JEM-ing it Up in the Wild Wild West


Currently, another green building is work-in-progress. Harmeet Pal Singh shares his experience of working with the designers of JEM, a green mall due to open in Q2 of 2013.This one comes in the form of a futuristic green mall, well on its way to serve the shopping needs of those living in the surburban west of Singapore. Introducing to you Jurong East Mall (JEM), one of our clients SAA’s most esteemed concepts, where our CAD Engineer, Harmeet, had been assigned to assist for a span of 6 months during his Traineeship.  

“With the experience I gained at our client SAA, I am now more aware of the reasons behind building design features.While we continue to populate Singapore’s landscape with buildings to fulfill our residential, leisure and functional needs, Singapore actively looks to sustainability to negate the developments’ impact on the environment, making green buildings all the rage now.” – Harmeet


JEM won the Green Mark Platinum award, for being one of the most sustainable mixed-used assets in Singapore. Can you share with us what’s so outstandingly green about this mall?

JEM harnesses highly efficient air-conditioning systems, regenerative lifts, and a wide usage of LED lighting. The office tower also consists of a side atrium to deliver natural light into the office space, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. Extensive sky-rise greenery is also used to reduce the façade’s heat absorption, playing a significant role in keeping the building’s temperatures low and thereby decreasing power consumption by the air-conditioning.
All these design features will help JEM achieve a reduction in its energy consumption equivalent to that of 2,400 HDB apartments annually. Water consumption will also be cut down by approximately 250,000 cubic metres (100 Olympic-size swimming pools) a year.

What was your role in this project? Did you play a part in the design aspect of it?

I was mainly involved in detail drawings, GA amendments, setting out and sectioning, and worked directly with anyone who needed support.
While I did not do the actual design work, a large part of my time was spent assisting one of the design teams in charge of designing the highlight of JEM, the Cascading Skypark. The team dealt mainly with the hardscape aspects; benches, metal gates, drainage, maintenance areas etc.

Did you learn about design then?

Through my work with the team, I learned a lot about green design and the preferred design standards for usual building features like catwalks, ramps and toilets. I would join their design meetings to learn more about their considerations when designing specific areas and picked up useful tips on what is important in designing a building.

 I also learned about the various regulatory bodies in Singapore and the types of regulations imposed on building designs, such as disability codes and the service maintenance regulations. These are important because our government is most concerned about whether a project adheres to the regulations.

Were there many challenges encountered?

Like all companies, meeting deadlines and satisfying the project needs were major issues. So at times, information was not properly passed down to the entire team. This resulted in outstanding drawings with comments that were not addressed, which caused them to be overdue. There were also drawings dating back to the tender period that needed revision, but it was difficult to find the right version to revise because of poor filing, documentation and handover. I managed to spot these problems by proactively enquiring with my supervisor and co-workers. While my curiosity led me to working late nights, I am glad I took the initiative to ask, and keep asking, so that problems were discovered earlier could be resolved fully.


What Harmeet currently doing
Harmeet has since completed his assignment with SAA and is currently working on an in-house pilot project which involves the use of 3D laser scanner to reproduce a 3D model of buildings, one of the recent key technological advancements in the construction industry.In the pilot project, the in-house AcePLP team is currently looking for ways in converting these points, or coordinates, into an actual BIM model.

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