Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MNS Green Living visits the CETDEM DDC

MNS Green Living visits the CETDEM DDC

CETDEM (Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia) is known for its organic gardening initiatives and periodic Hari Organik farmers' markets in the Klang Valley, but not many members of the public have visited its Demonstration and Documentation Centre (DDC) in SS2, Petaling Jaya.

Formally known as the Demonstration and Documentation Centre for Sustainable Energy Solutions for Urban Households, the DDC was initially set up as a 3-year demonstration, monitoring and result-sharing project on urban household energy efficiency funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for research and education purposes. 

MNS Green Living organised a visit to the CETDEM DDC for 26 members of the public including MNS members on 22 March 2014. While the powerpoint presentations were a bit too heavy on facts and figures for some of our youngest participants, nevertheless, everyone managed to learn a little more about environmentally-responsible home renovations, household energy audits, climate change and zero-cost and low-cost actions we can take to reduce energy and fuel use. 

Participants listening intently as CETDEM Executive Director Anthony Tan explains climate change and energy policy issues in Malaysia.

Solar heat is reduced in the CETDEM DDC through the special construction of the roof, which allows hot air to circulate and dissipate. The secret lies in the layering of the clay tiles with rockwool insulation, and  the ridge which lets hot air escape.

Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof of the DDC as a source of renewable energy. We were further given a briefing on how the Feed-In Tariff system works. The photovoltaic panels could easily pay themselves off in a year or two this way.

Some of the Zero-Cost Actions we can take to reduce household energy use include the following:
Air-conditioning units:
1. Increase the temperature setting.
2. Reduce blower fan speed.
3. Reduce number of air-cond units switched on at any time.
4. Close doors and windows.
1. Add some leafy green plants.
1. Set to low or minimum speed.
2. Use a fan instead of an air-conditioner.
1. Carpool
2. Plan route well.
3. Switch to, or increase one's use of, public transport.
4. Clean your car's air filters.
5. Reduce your car air-cond use during the rainy season.
6. Walk or bike whenever possible.
Washing Machine:
1. Run on full loads and on less loads a week. 
2. Hand-wash similar items.
3. Separate light from heavy materials.
Water Heater:
1. Reduce heating time for central/tank unit.
2. Reduce temperature setting.
3. Reduce usage during the hot season.
4. Shorter showers.
Water Pump:
1. Clean filters more frequently.
1. Closing doors and windows during the daytime to prevent heat from entering the home.

Participants taking copies of the Household Energy Audit forms and guidelines.

A token of appreciation from Green Living to Anthony Tan, Exec Director of CETDEM, for giving up his Saturday morning to educate and enlighten us. 

CETDEM DDC's rainwater harvesting system.

A massive Rangoon Creeper plant climbs up an aluminium trellis and louvres put up outside the windows. The plant and louvres serve as "sun blockers" to prevent daytime solar heat from entering the house. 

Green Living would like to express its utmost appreciation to CETDEM and Anthony for their environmental education efforts in Malaysia.

If you would like to learn more about CETDEM, please visit their official website at http://cetdem.org.my/wordpress/.

The CETDEM DDC is located at:
17 Jalan SS2/53, 47300 Petaling Jaya.

DDC visits are arranged upon request only and are usually conducted on Saturday mornings. One week's notice period (minimum) is required. CETDEM also conducts briefings for interested homeowners, building professionals, government agencies and school/university groups. Minimum group size is 5, with 20 being the maximum.

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