Temasek Polytechnic to disperse 3,000 sensors in bid to cut campus carbon footprint

Singapore education institution will roll out more than 3,000 sensors across its campus, including 49 buildings, to tap real-time data that it says can identify potential faults and predict changing conditions, so operations can be tweaked to be more efficient.

Temasek Polytechnic is dispersing at least 3,000 sensors across its campus to churn real-time data that it says can identify potential faults and predict changing conditions. These insights will enable the education institution to make tweaks to its operations for better efficiencies and reduce its carbon emissions. 

The move is part of Singapore-based Temasek Polytechnic's digitalisation efforts to enhance work processes and operational efficiencies in its campus, which spans 30 hectares including 49 buildings, linkways, and landscape. 

Its plans encompassed a tender it called to implement a digital facilities management platform, and led to the appointment of urban infrastructure consulting firm, Surbana Jurong. The vendor also roped in IoT (Internet of Things) systems integrator, UnaBiz. 

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Data collected from the 3,000 sensors would be fed to a digital twin, or virtual replica of the physical campus. Data from air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems would be monitored to keep temperature and humidity at healthy levels, while sensors installed at locations around the campus would track the number of people at specific locations to ensure capacity limits were not breached. 

Sensors tracking occupancy also would help the campus manage establish usage patterns and, where necessary, reconfigure operations to be more cost efficient. 

Data from the various mechanical and electrical systems would be aggregated on the facilities management platform, enabling Temasek Polytechnic to track energy usage and identify opportunities to reduce costs as well as carbon emissions.

The data platform would have machine learning capabilities and visualisation tools, allowing campus managers to review information pulled from sensors tracking temperature, humidity, and occupancy.  

The institution's director of estates and facilities management, Gary Png said: "[It] will allow for more efficient building operations, while lowering our carbon footprint. We have 49 buildings spread across a 30- hectare campus, so it makes practical sense to pursue and implement smart facilities management solutions across campus. 

"his will not only be sustainable and save on resources, but will also benefit our students from the Diploma in Integrated Facility Management, who will be getting hands-on learning and working experience. By using such real data in decision-making, they will be exposed to the future of facility management," Png said.

According to James Chan, director of Surbana Jurong's facilities management arm SMM, its deployment would allow Temasek Polytechnic to glean real-time information of its environment and monitor the status of its equipment, so systems could be rectified before they were faulty and further reconfigured to cut out unnecessary energy consumption. 

The vendor has served as the polytechnic's facilities management vendor for the past six years. 

UnaBiz's SIngapore managing director Jonathan Tan said: "The convergence of digital twin, IoT, and machine learning allow facility managers to transform data into actions. Real-time access to accurate data combined with building information...[enables] facility managers to respond to issues immediately [and] provide a high degree of prediction accuracy to prevent breakdowns, optimise building performance, and increase energy efficiency--the key drivers of sustainability at large."

Unabiz has operations in Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan, and has deployed 1 million sensors in 28 markets. 

The companies declined to provide how much would be invested into the project. 

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