By : Bertrand Teo
08 December 2015
Singapore is moving towards its vision of a Smart Nation – that is a nation that uses technology to improve the living environment of residents. But what exactly does being a Smart Nation entail?
For that, I made it my quest to venture to Yuhua Community Club, to see for myself what the future of HDB homes will be like.
HDB’s Smart Homes Roadshow was being held in conjunction with the HDB Greenprintcompletion ceremony on Saturday, 28 November 2015. The HDB Greenprint project is a move to bring sustainable living to existing public housing estates.
Green living: Yuhua residents engage in ‘green’ activities such as gardening and maintaining indoor parks
Yuhua residents became the first in the country to benefit from some of the latest advancements in green technology, to improve upon management of waste disposal, utilities usage, and energy conservation.
For example, I learned about the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS) – an automated waste collection system that uses a vacuum-type, high-speed air suction to gather rubbish from households.
An underground pipe network transports household waste to a centralised bin centre
Trash from households goes through an underground pipe network, thereby reducing the need for workers to manually collect the rubbish from the refuse chamber.
The issue of waste spillage onto common areas could become a thing of the past, and that could mean fewer pests in the vicinity as well!
Yuhua “Smart Living” Trial
Riding on the sustainable initiatives put in place, HDB also decided to trial Smart devices within 10 Yuhua flats.
One Smart Home innovation is the Utility Management System. This allows users to track energy and water usage in real-time through smartphones and tablets.
Users can track energy and water usage through the Utility Management System, as well as pick up tips on conservation
Residents will be able to receive alerts when energy and water usage is high, as well as when anomalies such as leakages, and running taps occur. They can also automate switching ‘on’ or ‘off’ electric appliances.
In addition, the households also had the opportunity to trial the Elderly Monitoring System.
I had the chance to visit the home of 82-year-old Madam Tan, who was among a handful who got to trial the technology at no cost.
A panic button is kept close to Madam Tan for easy access during times of distress
An SMS alert system enables caregivers the convenience of checking on the safety of their loved ones
The Elderly Monitoring System employs a range of sensors installed in the house to track the movements of seniors. Caregivers will receive alerts from the system if mishaps happen or when there are long periods of inactivity.
“It’s (the system) non-intrusive,” Madam Tan, a resident of Yuhua since 1985, told me in Mandarin. “All it takes is the click of a button and all my children are alerted of any emergency.”
Positive feedback from users like Madam Tan has given agencies the ‘green light’ to extend these Smart solutions to all 3,200 Yuhua residents in 2016.
Findings from the Yuhua pilot project will be used to refine the programme before it is rolled out to other HDB towns.
Do check our MyNiceHome website or Facebook page for more updates on HDB Greenprint initiatives.