SINGAPORE--As countries come to view energy independence as importantly as political independence, environment-friendly efforts such as constructing green buildings, will also gain more attention, says a top executive from Autodesk.
Carl Bass, president and CEO of the AutoCad software maker, said in an interview with ZDNet Asia, that oil and natural gas are available as natural resources only in a "handful of countries". This makes it important for nations to be more energy-independent through alternatives such as solar, wind and geothermal technologies, Bass said.
"With the rising cost of oil, people are now motivated to do something different," he said, noting that green buildings is one area of focus.
According to Bass, the carbon footprint of a building is affected by the decisions made by its designer. These include the building's height versus its area, the type and amount of glass used, as well as the air-conditioning system, he explained.
"All these are decisions made by architects that will ultimately affect the operating cost of the building and its energy consumption," he said.
Hence, people need tools to know how best to make a building "green", Bass said, adding that the same principle applies to product design. For example, when producing a product made of plastic, manufacturers can choose from 1,500 different types of plastics--each with its own carbon footprint, recyclability and toxicity, he explained.
To address this requirement, Autodesk in April launched an add-in to allow designers using prototyping software Inventor, to calculate the carbon emissions of an array of products.
"So, we're in the business of providing people software tools that can help them to better understand the implications of these decisions," Bass said.
The CEO was in town Tuesday for the opening of the Autodesk Singapore R&D (research and development) Centre, located at the country's research hub Fusionopolis. The new site stretches over 5,125 square meters, and houses 130 researchers, product engineers and developers, according to Autodesk.
The company said in a statement that it is targeting to "more than double" its Singapore R&D headcount over the five years. To date, Autodesk said it has invested some S$100 million (US$68 million) in Singapore.