Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Technical Visit to the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA)

IEM Miri Branch successfully organized a full day technical visit to the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) including site visit to the Energy Commission’s Diamond Building and the Green Energy Office.

Other than the site visits, the trip also aimed to obtain the latest updates on existing or any upcoming parliament’s acts, policies or initiatives on implementing green technology and sustainable development.  The visit was organized by IEM Miri Branch Vice-Chairlady, Ir. Molly Sim and jointly led by IEM Deputy President, Ir. Choo Kok Beng; IEM Miri Branch current and immediate past Chairmen, Ir. Goh Soon Boon and Ir. Peter Ting respectively.  Participants included engineers from KL and Miri, Young Engineers Section (YES) Miri members and three engineering students from Curtin University Sarawak. In total, 21 people took part.

The visit began at 8AM by a Ministry’s bus starting from Cititel, Mid Valley. Upon arrival, Political Secretary to the Hon. Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, YBhg Dato’ Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, extended a warm welcome at the lobby of the ministry. From there, the participants were brought to the Ministry’s Meeting Room on 5th floor where presentations by various departments under the ministry were given by the senior officers of KeTTHA. These included the Energy Sector (Sektor Tenaga), Green Technology Sector (Sektor Teknologi Hijau) and Water Sector (Sektor Air). They presented their respective roles and responsibilities in the ministry and initiatives/incentives that have been rolled out to underpin their mission/vision.

After the presentations, participants were introduced to the buildings that have implemented significant green building technologies and the KeTTHA building is one of them. The KeTTHA building, which is also known as the Low Energy Office (LEO) Building, is the first building in Malaysia that was designed with the latest energy efficiency features (dated in 2004) which uses mostly locally-available materials and components to construct the building and practices saving in energy use for air-conditioned office. After that, the participants paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Minister of Energy, Green Technology, and Water, Y.B. Dato' Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui, and discussed the future of green technology, challenges and possible implementations from an engineering  perspective.  The participants then had lunch at the ministry hosted by the Hon. minister.

At 2PM, the participants headed to the next location, the Energy Commission’s DiamondBuilding which is situated in Precint 2, Putrajaya, whereupon participants were highly impressed by the design of its unique structure in constrast to the buildings surrounding it. Puan Hamidah Abdul Rashid, Head of Admistration & Facilities Management welcome and brought the participants to the auditorium where a video presentation was shown regarding the Energy Commission and their responsibilities, as well as the design structure of the building. Shortly after, a site visit around the building was led by Puan Hamidah and colleagues.

During the site visit, participants learned how the design and orientation of the building affects the energy efficiency including one passive feature which produces 50% of the day lighting needs through natural sun light. This building is also designed to have high water efficiency whereby rain water was collected in several tanks on the roof to be used for toilet flushing etc. Water usage was thus reduced by more than 65%.  The cooling system in this building functioned through radiant cooling slabs with nightly circulating cool water in pipes embedded in the concrete slab itself. Besides that, sustainable materials (low volatile organic compound VOC emission) were used for its office furniture. It was not surprising to find out that the Diamond Building won Platinum Certificates for Malaysian Green Building Index (GBI) and Singapore BCA Green Mark for Green Building Awards validating the building green technology credentials.

The last destination of the technical visit was to visit the Green Tech (GEO) Building that is situated in Bandar Baru Bangi. This building serves as the focal point on the development and promotion of Green Technology in Malaysia and it offers severalcore services in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Low Carbon Green Buildings and more. At GEO Building, the participants were received by Mr Steve Anthony Lojuntin, Vice President of the Energy, Manufacturing, Building and ICT Division.

During this particular visit, participants learned that GEO Building is Malaysian’s First Certified Green Building and Low Carbon Emission Building.  Mr. Steve further explained that many innovative energy saving features were used in the building such as the use of 100% natural day lighting and cooling and energy efficient ventilation system in which GEO building uses 50% of its air convention and 50% radiant cooling for its cooling requirement. Another special feature is the Building Integrated Photovoltaic System (BIPV). This system provides 50% of the electricity uses by the whole building. After the briefing, the participants were given a chance to tour the roof and all the facilities available in the building.

At the end of the tour, IEM Miri Chairman and IEM Deputy President jointly presented a small souvenir as appreciation to GEO officer. The technical visit officially ended at 5.30PM. Throughout the whole day, participants had learned that there are many ways to conserve the use of energy and water to minimize the degradation of the environment in daily life. It was an eye-opening but also thoroughly enjoyable trip.

Reported by Sdri.  Eleena Maizura