NUS SDE4 – first WELL Certified™ Gold building in Singapore

The National University of Singapore NUS has been awarded the WELL Certification at the Gold level by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) for its SDE4 building. The net-zero energy and climate positive building is the first university building in the world to achieve WELL Certified™ Gold, and the first building in Singapore to be conferred this prestigious WELL Certification.
SDE4 underwent rigorous testing and a final evaluation carried out by Green Business Certification, the third-party certification body for WELL, to ensure it met all the WELL Certified™ Gold performance requirements. The building achieved a Gold level certification based on 10 categories of building performance – air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.

Some of the key features in SDE4 which contributed to its WELL Certified™ Gold rating include:
Air and comfort
The hybrid cooling system implemented in SDE4 is a single pass system that supplies the spaces with 100 per cent highly filtered outdoor fresh air at higher temperature and humidity, augmented with elevated air speed from ceiling fans, controllable by occupants. The hybrid system is not only more efficient than conventional systems, but also provides better comfort levels. Indoor air quality is measured and tracked in the building at all times to ensure optimal air quality. Demand control ventilation strategies are in place to ensure that indoor carbon dioxide levels does not exceed 750ppm.
Access to daylight was achieved by fragmenting the building spaces and allowing each space to have a large windows facade. As such, 100 per cent of occupants are within 7.5 metres to windows with access to daylight and view to the outdoor greenery. Artificial lights have been carefully selected to reach high color rendering index (CRI) values, low glare and low flickering.
The design of SDE4 promotes physical activity while fostering community spirit and a sense of place. By situating the straight flight staircases in obvious locations, it encourages the use of staircases and people movement throughout the building, and promotes the collaborative nature of design education.
The architecture is very open and transparent. This openness allows spaces to flow freely across the envelope of the building, bringing the surrounding landscape in close proximity to interior spaces and vice versa. Access to nature was strategized with a list of design features and principles that included landscaping, greenery, water features, and the provision of outdoor and semi‐outdoor spaces as integral elements to the design of the building.