Documenting Replicable Energy-Efficiency Solutions for NEA

Posted on Posted in Portfolio Highlights

Duration: 2013

The Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE) industry is rife with technologies reporting fantastical performance claims. As a regulating authority, the National Environment Agency (NEA) required a reliable documentation to reference and promote replicable solutions.

NEA approached Joseph Solomon, founder of Kainosis™, to take the lead role in the agency’s first Engineering Documentation project. It was to achieve the following objectives:

  • Perform a broad EE analysis of United World College, South-East Asia’s (UWCSEA) East Campus
  • Record circumstances and factors that contributed to UWCSEA’s world-leading EE performance
  • Establish baseline performances and processes that other buildings can emulate
  • Increase institutional knowledge within NEA

Although having limited engineering knowledge and background at the time, Joseph completed the endeavour in an intensive period of 9 months. Through numerous site visits, exploratory work, research and extensive interviews, Joseph successfully isolated relevant EE solutions and innovations across the large premise.

Below is a quick summary of selected key findings (non-exhaustive) –

  • The commissioning process was highly central to UWCSEA’s EE success; this goes contrary to the industry’s common practice of treating it as a mere formality.
  • In order to provide a more guided and contextual understanding of building projects, the campus build must be divided into two distinct phasespre-commissioning and post-commissioning.
    • The commissioning is the key milestone for any construction project, because it marks the handover from the builders to designers / building owners. It also marks the period where tenants begin to get involved in the building.
  • Once able to breakdown the project phases by the groups of people involved, NEA could then begin to compare projects and identify replicable solutions in a consistent manner.

Joseph also traced the various steps that UWCSEA took to bring its energy performance from 0.715 kW/RT to less than 0.55 kW/RT today. This provided a tangible blueprint for similar buildings to reproduce its success, and achieve energy savings of up to SGD 10,000 per month.

The Engineering Documentation overall enabled NEA to pinpoint engineering and non-engineering issues that factor into EE and RE projects. The systemic breakdown of data into clear structures also made way for deeper and more accurate analysis. Collectively, these helped NEA rapidly gain industry and technology insight for future EE and RE policymaking.

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