SMU is first tertiary institution to win Water Efficient Building (Gold) Certification

By the SMU Corporate Communications team

Re-using condensate from the air handling units (AHU) at the SMU Administration Building which saves about 1000 cubic metres of water a year. Replacing fixed speed circulation pumps for the cooling towers with Variable Speed Drive pumps, saving over 4000 cubic metres of water a year. Remote private water metering system installed to monitor water consumption in key water usage areas. A ‘fault reporting system’ for users to report leaks or water wastage.

These were some of the water-efficient measures which SMU’s Office of Facilities Management (OFM) has introduced over the last few years to reduce water consumption. Along the way, the University was certified under Singapore Standard SS577:2012 Water Efficiency Management System.

On 25 September 2014, SMU’s water conservation efforts were recognised by national water agency PUB when it was awarded the Water Efficient Building (Gold) Certification, becoming the first tertiary institution in Singapore to be accorded this honour. 

Mr Sim Teow Hong, SMU’s Senior Vice President received the certificate from Ms Grace Fu, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Water Efficient Building (WEB) Certificate Presentation Ceremony.

During the ceremony, Mr Ben Goh Teck Lim, Senior Associate Director of OFM, shared SMU’s water conservation efforts, experience and success with the audience.

Mr Sim said, “We are pleased to be conferred the Water Efficient Building Gold Certificate by PUB. This is testimony of the dedication and hard work of the OFM team. Over the years, SMU has taken several measures to conserve energy and water.  These initiatives are part of our efforts to minimise waste and manage costs. It is also to express the SMU Community’s sense of ethical and social responsibility.

“With our continuous water conservation efforts, SMU has managed to reduce total water consumption by 24 per cent from 2011 to 2013. We aim to further reduce our water consumption yearly.”

[Photo: The team from Office of Facilities Management, led by its Director Mr Goh Thiang Hock (second from right), helped SMU become the first tertiary institution in Singapore to be awarded the Water Efficient Building (Gold) Certification from PUB] Photo: PUB  

Mr Sim shared that one challenge in implementing water conservation measures involves changing the mindset of users and getting them to accept a reduced flow rate from the taps. Other challenges include planning the laying of pipes in a cost effective manner so as to recycle condensate water for use in the air-conditioning system, as well as identifying areas of water wastage. 

[Photo: A ‘fault reporting system’ for users to report leaks or water wastage was among a slew of measures implemented by OFM to reduce water consumption in SMU.] Photo: PUB

On the benefits of implementing water-saving measures, Mr Sim said, “First, we managed to save water and costs for the University. Secondly, it created an awareness amongst the SMU Community on the need to use water resources prudently. Thirdly, the remote metering provides better and timely information to help identify areas of major water use, and to find ways to further minimise waste and save water. This has indeed been a worthwhile journey.”