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BCA's inaugural Greenovate Challenge engages youths to green school buildings

Friday, 22 March 2013

- First inter-school green building competition sees overwhelming response

Singapore, 22 March 2013 - Senior Minister of State for Law and Education and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Thuraj Rajah today presented prizes to winners of the inaugural Greenovate Challenge at the opening of the BCA Green Building Roving Exhibition at ION Orchard.

The competition, which is open to all secondary schools, aims to engage youths in greening their schools. Its objectives are to generate students' interest and nurture them to become green building advocates, as well as help schools to embark on their green building journeys.

The competition gave students a chance to work with eight Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), who provided free energy audits for participating schools. Through this industry tie-up, students were able to learn more about energy efficient methods and create action plans based on the individual school's energy audits. Besides coming up with proposed actions to cut down energy consumption, save water and other resources as well as to raise awareness within the school, students had to work out the cost estimates for each idea and the action plan was endorsed by their principal prior to submission.

A total of 14 secondary schools participated in this competition. The top three winners are Marsiling Secondary School, Cedar Girls' Secondary School and Bukit Panjang Government High School, while Pei Hwa Secondary School and Woodgrove Secondary School received merit awards. These schools received prizes ranging from $5,000 for the champion team to $500 for merit winners.

Marsiling Secondary School took the first prize through optimising its air-conditioner pre-cooling system as a test-bed, efforts in encouraging school-wide participation as well as demonstration of a strong understanding and commitment to sustainability initiatives.

One key winning factor for Marsiling Secondary School was its proactive use of industry schemes such as solar leasing to create a large photovoltaic shelter, which is also used for educational purposes. The solar panel structure is able to harvest up to 495 kWh a day, or 180,675 kWh per year, effectively replacing the school's reliance on energy derived from fossil fuel by 28.4% annually. This amount of energy is enough to power the needs of the school for about 4 months, and translates to about $2,500 in cost savings per year, after taking into account solar leasing costs.

With other energy efficient initiatives such as switching to LED lighting and employing the 3R (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) and water conservation concepts, the school expects to achieve energy savings of 270,002 kWh and water consumption savings of 1,884m3 annually. This will in turn lead to projected total savings of a whopping $29,195 per year.

Other interesting ideas explored by the rest of the winning teams included cooling the building with a rooftop garden, use of "step and power" tiles that translate footballs to electricity and vermicomposting for recycling food scraps.

On its win, Marsiling Secondary's principal, Miss Foong Lai Leong, said: "In Marsiling Secondary School, we believe that simple habits, formed when young, have the power to influence our students for the rest of their lives. We are thus committed to raising their eco-consciousness at every opportunity. This will help instill in all of our students a caring attitude towards the environment. The commitment which begins with small changes from within ourselves, will, we believe, lead to bigger changes being fronted by the students as they step up to take greater responsibility for the environment."

Congratulating the winners, Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer of BCA, said: "It is important to cultivate an eco-conscious mindset from young on the importance of a sustainable built environment. That is why BCA is constantly looking for ways to engage the youth to embark on their own green building journeys. Greenovate was created to allow students and schools to identify and overcome their own challenges, and I'm glad to see that they have stepped up to the challenge and have come up with good and practical green building solutions. By bringing in ESCOs from the private sector to play an advisory role to the schools, students are able to learn and benefit from the ESCOs' extensive industry knowledge. Moving forward, BCA will adapt the Greenovate Challenge into a programme to continue engaging the students and schools in our collective effort to shape a sustainable built environment."

Meanwhile, additional green building outreach initiatives by BCA include the second "Green Shots" photography competition held jointly by with the Photographic Society of Singapore from 22 March to 22 July 2013.

 

List of participating schools and Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)

Participating Schools:
. Bukit Panjang Govt. High
. Cedar Girls' Secondary School
. CHIJ St.Nicholas Girls
. Chong Boon Secondary School
. Dunman High School
. Hillgrove Secondary School
. Loyang Secondary School
. Marsiling Secondary School
. Nanyang Girls High School
. Northbooks Secondary School
. Pei Hwa Secondary School
. Teck Whye Secondary School
. Woodgrove Secondary School
. Yuying Secondary School

Winners for Greenovate Challenge:
. Champion: Marsiling Secondary School
. 1st Runner-up: Cedar Girls' Secondary School
. 2nd Runner-up: Bukit Panjang Government High School
. Merit winner: Pei Hwa Secondary School
. Merit winner: Woodgrove Secondary School

Prizes for winning teams:
. 1st prize: $5,000 and plaque
. 2nd prize: $3,000 and plaque
. 3rd prize: $1,500 and plaque
. Merit prize: $500

List of participating ESCOs:
1. Johnson Control
2. LJ Energy
3. G Energy
4. Trane
5. UGL Services (Premas)
6. Carrier Singapore
7. 6 SIGMA
8. Siemens

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (42KB .pdf).

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