Innovation That Matters

A feasibility study run in partnership with Temasek found that the site could reduce its energy usage by up to 17 per cent. | Photo source SP Group

Neighbourhood cooling system saves energy and reduces costs

Property & Construction

Underground pipes transport chilled water to both commercial and residential buildings

Spotted: Distributed District Cooling (DDC) refers to a communal approach to cooling multiple buildings which could save residents and business owners substantial amounts in energy costs and fees. The Asia Pacific utilities company, SP Group, is trialling this method in the Tampines Central district of Singapore. A feasibility study run in partnership with Temasek found that the site could reduce its energy usage by up to 17 per cent. 

A central chilling plant cools water that is then distributed throughout the system. The warmed water is then returned to the plant for closed-loop reuse of the water. The Tampines project reveals the success of retrofitting, in which 14 existing buildings are modifying their infrastructure to adopt this communal approach and thus improve their resource efficiency.

With multiple buildings already using their own chilled water cooling system, a neighbourhood plant could free up considerable amounts of real estate, a huge benefit in densely populated cities.  

Maintenance costs of a DDC system are likely to be lower, and participation in the Tampines trial is voluntary. The development team is currently working with building owners to design an installation plan that minimises general public inconvenience when the construction begins.  

Cooling is becoming more and more important, as innumerable locations around the world contend with rising temperatures. Projects Springwise has spotted range in size from net-zero, modular new builds to air conditioning units replaced with rooftops covered in plain white office paper.  

Written By: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Architecture and Design | Sustainability

Email: districtcooling@spgroup.com.sg

Website: spgroup.com.sg

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