Sustainable "Mushroom Community Campus" design wins BCA-SIA-SGBC International Tropical Architecture Design Competition

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Singapore and Australian team clinches coveted top prize for creative integrated campus design

Singapore, 12 September 2013 - A three-member team from the National University of Singapore and University of Melbourne has won the International Tropical Architecture Design Competition 2013 for Institutes of Higher Learning for its entry on "Mushroom Community Campus", the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) announced today. The competition, a co-located event of International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2013, was opened to architecture students from institutes of higher learning around the world and focused on tropical green architecture and sustainable building design solutions.

The competition aims to nurture future architects and leaders in tropical green building designs and to promote awareness of the need for sustainable living in the region. A total of 19 teams from five countries including China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam submitted entries for this year's competition, themed "Live, Study, Play - Our Green Campus". Five teams from Singapore and Australia (joint submission), India, Indonesia and Vietnam were shortlisted for the final judging, which was held on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 during the 2013 Singapore Green Building Week.

In its third year running, the competition was initiated by BCA, the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) in 2011. It is supported this year by main sponsor Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd and supporting sponsor ADDP Architects LLP.

"Because of rapid population growth and climate change, Asia faces looming urban and environmental challenges. With this competition, we want to encourage young architects and designers to start thinking and designing from a sustainable standpoint. We are pleased with the entries received and impressed with the overall quality of thinking and design shown. In particular, the "Mushroom Community Campus" entry was a standout and a deserved winner," said Mr Tan Tian Chong, BCA's Group Director for Technology Development, who was one of the judges on the five-member panel.

"Our aim is to promote green building design, practices and technologies, and drive environmental sustainability in the building and construction industry. We are happy to see young contestants from around the world taking this challenge to heart through this competition, and the creativity and intelligence they have exhibited in their entries. We applaud their efforts and eagerly look forward to their contributions when they eventually enter the building and construction industry," said Er. Ng Eng Kiong, President of SGBC, a member of the judging panel.

The winning entry, the "Mushroom Community Campus", is a joint submission by Pham Huu Loc (Team Leader) and Ng Pui Shan from the National University of Singapore and Hoang Van Anh from the University of Melbourne. The "Mushroom Community Campus" envisions a vocational education, training and research centre, specialising in environment, agriculture, forestry, education and sustainability management, in Sapa, Vietnam.

Based on a biophilic design concept of using fresh air, daylight and water features, the campus design utilises natural resources such as an innovative earth-air tunnel that helps to reduce the energy required for conditioning the air by using the thermal properties of the earth as heat exchanger. Other features such as photovoltaic panels, solar water heating and rainwater harvesting further enable the campus to be almost completely self-sustainable and reduce energy consumption net carbon dioxide emission by more than 70 percent. The resultant design was an integrated one which included inputs from more than one discipline, and showed a good match between design and site context, resulting in a unique form which interested the judges.

"Excellence in architecture and the built environment requires technical ability, creativity, and sensitivity to sustainability concerns. We are pleased to see these qualities demonstrated in the entries received. These students are still developing their ideas but the high quality of submissions we received gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of sustainable architecture design in Asia," said fellow judge Mr Kuan Chee Yung, council member of SIA.

The full list of winning projects is as follows:

Award Country School Project Title Prize
1st Singapore and Australia National University of Singapore and University of Melbourne Mushroom Community Campus S$3,000
2nd India National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli Our Green Campus S$2,000
3rd Indonesia Parahyangan Catholic University Cipadung Green School S$1,000
Merit Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture Green Campus on the Wetlands S$500
Merit Indonesia Parahyangan Catholic University Green Community – Green Shortcut S$500

The competition was open to all university and polytechnic students in the architectural and building design fields. Contestants could enter as teams comprising a maximum of five members, with a strong preference for multidisciplinary teams, or as individuals.

The judging panel included representatives from BCA, SIA, SGBC and sponsors Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd and ADDP Architects LLP.

With the theme "Live, Study, Play - Our Green Campus", contestants had to demonstrate the essentials and key constituents of a green campus and submit a design for one component or building of a campus. Entries had to be applicable for the tropical climate and showcase innovative and sustainable designs. Entries also had to show how the proposed building would integrate with the other functional spaces and buildings in a campus. The entries also had to focus on incorporating both active and passive design strategies, renewable energy (if applicable) and other ecological features; ensure that the design concept allows end-users; cultivate behaviours or actions that would keep the campus community sustainable in the tropical climate; highlight how to reduce carbon footprint; be based on a green assessment tool of choice to validate the sustainable design concepts; and include a degree of feasibility based on resources available in the present day.


BCA-SIA-SGBC International Tropical Architecture Design Competition (26KB .pdf)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (386KB .pdf)

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