Fact Sheet: A Greener SAF to Contribute to Environmental Sustainability

Fact Sheet: A Greener SAF to Contribute to Environmental Sustainability


In line with the whole-of-nation response to tackle climate change, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are doing our part to be environmentally sustainable. Our eco-friendly solutions include infrastructure developed with a focus on sustainable design, construction and operations, as well as green initiatives like utilising hybrid vehicles and food waste management.

Achieving Energy Efficiency through Green Buildings

Together with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), MINDEF/SAF has incorporated green features upfront in the design of its new buildings. Besides making use of renewable energy and sustainable building materials, these facilities maximise water and energy conservation through water-efficient fittings as well as energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning systems. When fully realised, these efforts combined will reduce 11,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions by the end of March 2021[1].

Net Positive Energy Aircraft Hangar. An aircraft hangar for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) will be the SAF's first net positive energy building when it is completed in March 2020. The hanger is able to generate 30 per cent more electricity than it consumes, and it attained the Green Mark (GM) Platinum (Positive Energy) award in February 2020. The additional electricity generated from the solar panels will be used to supplement other energy demands within the air base. The green features include:

  1. Renewable Energy Sources and Energy-Efficient Design. The hangar will use solar panels as a source of renewable energy, and is able to generate 1,225 MWh of electricity a year, enough to power 273 4-room HDB households. It also uses LED lighting and energy-efficient air-conditioning design to conserve electricity.
  2. Water Conservation. Rainwater is harvested and recycled for general washing, auto-irrigation of the hangar's green roof, and flushing of toilets. Water-efficient fittings are also used, with total annual water savings equivalent to the consumption of 28 4-room HDB households, or 5,460 cubic metres.
  3. Reduced Solar Heat Gain. Besides serving as a rest and recreation area, the hangar's green roof also acts as an insulation layer to reduce solar heat gain in the building.
  4. Naturally Ventilated Space. The hangar space is designed to optimise airflow, with large-span louvres for natural ventilation. A panelled fabric door and high-volume low-speed fans further augment thermal comfort.
  5. Sustainable Building Materials. Sustainable and eco-friendly products were used for the building construction, such as low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, green concrete[2] and other Singapore Green Building Product-certified materials.

Energy-Efficient Buildings. The SAF's Ordnance Engineering School (OES) building in Kranji Camp III, and HQ Army Combat Engineers Group (ARMCEG) building in Seletar Camp, have been recognised for achieving Zero Energy standards in 2019, receiving the GM Platinum (Zero Energy) and GM Gold Plus (Zero Energy) awards respectively. Both buildings are fully solar-powered, generating enough electricity to meet their requirements and saving close to 718 MWh of electricity a year. When it is completed, the NS Hub aims to be among the top 10 per cent of energy-efficient buildings in Singapore by harnessing renewable energy and adopting energy-saving solutions. Combined, MINDEF/SAF's energy-efficient buildings can save electricity equivalent to the consumption of 1,060 4-room HDB households. These energy-efficient buildings employ environmentally sustainable designs:

  1. OES Building. In designing the OES building, computational fluid dynamics was employed to study airflow performance and optimise natural ventilation in the building. Solar light pipes channel sunlight into the building interior, while sensors automatically lower artificial lighting levels when there is sufficient sunlight, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting and conserving electricity. The building is also the first SAF facility to use Mass Engineered Timber, a sustainable building material.
  2. HQ ARMCEG Building. The HQ ARMCEG building leverages a North-South building orientation to enhance natural cross-ventilation and reduce solar heat gain. It was also constructed using sustainable building materials, and uses water-efficient fittings and an energy-efficient air-conditioning system.
  3. NS Hub. When the NS Hub is completed, annual electricity savings will be equivalent to the amount required to power more than 900 4-room HDB households. Through features such as daylighting, solar shading and a high-efficiency air-conditioning system, the annual carbon footprint will be reduced by about 2000 tCO2, equivalent to carbon offset of more than 124,000 trees. Water saved through rainwater harvesting will also be equivalent to the annual potable water consumption of 150 4-room HDB households.

Installation of Solar Panels on Existing Buildings. By March 2021, solar panels will be installed on buildings in 12 SAF camps[3], generating enough electricity to power 5,500 four-room HDB households and achieving cost savings of about $1.6m annually.

Other Green Initiatives

MINDEF/SAF will replace its 400 administrative vehicles with hybrid models by 2023, reducing carbon emissions by up to two-thirds per vehicle, and later, when the island's infrastructure is built, with electric vehicles. MINDEF/SAF is also looking to expand its food waste management system to 18 cookhouses from the current eight cookhouses[4]. Under this joint collaboration between the SAF, National Environment Agency and DSTA, food waste is processed by microbes and enzymes at recycling plants to produce biogas for energy generation. In addition, the RSN is exploring the use of hybrid propulsion systems in its new vessels, which will help to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.



[1] The figure is the combined net reduction in CO2 emissions from the green features in the MRTT hangar, OES building, HQ ARMCEG building and the installation of solar panels in 12 SAF camps.

[2] Green concrete is concrete that contains recycled materials such as recycled concrete aggregate and washed copper slag.

[3] Buildings in Army Logistics Base, Bedok Camp, Chong Pang Camp, Jurong Camp, Keat Hong Camp, Kranji Camp, Mandai Hill Camp, Nee Soon Camp, Pasir Laba Camp, Pasir Ris Camp, Seletar Camp and Sungei Gedong Camp will be fitted with solar panels.

[4] The food waste management system has been implemented at cookhouses in the following camps: Clementi Camp, Maju Camp, Mandai Hill Camp, and Kranji Camp. MINDEF/SAF is looking to expand the system to cookhouses in Jurong Camp, Keat Hong Camp, Pasir Laba Camp, and SAFTI MI.

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