United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore is an international school providing education from kindergarten through to 12th grade, with two campuses – Tampines and Dover – for well over 5,000 students. The school’s curriculum places great value on sustainability.
Energy efficiency and sustainability are at the heart of the philosophy on education of the UWCSEA. From the facilities to its curriculum and student-led projects, the school made a big effort to green all its building and integrate sustainability into everyday life for its students. The college is supported by solutions from Siemens and ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Laboratory.
In sunny Singapore, atop the roof of the UWCSEA sports hall, sit rows of solar panels. It’s a sight increasingly common in Singapore, where the solar industry has been rapidly expanding, but this project is different because it was entirely student-driven. The project began in 2012 when then-15 year-old Raghav Shukla, inspired by a research project on sustainable energy, started mobilizing his classmates to find ways to make the school greener.
As one of Singapore’s largest international schools, UWCSEA offers a wide range of specialist facilities such as a 400-seat multi-purpose hall, theater halls, laboratories, boarding houses as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool. With more than 5,000 students and staff within the Dover campus, it was vital for UWCSEA to optimize the performance of all its systems throughout the day. The core principle is to minimize resource use.
Both UWCSEA campuses have been accorded the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy certification. This means making all the disciplines – from heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, room automation, energy management, fire safety and security – as efficient as possible.
The open building management platform that runs these complex systems centrally and automatically is key to making sure that everything runs smoothly. For this, UWCSEA has chosen Siemens to supply Desigo CC, its latest management platform, because of its functionalities and flexibility.
Desigo CC is able to collect data from the school’s sprawling campus and present it on a single platform. This solution also allows the school to acquire data from the system easily, so it can inform the decision-making around the management of the buildings. It provides UWCSEA with huge amounts of streaming data in realtime and it also comes with an application that allows them to plug in other modules that aren’t necessarily from Siemens. It’s an open system which allows making sound decisions to safeguard the students, staff and assets at all time.
In addition to Desigo CC, Siemens provided the school with its cloud-based energy and sustainability platform, Navigator. The UWCSEA team now has control of their campus through the transparency of monitoring their systems’ performance and energy demand and supply more effectively.
Siemens engineers within the Service Center provide the necessary analysis support with insights on how to further improve the buildings’ performance.
The offices officially opened in mid-January 2016, and the results have been very promising. The energy consumption in the 3for2 space is among the lowest in all of Singapore. This is significant because the booming city-state in Southeast Asia has set ambitious environmental goals for itself: Singapore wants to reduce its energy needs by 35 percent by the year 2030. Currently, about 60 percent of the electricity used in buildings goes toward air conditioning.
It offers the ability to capture data from the entire school campus and visualize it in a user-friendly way. And it works flawlessly. This solution allows the school to collect data and then use it to make informed decisions related to building management, for instance when the lights should come on, whether fresh air is needed and what to do in case of fire to protect the people in the building. In addition to Desigo CC, Siemens provided the school with the web-based energy management platform, Navigator.
“We’ve essentially put the UWCSEA team in control of their campus by giving them the transparency to monitor their systems’ performance and energy demand and supply more effectively. At the same time, our energy engineers within Singapore’s Advantage Service Center provide the necessary analysis support with insights on how to further improve the buildings’ performance,” explains Peter Halliday, Siemens Head of SSP Building Performance & Sustainability.
Singapore’s most energy-efficient office building uses other Siemens technology as well: Total Room Automation (TRA) controls heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) as well as lighting. Artificial light is switched on or off depending on the natural light entering a room. The team at UWCSEA opted for the installation of Demand Flow to optimize the chiller plant. With this solution, the school is expected to enjoy energy savings between 20 and 50 percent.
“We have had exceptional results with Demand Flow around the world. The solution focuses on the chiller plant and provides our customers with a technology which not only lowers energy consumption but also simplifies system operation, improves indoor air quality and, more importantly, extends their equipment life,” adds Halliday.