When the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) was formed, one key priority was
the education of the next generation. In order to pursue this goal, SGBC worked with
IBM and the Ministry of Education to establish Project Green Insights last year. Supported by an IBM Centennial Grant throughout 2012, this pilot program has developed strategies and activities to raise awareness around energy efficiency in 20 academic institutions in Singapore.
Participating schools (19 secondary schools and one technical institute, the Institute of Technical Education College East) installed SMART meters to monitor live energy usage, and either created or strengthened their green clubs and developed “green ambassadors” among their student population to develop insights and actions based on the data from the meters. The program included multiple elements:
- A basic energy audit was conducted by students from the Institute of Technical Education College East for each of the 19 participating secondary schools. The reports were submitted to all schools with suggestions for energy conservation and improvements.
- Volunteers from IBM, General Electric and SGBC conducted workshops for staff and students at each institution, on topics including: the impact of climate change, green technologies, passive and active design of green buildings, and an overview of the Green Mark for existing schools (Green Mark is a green building certification awarded by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore, similar to the LEED certification in the U.S.). Positive feedback was received from all students who participated.
- A competition entitled “Go Green with Technology” was held, where students were asked to demonstrate the use of technology in making their schools more environmentally friendly. The winning submission clearly articulated the use of the energy dashboard provided by the project to compute energy savings, along with concrete actions taken by their schools as follow-up.
One of the pilot schools – the Chong Boon Secondary School – used the Project Green Insights Energy Dashboard to compute real-time energy usage. Based on two areas of conservation from their competition submission, the school calculated that it could potentially realize 3 percent energy savings overall. They are now considering the inclusion of more energy-intensive areas such as air conditioning in their analysis, which could result in a total energy savings of more than 10 percent.
With the successful completion of this pilot, a plan is in place going forward to encourage all participating schools to learn from each other and their different examples of energy savings across the network of Project Green Insights. The Singapore Ministry of Education has been impressed with the outcome of the pilot activity this year, and will move forward with outreach to 100 additional schools, thereby expanding the national movement of green schools in Singapore.
Kok Chin (K.C.) Tay is a Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager with IBM Singapore, and a member of the Singapore Green Building Council.
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