Landing some pretty clever ideas

JTC works with NUS students on ideas for sustainable industrial complexes with high plot ratios. By Uma Shankari

AN ONGOING collaborative effort between JTC Corporation and the National University of Singapore’s School of Design & Environment has thrown up several conceptual ideas for a new breed of industrial buildings.

JTC funded the project, which began in January this year, to come up with designs for sustainable industrial complexes with high plot ratios as Singapore looks to make full use of any available land, including in the industrial space.

‘We have a multi-pronged approach on how to maximise the limited land resources we have in Singapore,’ said Koh Chwee, JTC’s director for its engineering planning division. One method is to build industrial complexes with high plot ratios that are also sustainable in the long run.

Mr Koh said that right now, industrial land sites in Singapore usually have a maximum gross plot ratio of 2-2.5. He wants to increase the plot ratio to 4-5 in future for specific industrial plots.

‘They (the students from NUS) have come up with a few interesting and potentially applicable ideas,’ he said. ‘But of course . . . we still have a fair bit to go (before the ideas can be implemented).’

One idea, for example, was to build a mega ‘from ship to showroom’ complex around one of Singapore’s harbours – such as the port at Pasir Panjang – where goods could be shipped in and stored in warehousing facilities within the complex, or delivered directly to showrooms within the site where they can be put to other uses.

The complex, as envisioned by NUS’s Department of Architecture, will therefore be a novel one-stop mega container port complex where space is optimised ‘at berth’. Events such as the Singapore Motorshow could then be held at the complex itself once the cars arrive by boat, which will eliminate the need to truck them to other parts of the island in order to exhibit them.

In addition, the complex could also have living quarters such as blocks of HDB flats stacked on top of the roof. This will allow the land that the complex is situated on to be put to maximum use, and residents will also be able to enjoy views of the harbour – typically enjoyed just by visitors to the port.

Mr Koh said that the idea of locating many levels of the value chain of a specific industry within one industrial complex could be of use to the precision engineering sector, or for the food industry. For the latter, for example, it might be possible to have storage and training facilities as well as a test kitchen within a complex, Mr Koh said.

Discussions with the industry will be carried out and concrete plans could be ready in the next 1-2 years, he added.

Another interesting concept was for a ‘recycling industrial park’, which aims to support a whole value chain of recycling businesses that could spawn an entire new industry for the global transaction of materials and products that can be recycled or re-used.

In particular, the masterplan for the park contains a multi-storey carpark with no ramps; rather, cars will be brought up to the floors on which they will be parked by a motorised lift system. This means that the space used for ramps can be saved, and floors can have low ceilings as only cars will have to fit in there.

The collaboration between JTC and NUS’s Department of Architecture will throw up more ideas next year.

SOURCE: Business Times

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