SMU is planning to expand its campus with a building that is powered completely with solar energy – and it’ll cost $70 million

What the Tahir Foundation Connexion will look like.

The Singapore Management University (SMU) announced on Monday (August 29) that construction has started on a new environmentally-friendly building in Stamford Road that will be powered solely by solar energy.

Named the Tahir Foundation Connexion and costing S$70 million (US$51 million) to develop, the buildng will facilitate hands-on learning for its students as well as support SMU’s “SMU-X” programme.

The 8600 sqm building, which is set to be located at Stamford Road between SMU’s School of Accountancy and School of Law, will feature facilities such as student lounges, sleeping pods, shower amenities.

There will also be a “makerspace” equipped with 3D printers and tools that students can use to create and build prototypes for SMU-X projects.

The building will enable all of the SMU campus to be connected, and aboveground and underground sheltered links from Bras Basah Road leading to Fort Canning and Armenian Street will also be built.

A portion of the facility will be set aside to be used as incubation spaces for start-ups. It will be able to accommodate at least 80 start-ups a year, up from 40 now.

The building is also SMU’s first on-site net zero energy building, being self-sustainable with its own power generated from a photovoltaic system located within the same building.

Some of the features that make it environmentally-friendly are dimmable LED lights and predictive building control systems, all of which will save more than 500 MW-hours of electricity a year.

Philanthropic organisation Tahir Foundation provided most of the funding for the creation of the buliding via a donation, the second largest gift received by SMU.

Preparations for the construction had officially began in the first week of this month and works are expected to be concluded by the end of next year.