Zero Energy Building

As BCA's flagship R&D project under its Green Building Masterplan, an existing building at the BCA Academy was retrofitted into a Zero-Energy Building (ZEB). ZEB was officially opened on the 26 Oct 2009. It houses green classrooms and offices, and also function as a test-bedding centre for Green Building Technologies. This project is partly funded by the MND Research Fund for the Built Environment and EDB Clean Energy Research and Testbedding (Cert) Programme.

Energy Efficient Envelop

The 2 key green features are:

  • Low-e glass - unlike normal clear glass, it has a special low emissivity coating. This increases the energy efficiency of windows by reducing the transfer of solar radiation through glass.
  • Shading devices - with strategically placed shading devices, there is a significant reduction of solar heat gain and improvement of the quality of natural lighting within ZEB.


Lighting System

Using various features such as energy efficient lamps, automatic switching via photosensors and daylighting, there is a marked reduction in energy required for artificial lighting within ZEB.


Active Control and Management

The ZEB has an advanced Building Management System to control, monitor and manage all the equipment installed in the building. With close monitoring of usage and occupancy patterns, energy use can be optimised while maintaining comfort and functionality.


Air-Conditioning System

Through technologically advanced chillers, variable speed drives, and personalised ventilation systems, there is about 40% reduction in energy required for the air-conditioning of the building.


Fully Powered by the Sun

All three generations (1G, 2G & 3G) of photovoltaic systems will be installed to harness energy from the sun to generate electricity and power all the appliances and lighting in the ZEB. 


  • Cells made from silicon wafer
  • Types: monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon
  • High efficiency and requiring less surface area to generate electricity but more expensive to manufacture
  • Suitable for rooftops and integration into building façade and skylight


  • Thin-film deposits of semiconductors
  • Types: amorphous silicon, copper indium selenide/sulphide
  • Flexible, lightweight, less silicon intensive and aesthetically pleasing
  • Suitable for rooftops and integration into building façade and skylight


  • Departure from 1G and 2G which are silicon-based technologies, promising new approach currently under commercial development
  • Flexible, lightweight and aesthetically very pleasing
  • Types: Dye-sensitised solar cells, polymer solar cells, photo electrochemical cells, nanocrystal cells
  • Suitable for integration into building façade and skylight


Future Green Classroom in ZEB

The Future Green Classrooms being test-bedded at ZEB will bring together a number of practices and techniques to improve indoor comfort for learning and to minimise impact on the environment. It will also allow students to learn about sustainability through their day to day activities in a green environment.

Improved Natural Ventilation for Greater Comfort

Using heat generated by the solar photovoltaic to promote stack effect, there will be better air circulation in the classrooms.

Improved Green Environment for Greater Calm

With rooftop and vertical greenery, there will be a marked reduction of the inside wall temperature and heat gain through walls.

Improved Lighting for Greater Productivity

Students will enjoy enhanced daylight created by the light shelves. Daylight can penetrate deep into the classrooms, reducing as much as 20% of energy consumption.

Open Layout for Greater Efficiency

Through the open layout concept, there is more flexibility for different types of teaching forms, thus maximising the use of limited space.

For more information on the ZEB@BCAA, please visit https://www.bca.gov.sg/zeb


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