The National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is regarded as a leading medical education and research facility in Asia. Key to its mission is the medical and biosafety research facility housed within Block MD10, which nurtures future medical and science professionals. The existing, four-storey building includes, anatomy hall, laboratories, lecture rooms, museum, mortuary, and administrative and faculty offices.
Built 30 years ago, the building no longer conformed to the latest building and energy codes. Its performance was also below optimum with insufficient ventilation and high utility consumption. Additionally, the space no longer fitted the end-users’ current needs, resulting in the need for an extensive upgrade.
To meet this goal, Aurecon led the MEP engineering design, working closely with the architect on space planning and design to meet the multiple stakeholders’ needs. However, the expansive scope of the project presented a number of challenges such as:
Aurecon’s design approach focused not only on complying with regulations and technical aspects of the project, but also on how users interacted with the facilities. To achieve this, the project team collaborated with different stakeholders to capture their needs through interviews and discussions.
The MEP systems of each floor and room were then customised to the end-users’ unique needs and to comply with the latest requirements of the relevant government codes, as well as NUS’s own Health, Safety and Sustainability requirements. The additions and alterations include:
While many MEP innovations in the MD10 building are invisible to the end-users, the benefits can be felt, resulting in a more harmonious interaction between the user and building operations. For instance, positive pressure in all the non-laboratory areas prevents seepage of unpleasant smells from the laboratory areas. Lighting and equipment layout were thoughtfully designed to allow better visibility and smoother and safer traffic flow. Feedback from the end-users, indicate that the work environment is now more pleasant and comfortable.
Overall, the refurbished facility has expanded its teaching space by 16 per cent from the original 1050 square metres and can now more comfortably accommodate the 800 Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Life Sciences undergraduate students attending Human Anatomy practicals, as well as residents and specialists participating in workshops there.
To keep it future ready, the building and all newly installed MEP systems can be easily adjusted and customised, as and when the need arises.
Officially opened on 17 March 2016, the new building achieved a Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark GoldPlus Award for Non-residential Existing Building, Version 3, and has been recognised with a Merit Award at the Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore (ACES) Design Excellence Awards 2018.