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NTU builds Singapore’s first “Lego-style” high-rise residences

Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) three new residential halls at North Hill will be Singapore’s first public high-rise buildings using a new “Lego-style” construction method that allows prefabricated individual rooms to be stacked on top of each other.

Whole rooms complete with internal fixtures such as lighting, windows, and fans, are built at the factory and then put together on-site.

Known as “Prefabricated Pre-Finished Volumetric Construction” (PPVC), this method saves up to 25 to 40 per cent in manpower and 15 to 20 per cent in construction time. It also reduces noise and dust pollution onsite as more activities are done off-site.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is the chairman of the National Productivity Council (NPC), visited the NTU campus this morning for a first-hand look at the new construction method.

With PPVC, the NTU residential hall is expected to be ready by mid-2016, in time for the new academic year starting this August. With the new hall adding 1,850 more residential places, NTU will be able to house close to 14,000 students on campus.

Professor Freddy Boey, NTU Provost, said, “As a global leader in sustainability research, NTU’s new hall breaks new grounds in sustainable construction, and shows the university walks the green talk.

The halls are part of NTU’s campus master plan that aims to transform the campus into a bustling mini-city. The project has also been recognised with the Green Mark Platinum –Singapore’s highest honour for sustainable building design awarded by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

With six blocks each 13 storeys high, the new residential complex will not only accommodate more than 1,850 students, but also be a one-stop integrated hub with:

  • The university’s largest fully-equipped gym of about 580 sq m, about the size of three tennis courts;
  • Multi-purpose hall that can be used for activities such as badminton, basketball, and the popular inter-hall games;

    Eateries, shops and common spaces such as lounges and study rooms, located across the first three floors; and
    Additional recreational areas for students such as sky lounges and rooftop gardens with BBQ pits.

NTU champions sustainable construction

Like the other new buildings at NTU, these latest residential buildings have incorporated sustainable features such as energy-saving LED lighting and solar powered systems, and are designed to take advantage of its natural surroundings:

  • Using computer modelling of the sun and wind patterns on-site, the buildings are able to harness natural winds so students will enjoy good ventilation with average wind speeds of about 0.5 metres per second.
    • To reduce the need for air-conditioning, all rooms in the residential halls will have windows that reflect heat using a special coating, and louvres that shield them from the sun.

A winner of BCA’s Green Mark Champion award in 2014, NTU has been expanding its campus as well as retrofitting its existing buildings to meet higher BCA Green Mark standards in recent years. To date, 17 building projects in NTU have been Green Mark-certified, out of which 14 have attained the highest Platinum status.

NTU has also embarked on an Eco-Campus initiative that aims to make it the world’s most environmentally friendly university campus by 2020, with a 35 per cent reduction in energy, water and waste output. For more info, please refer to Annex A.


Media contact:

Nur Amin Shah (Mr)
Assistant Manager (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790-4714

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a joint medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last two years running.  The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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