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Beyond Net-Zero: Local Wisdom and Sustainable Architecture at National University of Singapore

Making a modern contemporary building which is not only sustainable and green but also net-zero aimed at human wellness is not rocket science. Sustainability, liveability, and resilience depend not on smart technology but cultural wisdom, like the principles of tropical vernacular architecture, human-centred design, and common sense.

The talk is about the architecture of NUS SDE4, the first Zero-Energy Certified building in Singapore and Southeast Asia, the first university building in the world and the first building in Singapore that received the International WELL Building Institute 2019- WELL Certified Gold (1st). It will reveal the innovative design of one of the World’s 6 Most Beautiful Buildings That Redefine Sustainable Architecture (according to the Architecture Digest, 2022), based on our tropical Southeast Asian local vernacular wisdom. The building, completed in 2020, is actually an energy-positive building with a low maintenance cost, part of the national water resilience endeavour, promoting natural biophilia, providing better human health, and advocating change in mindset.

After the talk, a discussion with Dr Johannes Widodo, Dr Winyu Ardrugsa from the Architecture Department, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University and Prof Dr Atch Sreshthaputra from the Department of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University will be conducted.

About the speaker

Dr Johannes WIDODO is the director of Graduate Programs in Architectural Conservation at the National University of Singapore. He is an Associate Member of the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), the founder of mAAN (modern Asian Architecture Network), an Executive Committee member of the Asian Academy for Heritage Management, a jury member for the UNESCO Asia Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, member of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee, a founding member and director of ICOMOS National Committee of Singapore and Indonesia, a founding member of DoCoMoMo Macau and Singapore, the founder and executive director of iNTA (International Network of Tropical Architecture) and a member of TCHS (The Circle of Human Sustainability (Singapore). He is an advisory board member of SEACHA (South-East Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance).



Saturday, 18 February 2023 at 14:00


Lecture Room, 4/Floor, The Siam Society


Members and Students — Free of charge
Non-Members — THB 200

For more information, please contact

To book your place, please contact Khun Pinthip at 02 661 6470-3 ext 203 or

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