolio to inject new thinking and talent into the group, and fuel our capabilities to transform the built environment. In SJ Campus, our diverse talent  come together to collaborate and solve our clients’ most complex problems, fulfilling our purpose, Real impact, made together.”

SJ’s multidisciplinary team undertook much of the work that brought the Campus to life, providing consultancy services from architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, and project management, to workplace strategy, integrated facilities management, and security services.

Chaly Mah, Chairman, SJ, remarked: “Today marks a significant milestone in SJ’s evolution. We have a strong platform to continue our aspiration of becoming a leading global architecture, engineering, design consultancy. As we open our doors to the wider community, we invite all to join us in shaping a smart, resilient and regenerative future. Working together with our clients, partners, our people and the community, we are committed to creating a future legacy that is greater than our collective past, one that serves generations to come.”

Situated on a previously undeveloped greenfield site, the SJ Campus design preserves more than half of the site’s existing green space and replaces built-upon green areas with rooftop gardens, lush interior gardens, and extensive exterior landscaping. At the outset, a detailed mapping and analysis of the site was performed to plot the specific location of the existing flora, including a Banyan tree estimated to be over 60 years old.

The 10 towers of the campus are linked by a pedestrian spine and enclosed courtyards, that allow for natural light and fresh air. Amenities further enhance the experience, including a 1,000-seater multipurpose area, a junior ballroom, rooftop terraces, a team lounge, table tennis, and soon to be opened, a gym. Many of these spaces take advantage of natural views, with large windows looking onto gardens.

The campus is a destination for walking trail enthusiasts, birdwatchers, cyclists, and families exploring the Jurong Eco-Garden, home to a freshwater swamp, streams and Singapore’s last two dragon kilns. Cyclists are welcome to secure their bicycles at the onsite racks and utilise the campus shower facilities. To complete an outing, visitors can enjoy a meal at the cafeteria nestled within the campus grounds.

The project was awarded the Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA)’s Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy (SLE) and BCA-HPB Green Mark Platinum for Healthier Workplaces certification. The campus is designed for maintainability and deploys integrated facilities management to optimise operational efficiency. It is also WELL Pre-Certified by the International WELL Building Institute for having demonstrated a commitment to incorporate health and well-being features and practices. The campus is distinguished by its:

  • Engineering for sustainability: Through Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), SJ constructed precast post-tensioned concrete frames in a unique arrangement, resembling inverted pyramidal cantilevered blocks. These structures form self-shading terraces, reducing solar radiation by a significant 36 percent. SJ’s design and engineering teams rigorously pursued a performance-based approach, aligning with key sustainability objectives of the project.
  • Best-in-class energy efficiency: The campus has adopted one of the largest underfloor air distribution systems in Singapore. This provides efficient cooling from below to target occupied space and improve indoor air quality and additional energy savings of up to 16 percent of the cooling energy required. Other smart facilities management solutions include an Integrated Command Centre, where IOT devices leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor energy, water, occupancy patterns, and indoor air quality to optimise carbon management, and improve productivity. These active systems and natural design elements work in combination to achieve an overall energy savings of 41 percent. SJ Campus is estimated to save 4.4 million kWh/year operational energy savings which is equal to avoiding 1,785* tons of carbon dioxide per year, based on Energy Market Authority’s grid emission factor.
  • Renewable energy: SJ Campus has successfully integrated a next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) system using bifacial PV panels, which can produce clean energy when illuminated on either of its surfaces. The solar rooftops in SJ Campus serve as a testbed for advanced PV technologies, energy storage and the deployment of a smart grid. Located in four towers, it has a combined energy yield of 389 MWh per year, which is equivalent to powering 120 three-room HDB flats every year. On-site renewable energy helps to offset Scope 2 emissions, saves energy costs, and earns renewable energy certificates (REC)s.
  • Role as a living lab: The campus serves as an incubator for real-world urban solutions to demonstrate the scalability of emerging technologies to the built environment industry. SJ is working with BCA to test-bed low carbon technologies to save energy and improve occupant health.

SJ adopted a “develop and lease” model to fund the development of SJ Campus. SJ secured 100 percent funding for the development of the property and subsequent lease agreement for the entire land lease tenure from M&G Real Estate, one of the world’s leading financial solutions providers for real estate investors. This arrangement has provided SJ with a compelling long-term and cost-effective solution in developing the property.