HDB embarks on S$5.3m study to enhance estate services via smart tech

30 Jun 2017

Singapore HDB Flat


Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) has teamed up with A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Imperial College London (ICL) to study how smart sensors and analytics can further improve services within housing estates.

In line with this, HDB signed a memorandum of understanding with the two parties during the Urban Sustainability R&D Congress held at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on Thursday (29 June).

The S$5.3 million research programme, spanning four years, will look into how sensors and sensor networks can be optimised to make data gathering more reliable and efficient for analysing and monitoring estate-level services like lifts, lighting and water pumps.

In particular, the research programme will focus on three specific areas.

First is to develop new smart sensors and improve design, operation and maintenance of sensor networks. Part of the tie-up involves the development of new sensors that can do basic data processing at the origination point, in addition to signal transmission.

For instance, instead of simply sending data to HDB’s Data Analytics Centre every second, these new sensors could have the capability to collate and compute big chunks of information every 15-minute intervals, especially if it’s not practical to analyse the smaller pieces of data. By aggregating the information, analysts can also easily discern patterns more accurately and efficiently.

The second facet is to integrate multiple data sources for better reporting and informed decision-making. This can be done by combining info into a central repository for better gathering of insights and data mining. The statistics can then be shared with relevant agencies and Town Councils so they can craft the best solutions to meet the needs of their respective estates.

For example, data on the performance of lifts can be examined together with environmental info and usage patterns to discover if these factors affect the durability of the elevators.

Lastly, the third area aims to strengthen capabilities in predictive analytics for more efficient estate maintenance. For instance, specific info on individual lift components like their speeds and vibrations, motor temperature and frequency of misuse could help in predicting elevator breakdowns, leading to a better approach in maintaining of elevators.

“Estate services form the backbone of any residential town. With data collected from a strong network of sensors and analytic tools, we can carry out analytics more efficiently and accurately. Common services in HDB estates can then be better optimised, maintained and managed.  The end result is quality living for our residents,” said the Housing Board’s CEO Cheong Koon Hean.


This article was edited by Denise Djong.


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