Located at Somerset area, right above Somerset MRT station (red line), is 313 shopping mall. This mall is well-known as 313@Somerset. This is quite a new shopping mall at Orchard Road, just built about 2 years ago. It is awarded Platinum Green Building Award by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority.

I went to an event organized by its management that showcase its sustainable design this afternoon.

The first stop is its rooftop. It is scorching hot as it is dry season here in Singapore. The building utilizes two types of solar panel, mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline with the former is more efficiently than the latter. The total power generated by this array of solar panels is around 6 MW.

These are the inverters where they check on the solar panel performance. It has a display that shows how much power generated by a cluster of panels.

Lots of cooling tower for the mall’s air conditioner system.

The tour guide (wearing blue-black-grey shirt) gave explanation about the additional electricity generation system. Although the solar panels generates most of the power for the building, their output is not constant as it depends on the sky condition. They utilize bio-diesel for this system and use its hot waste gas (or flue gas) to heat up water used by the restaurants in the shopping mall (i.e. washing dishes).


A parking lot located at the 7th floor of the mall that utilizes natural ventilation and lighting.

Jet fans are used on the carpark at 6th floor to helps improve air circulation.

A rainwater catchment system located at one corner of the carpark. The building use the water for irrigation purpose.

A small park located on the 5th floor right beside its food court.

They cover the building’s column with plants.

The tour guide emphasized a lot on environmental sustainability. It is a common perception that sustainability concept is the same as environmental protection. The fact is sustainability concept includes economic and social aspect, especially when we talk about building sustainability.

Transparent ceiling to allow sunlight penetrates into the building during daytime, reduces energy usage for lighting.

The food court on the 5th floor of the shopping mall. Some pictures from the inside of the mall can be seen below.

Some restaurants are located outside of the mall. Since it can be so warm outside, the management installed 2 big fans (on top-right of the picture) to help air flow. They called these fans “big-ass fan”.

You can see how bright the sun is when I took these pictures.