Thursday, July 28, 2011

Singapore Schools get Smarter by Going Green

Singapore schools are about to get greener with a US$100,000 grant from global technology firm IBM for improving energy management in 20 school buildings, a move intended to create a new benchmark in energy efficiency for schools nationwide.

IBM announced that it would give the award to the non-profit Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) for ‘Project Green Insights’, a collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to design energy management systems and raise awareness of energy efficiency at selected school buildings.

The Singapore Green Building Council is proud to partner with IBM to bring ‘Project Green Insights’ to schools, the goal being to educate the next generation on the importance of going green especially in the fields of education. The green building movement can only be achieved through close collaboration between government, industry partners and end-users, which is why it is not surprising to see how all the parties involved are going all out to ensure the success of this project.

The SGBC grant is largest of the 11 awards handed out globally as part of IBM’s plan to celebrate its 100th year anniversary by donating volunteer expertise and nearly US$1 million to non-profits and educational institutions around the world.

‘Project Green Insights’ will equip the 20 pilot schools with networks of smart meters that will allow the entire school community to track energy consumption using cloud-based software. By tracking their energy usage on an easily accessible dashboard, students and staff will be able to identify ways of reducing their energy usage for lighting and air-conditioning.

IBM volunteers will help the school communities implement the system and sharpen their understanding of the project’s objectives. They will also be providing mentorship to staff and students on sustainability practices.

The pilot schools such as the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East welcomed the interactive approach to greening their school buildings, aiming to set a benchmark for greener and smarter buildings for the education community in Singapore as well as in the region. This project hopes to ignite a spark in staff members, students and parents to rally behind a longer-term sustainability effort.

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