Critical Reflection

To my utmost surprise, I realised how much I needed and depended on this module throughout the first trimester of my university days.

Firstly and to be frank, Effective Communication does not sound impressive or appealing to me in the beginning when school started. However, as we were scheduled to have 2 classes weekly and time flew by, I found myself being immersed in this module. It is not about single-mindedly trying to teach me to just simply improve my language and writing skills but also, teaches me on how to write a professional technical report. Now, let me tell you, by learning in-depth on how to do a proper draft up of a technical report, I believe it has saved my live a couple of times now because submission of technical reports were needed for all of our demanding projects.

Secondly, it is about my English Language learning journey. At the beginning of this trimester, when everyone was told to do a write up about our English Language journey and submit it on our blog respectively, I was shook. It was because I had neglected on writing for more than a year as my workplace did not require their employees to have exemplary writing skills, hence I became rusty. I was pretty sure that my use of the English language for the write up will be appalling and it did. Kind of. But the feedback that I received afterwards, made me realised that I have so much to improve on and I get to read more books. So, it was a ‘win-win’ situation for me.

To sum it all up, Effective Communication is really an important chapter for every university students and I would recommend for all, especially engineering and science, to implement this module into their course. 

[Commented on Zainab’s Critical Reflection]

Summary and Reader Response on Detroit House (Final Draft)

In the article “This Detroit House is Being Turned into a Living Model of Cost-Saving Sustainable Design”, Peters (2016) wrote about the “Motown Movement” project that three graduated architect students from the Netherlands created. The objective of the project is to transform a rundown house into comfortable and sustainable living conditions with do-it-yourself methods that are inexpensive. They studied about declining cities and learned about the poor living conditions in Detroit through their lessons. Peters mentioned that the graduates are really passionate about this project as they came up with various types of sustainable ideas for houses in order to make the living environment in Detroit better. They taught the community how to operate new sustainable fixtures with affordable resources that are accessible locally by setting up workshops and a training center. Peters implied that the students were aiming to spread awareness about this project worldwide, to ensure that sustainability can be adapted globally and to any type of climate. From the goals they aspire to achieve, they should promote the use of other alternative sustainable ways like using raw materials and recycling old objects.

The first reason why the students should consider looking at alternative sustainable means such as cements is because such low-cost materials could be used for housing structures. Peters implied that in Detroit, they had easy access in acquiring new resources and tools through supply stores as it was always readily available but instead of getting the materials through the means of purchasing, the graduates could cut down their budget further by collecting raw materials to rebuild houses. According to Ganesh (2015), two ingenious women constructed a low-cost house that was purely made from DIY sustainable materials in Tamil-Nadu. Most of the materials that they used for sustainability were made from natural and raw materials like reusing bags filled with cement, mud and clay to build walls and floors, and cutting down of banana tree stalks to make doors. From Ganesh’s research study, they could come up with new innovative and sustainable ideas.

Furthermore, recycling old objects for sustainability purposes are excellent alternatives because they are easily accessible and very useful for the majority sections of a house. Peters commented about how the students planned on implementing solar panels for flushing systems onto the roof top however they did not think about “greening” it and should consider on doing so. According to Chiras (2010), one of the most common and “greenest” way is to change the shingles materials used for roof tops with recycled waste products like plastic, rubber, and wood fiber. Recycled shingles are said to be durable, prevent pollution and consume less energy in a house. Also, according to Boyle (2010), there are houses and buildings in United Kingdom that used straw bales to build walls. These sustainable ideas for houses are very affordable for everyone.

In conclusion, “Motown Movement” is an exemplary project that has been established and its co-founders should think of enhancing the project in Detroit by implementing alternatives methods such as using raw materials and recycling of objects that have been unused for years. Research studies from Ganesh (2015) has shown that by adopting these techniques, the amount spent on sustainable fixtures for houses will be low and within budget, and raw materials can be found within their location and are very useful for most sections in the house. Thus, the graduates could take up these research studies suggestions and be innovative with their Do-It-Yourself sustainable hacks.

 

References

Boyle, M. (2010). How to Build Sustainable Homes Without Spending a Penny. The Guardian. Retrieved on October 11, 2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/aug/10/sustainable-housing-environment

Chiras, D. (2010). Eco-Friendly Roofing Options. Retrieved on October 11, 2016 from http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/natural-building/eco-friendly-roofing-zmaz10jjzraw?pageid=1#PageContent1

Ganesh, M. (2016). Two Young Women Built DIY Sustainable Home Tamil-Nadu. Retrieved on September 24, 2016 from http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/two-young-women-built-diy-sustainable-home-tamil-nadu/

Geiger, O. (2010). Local Materials, Small Designs and DIY Labor Equals Sustainable and Affordable Housing. Retrieved on October 11, 2016 from http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/local-materials-small-designs-diy-labor-sustainable-affordable-housing

Peters, A. (2016). This Detroit house is Being Turned into a Living Model of Cost-Saving Sustainable Design. Retrieved on September 19, 2016 from https://www.fastcoexist.com/3061563/world-changing-ideas/this-detroit-house-is-being-turned-into-a-living-model-of-cost-saving-s

Analytical Reflection

It has been more than a year since I last did a presentation. It was certainly a struggle for me to recall back on how I used to conduct my presentations during my polytechnic days.

My contribution towards creating the presentation slides were firstly, turning a couple of the plain and funeral-like background slides  into an oceanic theme. It was purely intentional on my part to change the background because I wanted to brighten up the atmosphere of the group’s presentation, and make it pleasing to the eyes. Secondly, my concentration and attention was spent mostly on perfecting the area that I was going to present. I felt slightly guilty about that as I did not thoroughly checked the whole powerpoint slides. But I was fortunate enough to have hardworking team members who take their parts seriously and did a good job.

Personally, I felt that our group could have done better in designing of slides and giving out a smooth presentation. But luck was not on our side or it could be that we lacked practice and preparation but miraculously, we managed to stumble and stammered our way through the presentation till the end.

It was nerve-wrecking but refreshing to deliver a presentation again. It dawned onto me that there are still many ways to improve my presentations skills and slides, such as firstly, use less words and in return, input images or animations in the slides. Secondly, practice presenting in front of friends or family members with absolutely no guided help from written cards. Thirdly, understand the project instead of simply memorizing the content because words will come naturally to me whenever I have forgotten what I was about to say.

To sum it all, adopting good presentation skills will be useful for a lifetime.

[Commented on Kaylin’s Analytical Reflection]

Technical Report: Problem + Purpose Statements

Problem statement

SIT@Dover has a mixture of both efficient and inefficient water equipment. Inefficient water equipment can cause leakages and excessive discharge of water. Unless this inefficient water equipment is retrofitted with more efficient technology, this will result in great amount of water wastage annually.  

Purpose statement

The purpose of the project is to propose the retrofitting of water efficient equipment in SIT. By introducing this equipment, SIT will be able to conserve more water in the long run. Research on the benefits in comparison to its drawbacks will be done on the different types of water equipment.

Email to Facilities Manager in SIT@Dover

Interview with Mr Tan Yat Seng, Facilities Manager of SIT@Dover.

1st Enquiry

1) When was the last time the campus had a minor/major change in terms of water equipment such as those in the toilets(tap, urinal, toilet bowl, shower heads, etc) ?

Reply – As SIT@Dover is an existing campus took over from ITE & SUTD. Most of the fittings within the toilets will remain unless faulty then replacement will be carried out during the renovation period 3 years ago. Thus to date, it was only replaced as and when required.

2)  We noticed that there a mix of old and new equipment in the building. For example, there are both manual and sensor taps in the same toilet. Another example will be that some toilets have the dual flush systems and some do not. Is this already part of an existed plan to change all inefficient equipment into efficient ones? Or is it something else?

Reply – As SIT@Dover is interim, thus there are no plans for the upgrading. We will make use of what are available at present and will only replace as and when the fittings failure and/or affect during upgrading renovations.

3) What is the campus’s ideal water consumption and how it differs to the real water consumption?

Reply – To date, SIT is still growing in population. There is no clear benchmark currently, we are unable to advise.

4) Will SIT@Dover remain as the headquarter for the next few years since SIT@Punggol building construction has yet to start? If that is the case, has SIT ever considered acquiring the Green Mark Certification for the Dover campus since this is the only building out of the 6 by SIT that does not have a Green Mark Certification?

Reply – As Dover Campus is built almost 20 years ago where BCA Green Mark did not even exist. Thus, the supporting infrastructure is not even considered for that at that moment, especially the central chilled water plant. We have no consideration for SIT@Dover to go for certification for GM Platinum for Existing Building. We have already had the waiver for GM Certification for Dover Campus.

5) Are there any future plans to better improve the campus’s water efficiency or sustainability as a whole?

Reply – There is no plan as the SIT New PGL Campus is currently in progress. But we will replace any water fitting to the new water efficient fitting which compliance to BCA GM requirement. Other than the fittings, all water usage consumption are well monitored and measured by meters.

6) We would also appreciate if you could share with us the campus’s water consumption for the past years too.

Reply – The entire Dover Campus is consuming approximate  43,000 Cubic Meter in Y2015.

7) It would be of great help if you could share with us your expertise and knowledge on the campus’s current water system and equipment. We really appreciate you spending your time reading this email and assisting us accordingly.

Reply – Dover Campus have all fittings which related to toilets, pantry, and showers (tap, urinal, toilet bowl, shower heads, etc). Also have equipment which related to the air-conditioning systems such as Cooling Towers, Water Pumps, Water Chillers, Water make-up tank and etc.                    

2nd Enquiry

1) You stated all water usage consumption are monitored and measured by meters. How often is this being done and how?

Reply –  Dover Campus are metered by PUB bulk meters. It is manually read and recorded once a month by our technicians.

2) It would really help if you can provide us the specifications of the water outlet equipment in the toilets. (Eg. Tap, water closet, urinal, shower head).

Reply –  As Dover Campus are built more than 15 years ago by ITE, thus we do not have all these details.

3) We are specifically looking for the amount of water each equipment consume. Even information on the brand and model of the equipment will be of great help for us.

Reply –  Normal practice on metering for water consumptions are usually for the main bulk meter for total consumptions, sub-meter for Cooling Tower make-up tank and private meters for tenants. Nobody installed meters for every system. As Dover is an old existing building from ITE the CT make up tank are not metered.

Executive Summary

The existing water equipment of different water-efficiency in SIT@Dover can pose a barrier in achieving the ability to maximize water conservation throughout the campus. This report discusses and evaluates potential solutions the team have brainstormed on.

As SIT@Dover will be relocated to Punggol in near future, it would be economically unwise to spend a huge amount of money on the replacements of water equipment. Therefore, considerations made in this report have singled out modification of existing water equipment as the most ideal solution.

The report explains how are the proposed modifications constructed inside the campus’ washrooms. It includes 1) converting single flush water closets into dual flush system, 2) changing of damage manual taps to sensor taps or installing faucet aerators to existing taps, and 3) replacing current automatic flush urinal to waterless urinal. It also evaluate the shortcomings of the potential solutions and suggest methods to overcome them.  

The report concludes that upgrading these water equipment to a higher water-efficiency level will result in SIT@Dover seeing a drop in water consumption which subsequently leads to a reduced water bill.

Summary and Reader Response on Detroit House (Third Draft)

In the article “This Detroit House is Being Turned into a Living Model of Cost-Saving Sustainable Design”, Peters (2016) wrote about the “Motown Movement” project that three graduated architect students from the Netherlands created. The objective of the project is to transform a rundown house into comfortable and sustainable living conditions with do-it-yourself methods that are inexpensive. They studied about declining cities and learned about the poor living conditions in Detroit through their lessons. Peters mentioned that the graduates are really passionate about this project as they came up with various types of sustainable ideas for houses in order to make the living environment in Detroit better. They taught the community on how to operate new functions with affordable resources that are accessible locally by setting up workshops and a training center. Peters implied that the students were aiming to spread and bring awareness about this project worldwide, to ensure that sustainability can be adapted globally and to any type of climate. With these in mind, they should take into consideration to look at other alternative sustainable ways like using raw materials and recycling old objects.

The first reason on why they should consider looking at other alternative sustainable means such as raw materials is because of its low-cost materials that could be used for housing structures. Peters implied that in Detroit, they had easy access in acquiring new resources and tools through supply stores as it was always readily available but instead of getting the materials through the means of purchasing, the graduates could cut down their budget further by collecting raw materials to rebuild houses. According to Ganesh (2015), two ingenious women constructed a low-cost house that was purely made from DIY sustainable hacks in Tamil-Nadu. Most of the materials that they used for sustainability were made from natural and raw materials like reusing bags filled with cement, mud and clay to build walls and floors, and cutting down of banana tree stalks to make doors. From this research study, they could come up with new innovative and sustainable ideas.

Furthermore, using raw materials and recycling old objects for sustainability purposes are excellent alternatives because they are easily accessible and very useful for majority sections of the house. Peters commented about how the students planned on implementing solar panels and plants for flushing systems onto the roof top, however they did not think about “greening” it and should consider on doing so. According to Chiras (2010), one of the most common and “greenest” way is to change the shingles materials used for roof tops with recycled waste products like plastic, rubber, and wood fiber. Recycled shingles are said to be durable, reduces pollution and consumes less energy in a house. Also, according to Boyle (2010), there are houses and buildings in United Kingdom that uses straw bales to build walls. These sustainable ideas for houses are very affordable for everyone.

In conclusion, “Motown Movement” is an exemplary project that has been established and its co-founders should think of enhancing the project by implementing alternatives methods such as using raw materials and recycling of objects that have been unused for years. Research studies has shown that by adopting this technique, the amount spent on sustainable fixtures for houses will be low and within budget, and raw materials can be found within their location and are very useful for most sections in the house. Thus, the graduates could take up these research studies suggestions and be innovative with their Do-It-Yourself sustainable hacks.

(582 words)

References:

Boyle, M. (2010). How to Build Sustainable Homes Without Spending A Penny. Retrieved on October 11, 2016. Taken from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/aug/10/sustainable-housing-environment

Chiras, D. (2010). Eco-Friendly Roofing Options. Retrieved on October 11, 2016. Taken from http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/natural-building/eco-friendly-roofing-zmaz10jjzraw?pageid=1#PageContent1

Ganesh, M. (2016). Two Young Women Built DIY Sustainable Home Tamil-Nadu. Retrieved on September 24, 2016. Taken from http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/two-young-women-built-diy-sustainable-home-tamil-nadu/

Geiger, O. (2010). Local Materials, Small Designs and DIY Labor Equals Sustainable and Affordable Housing. Retrieved on October 11, 2016. Taken from http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/local-materials-small-designs-diy-labor-sustainable-affordable-housing

Peters, A. (2016). This Detroit house is Being Turned into a Living Model of Cost-Saving Sustainable Design. Retrieved on September 19, 2016. Taken from https://www.fastcoexist.com/3061563/world-changing-ideas/this-detroit-house-is-being-turned-into-a-living-model-of-cost-saving-s