New Museum and Gallery to be developed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

  • CDL Green Gallery to be Singapore’s first zero energy gallery, using eco- innovative technologies introduced to Singapore for the first time
New Museum and Gallery to be developed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens New Museum and Gallery to be developed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore's First Zero Energy Green Gallery - CDL Green Gallery @ SBG Heritage Museum.

Singapore, 10 May 2013 – Singapore, 10 May 2013 – From end November 2013, visitors to the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) will be able to explore the new SBG Heritage Museum and CDL Green Gallery. The SBG Heritage Museum, to be located within the existing Holttum Hall, will feature interactive exhibits that detail the Garden’s rich history. The CDL Green Gallery, to be developed on Holttum Lawn by City Developments Limited (CDL), will have the distinction of becoming Singapore’s first zero energy Green Gallery. It will also incorporate, for the first time in Singapore, two eco-innovative technologies - a fully-complete prefabricated modular system for quick construction, and the use of Hempcrete (largely made from the hemp plant), a highly durable biomaterial. The Gallery, conceptualised as an extension to the Heritage Museum, will showcase botanical- and greening-related exhibits, starting with a large scale exhibition on 50 Years of Greening Singapore.

Director of SBG, Dr. Nigel Taylor, said: “With a rich history of over 150 years, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has played a key role in the greening of Singapore, as well as the development of the region. The Gardens has also been an integral part of our social history, as it has played host to important milestones in people’s lives, be it weddings, marriage proposals, and other celebrations. In fact, it was the neutral meeting place for arranged marriages in the past. As visitors learn more about SBG’s rich heritage through the Heritage Museum, we hope it would foster a greater sense of pride and ownership of the Gardens. The SBG Heritage Museum will also support the Gardens’ nomination bid as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

SBG Heritage Museum

The 240sqm SBG Heritage Museum will be located in Holttum Hall, which is next to Botany Centre in the Tanglin Core of the Gardens. Built in 1921 to serve as the Director of Gardens’ office and laboratory, the two-storey building has been designated as an Urban Redevelopment Authority conservation building. This was where Mr Eric Holttum, the Gardens’ Director from 1925 to 1949, developed the innovative orchid breeding technique which enabled the efficient production of healthy seedlings in sterile flasks from a hybrid seed. This technique, which is still used today, was a key factor that stimulated thriving orchid industries throughout the region then.

The SBG Heritage Museum will feature interactive and multimedia exhibits and panels that detail the Gardens’ rich heritage. (Please refer to Factsheet for more information on the Gardens’ heritage). Historical items that will be displayed include old photographs, artefacts, plant specimens, rare botanical books and botanical paintings that date back to the early 19th century. Oral recordings of Ridley during his 100th birthday will also be integrated into an interactive display. The exhibits in the Museum are supported by CDL through the Garden City Fund, a registered charity and institution of public character established by the National Parks Board.

Visitors will be able to participate in guided tours of the SBG Heritage Museum when it opens at the end of the year.

CDL Green Gallery @ SBG Heritage Museum

Developed and donated in-kind by CDL, the 314sqm CDL Green Gallery is a new eco- friendly building to be sited Holttum Lawn. It is conceptualised as an extension of the Heritage Museum, and will feature botanical- or greening-related exhibits that will be changed every six to nine months. The first exhibition held there will showcase Singapore’s greening journey, to commemorate 50 Years of greening our island.

The gallery will be Singapore’s first zero energy Green Gallery. A key feature of the building is the solar photovoltaic (PV) cladded roof panels that are expected to harvest all the energy required for the building’s operations. The solar panels are expected to generate an annual energy yield of over 31,000 kWh, which is more than the Gallery’s estimated annual energy consumption of about 30,000 kWh/year.

Using innovative design, the development will cause minimal disruption to the site as it will use two eco-innovative features that are introduced in Singapore for the first time – the biomaterial known as Hempcrete (largely made from the hemp plant), and a prefabricated modular system.

A mixture of hemp core (shiv), lime binders, and water, Hempcrete will be used for the external wall cladding of the Heritage Museum. The high thermal material is ideal for Singapore’s humid climate as it creates good indoor air quality. It is also highly durable, and naturally pest, mould, mildew and fire resistant.

Another advantage of using Hempcrete is that it can be precast into sections at an external site using a prefabricated modular system and brought to the Gardens for installation. This eliminates massive wet works usually required in building developments, and results in faster construction time with a lower impact on the environment.

Other eco-friendly features at the CDL Green Gallery@ SBG Heritage Museum include:

• Green Walls – the East and West façade will be cladded with butterfly-attracting plant species to encourage biodiversity

• Green Roof – the selection of drought resistant plant species will be incorporated to lower the Urban Heat Island effect around the building

Energy efficient interior fittings –the building will be fitted with LED lights and energy efficient air- conditioning systems

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has accorded this Gallery with the BCA Green Mark Platinum status – the highest tier for green buildings in Singapore. Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer of the Building and Construction Authority, said, “The CDL Green Gallery @ SBG Heritage Museum combines environmentally conscious green design with advanced modular construction technology in an innovative way. And even though full air-conditioning is needed to ensure low temperature and humidity for sensitive botanical and historical artefacts, the team still found ways to meet the challenge through using highly energy efficient building systems and renewables. That allowed the building to be self- sustaining in terms of energy consumption, making it Singapore’s first zero energy green gallery to garner the prestigious BCA Green Mark Platinum award. With the seamless integration of a modern green building into the natural environment as well as the Heritage Museum, this building has placed itself in a unique position to galvanise and promote both environmental and cultural sustainability. I am confident that the gallery will inspire many to be more environmentally-conscious and instill in them a sense of ownership in greening Singapore.”

Ms Esther An, CDL’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and General Manager (Corporate Affairs) said, “Developing green spaces has been our passion for over a decade now. In commemoration of CDL’s 50th Anniversary and 50 Years of Greening Singapore this year, this project was a golden opportunity to push the “e-envelope” and create a green masterpiece not only for the community to enjoy but to add another legacy worthy of SBG and Singapore. We hope that this outstanding Gallery with its sustainable infrastructure and nature-related exhibitions will capture the eco-imagination and raise the appreciation of nature amongst the visitors of SBG.”

New Museum and Gallery to be developed at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

CDL Green Gallery - Introducing eco-innovations to Singapore for the first time.

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