FACING THE CLIMATE CRISIS: DP Pushes Forward through Advocacy and Action


DP Architects is further solidifying its commitment and enhancing the firm’s efforts towards combating climate change through advocacy and action. It first joined the global petition against climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse, Construction Declares, as one of Singapore’s founding signatories in January 2020. The public pledge was also taken by its specialist companies. Each is a founding signatory for their respective petitions under the movement:

  • DP Engineers (DPE) joined structural engineers Arup, RSP Planners & Engineers, Web Structures and WSP in signing Construction Declares in January 2020;
  • DP Sustainable Design (DPSD) along with 10 Degree Solar Pte Ltd, Atelier Ten, Surbana Jurong and Web Earth, signed the Environmental Consultants Declare petition in June 2020; and,
  • DP Green (DPG) joined other landscape specialists – D’Land, Grant Associates, ICN Design International, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl and Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design in the Landscape Architects Declare in November 2020. Singapore is the second country to have its Landscape Architects join the declaration after the UK.

Sustainable design is not new to DP Architects and its group of companies. DPA has, across its projects, advocated design practices that consider the whole life cycle of buildings and its regeneration while adding value to its urban fabric and the community. OUE Downtown Gallery, Mandarin Gallery, Wisma Atria, Paragon Shopping Centre and SingPost Centre are testaments to this. Its specialists too, take careful measures to minimise the impact of the built environment on its natural surrounds. DPE, for example, through an innovative and integrative approach, prioritises functionality and sustainability without compromising safety. This, it demonstrated through projects such as Alpha City in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where it successfully re-used all existing 360 bored piles, originally designed to support a 36-storey residential building), to realise a new foundation system for a 51-storey development and re-purposed 10,000 tonnes of cement. It translated to reduction of waste, energy and cost.

Projects like SingPost Centre exemplofy how DPA has, across its projects, advocated design practices that consider the whole life cycle of buildings and its regeneration while adding value to its urban fabric and the community.

DP is geared to follow through on its advocacy in a more purposeful manner; refocusing its sustainability strategies, elevating its expertise and deepening its interdisciplinary approach to offer a total solution. The firm is also investing in sustainability innovation to further establish best practices and implementation mechanisms for its projects. This includes the development of digital tools for environmental building analysis by its ESD arm, DPSD, to further enhance climatic responsive design in passive architecture and active engineering design solutions:

  • NimbleSIM (Nimble Simulation), a platform for architects to perform iterative building performance simulations and make design decisions with a lot more speed and confidence during early concept design.
  • winDPortal is a portal comprising a growing database of greenmark standard Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations that enables Architects to source and understand urban wind performance.

Sengkang General Hospital, completed in 2018, is testament to the potential of synergistic design through a multidisciplinary approach and design methodology.

To the potential of synergistic design through a multidisciplinary approach and design methodology, Sengkang General Hospital (2018) is testament. Working closely with DPG and DPSD on Sengkang General Hospital, DPA’s architectural scheme was able to achieve energy, green and social sustainability through active and passive solutions for environmental conservation, health and wellness, social inclusivity and urban connectivity. DPG’s landscape design expressed thoughtful biophilic qualities. Green roofs contextually integrate nature to create a contemplative, healing environment for patients while enhancing strategies for sustainability in the architectural design. This is, in turn, complemented by DPSD’s CFD analysis to enhance the quality of the indoor environment of the wards. The analysis enabled areas of stagnant air to be determined within each space, which was used to inform the natural ventilation design and positioning of wall-mounted fans.

For its sustainable design strategies, Sengkang General Hospital, received the Green Mark Platinum Award and Gold in the Building Information Modelling Awards by Singapore’s Building & Construction Authority in 2014. It also received Silver at the 2019 Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards and conferred Winner of the Global Green Model Community (Building) at the 2020 Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards – a programme supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In the next phase of its action plans, DP’s key ally in the fight against climate change, is digital technologies as it shifts towards the full adoption of Integrated Digital Delivery in its work and design processes. To deepen its design delivery capabilities, it is leveraging a comprehensive suite of innovative technologies within an integrative platform, the Open Building System Integration (OBSI) platform. A solution ecosystem that is designed to suit the built environment, the OBSI platform has the ability to seamlessly connect various sub-systems and digital services application via open communication protocols, which provide an enhanced end-user experience.

These systems integrate with 3D BIM models to create a digital replica or “Digital Twin” of physical spaces, equipment systems and infrastructure processes; and serves as an intelligent interface to the actual space (Physical Twin) for smart building operations and maintenance. Using IoT devices such as smart sensors, it is able to then monitor, control and report energy consumption patterns and indoor environmental quality, which can be translated into energy savings and wellbeing indices.

Applied within DP’s unique interdisciplinary approach, such an integrated design and delivery will enable the practice to inform clients of the impact of their decisions on the environment and equip their developments with the necessary smart digital eco-system to monitor and achieve resource optimisation for operational excellence. It has also advanced into the use of building innovation such as DfMA and PPVC, and will be exploring the use of more recycled and green building materials so as to minimise construction waste and advocate sustainable consumption within the built industry.