Friday, April 24, 2009

ISB 'really' goes green!

For 3-4 years now ISB has been improving environmentally by initiating projects to increase environmental awareness and action at school. We have made many little changes that have contributed to the goal. However, there was there was something missing. No matter how many little changes we made the school building itself was still very much an energy hog. That is all about to change. ISB will retrofit the building with energy efficient products. See the letter below that came from the ISB administration. On behalf of the Green Panthers I would like to thank the school for taking this action.

An Update on Our Efforts to Become a Greener School

1. CHANGE of LIGHTING and AIR-CO Equipment

Last year around this time we formed a partnership with an Energy Saving Company (Johnson Control, JC) and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to work together on a possible retrofitting of our buildings. As a first step we conducted an Energy Audit, with the goal of getting a thorough and detailed understanding of our energy consumption and to formulate recommendations for improvement.

After many months spent in reviewing and re-checking the audit results, choosing and testing the applicable products and negotiating contracts and prices, we have finally concluded 2 agreements last week, which will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions by 850,000 Kg per year (this is about 30% of the total amount of CO2 produced at School)

We’ll increase quality of life and comfort. We’ll reduce the negative effects of CO2 on the planet. Last, but not least, we’ll save money in the long run.

With a net investment of about 37 Million Baht, we estimate to save about 5 Million Baht a year. This means that the investment is paid back in about 7.5 years. The majority of the funds for this investment are loaned via a program sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Energy at interest rates substantially lower than market rates.

Except for the units installed during the building renovations of the last 2 years, we’ll replace all of the old, so-called split type units (the ones hanging below the ceilings in the classrooms) with 645 new energy efficient, modern, substantially more quiet , wall mounted units. If you would like to see them in action, please go to the Elementary School (room 113 Scott O’Neill’s Spanish classroom).

We’ll also change all of the 23 large central units (Offices, Chevron Theater, Rajendra Hall, Main Library etc) with new high efficiency units.

As part of the agreement with JC and CCI we will also change the lighting in the Main Library, for the main purpose of increasing the Lux level.

Another Company (Econo-Watd, Thai Energy Conservation Co.) will change all of the lights in the classrooms and corridors from old so-called T8 technology to the new energy efficient T5 technology.

Street lights, sport hall lights, sport field lights will not be changed at this time, since they are still reasonably efficient and the savings from replacement related to the needed investment do not make environmental-financial sense.

TIMING: the change of the lighting will start in a few weeks, while the change of the air-co will be done during the summer. The agreed deadline to have all of the work completed is July 31, 2009, so that we can be fully operational at the beginning of the school year 2009/10.

All of the planning is directed toward an as low as possible disruption of daily learning and working routines.


The construction proceeds in accordance to plan and we are on course with our target of achieving the LEED Gold Certificate (from the US Green Building Council). Energy models of our building in comparison with standard US buildings confirm that our building is a minimum of 29% more energy efficient. Needless to say that if our new building was to be compared with standard buildings in Bangkok the saving percentage would be much higher.


Last year we added about 144 bike parking places as an extension to the main entrance parking. This addition, although not crowded, proves that there has been a constant increase of bike use to get to school.

In an attempt to encourage more students, teachers and parents who live in the vicinity of the school to use their bike as means of transportation and in order to resolve the congestion in the Elementary bike parking area, we’ll extend during the summer the bike parking capacity with a construction similar to the one done last summer on the other side.

So our total bike parking capacity will go from 427 places 2 years ago and 571 this year to 715 by the beginning of August 2009.

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