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Green Building Innovations of A*STAR to be Displayed at BEX Asia 2010

Designed for green buildings, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s eco-friendly halogen and toxic gas-free flame retardant and fire-proof additive prevents the spread of fire by forming a blanket of solid material at low temperatures.

Without emitting toxic gases or plasticisers, this new addictive also prevents choking and dripping hazards associated with conventional alternatives.

This fire retardant and eight other innovations will be on display at the Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia 2010, from 13 – 15 September 2010, at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. These technologies will help raise the standards of ‘green’ buildings; guide industry towards more sustainable and energy efficient practices in building, design, construction and maintenance; as well as raise productivity in the construction industry.

Some of the A*STAR innovations showcased also include:

A) Technologies for Green Buildings

Nanoimprint Technology.
This technology allows ordinary surfaces to be transformed into multi-role materials for green buildings and construction. By engineering the ‘skin’ of materials using nanoimprinting, complex nanometre-sized structures can be produced – such as walls that are as colourful as a butterfly’s wing; new non-slip materials; adhesives that do not leave sticky residues, and even chemical-free waterproof and anti-bacterial surfaces for daily use – with fewer processing steps and minimising materials wastage.

Flexible and Energy-efficient Lighting Sheets.
Plugging the gaps where conventional fluorescent lighting and LEDs cannot fill, this lighting alternative, produced in fashion similar to graphics printing, has been developed for ambient lighting in commercial buildings. Using new roll-to-roll technologies, compared to conventional lithography or vacuum based processes, this innovation allows flexible polymer substrates and electro-luminescent materials to be custom-patterned, coloured and integrated with graphics. Printable on plastics, textiles and paper, this robust and rugged technology is also ideal as safety signs in the construction environment.

B) Technologies for the Construction Industry

Glass Inspection System.
A eco-friendly, hand-held glass inspection device has been invented for inspecting glass panels with Nickel Sulphide (NiS) mounted in high-rise buildings. Compared to traditional methods to prevent glass shattering - such as heat soaking and applying polymer film - which may consume more energy or use environmental-unfriendly materials, this technology is a greener alternative. Glass panels with NiS inclusions need to be detected and replaced on a regular basis because the NiS, trapped in the glass panels during manufacturing, will slowly change back to their original form with a 2.2 - 4% increase in volume , with such expansion causing glass shattering. Setsco and LeChamp have adopted this technology.  

Health Monitoring of Fibre-reinforced Composites.
This cost-effective innovation embeds polymer-based optic sensors into the composites in a single-step process during manufacturing, preventing failures in fibre-reinforced polymer composites and green-composites. This is critical as such composites are increasingly used in civil infrastructure and repair, and can suffer from damage (growth of hairline cracks between layers, material degradation etc), which can be hard to detect visually in difficult-to-reach areas and for complex components.

Integrated RFID Real-time Track & Trace System.
It is vital in the construction industry that the right components are manufactured, shipped and used in the right place at the right time. Cutting across business processes and geographical locations, this internet-based system is not only cost-effective to set up, it can improve safety and productivity by providing a platform to track and trace construction assets. This system can be applied to the entire construction value chain, spanning manufacturers of building materials, distributors, contractors, operators to end-users.

Monitoring System for energy-efficient and intelligent manufacturing of construction materials.
Using sensors combined with signal processing and data mining techniques, this system will allow manufacturing plants to know its equipment’s health and energy consumption profile. This gives manufacturing operations visibility. By providing awareness of equipment availability and energy consumption profiles, companies can also then optimise their energy usage. This monitoring system can be applied in construction and prefab manufacturing plants, and steel mills encompassing varied equipment etc.


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