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The Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College took home the first prize at the third annual I Am Green Building Secondary School Competition on Thursday 5th November, 2015

By TTGBC,
Nov 15, 2015

The Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College took home the first prize at the third annual I Am Green Building Secondary School Competition on Thursday 5th November, 2015; an event jointly hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Green Building (TTGBC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI). The I Am Competition was a call to 3rd and 4th form secondary schools throughout Trinidad & Tobago to identify, document, and analyse a problem or opportunity within their compounds and conceptualize an alternative solution utilizing best practices in green building and environmental responsibility.

The main theme for the Competition this year was Climate Change and challenged students to incorporate green building practices as tools within climate change mitigation strategies. Over thirty (30) schools entered the competition and this was the first year that a school from Tobago participated. The award ceremony was held at the Learning Resource Centre Auditorium, UWI, St. Augustine.

Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College's winning presentation looked at innovative, low cost solutions to reducing heated classrooms, treating with high carbon monoxide emissions from the vehicles passing along the main road next to the school, expanding the green spaces on the compound, and the introduction of outdoor garden classrooms.

Swaha Hindu College placed second at the Competition and their solutions focused on making their school more green through the introduction of recycling, expanded green spaces, water conservation, organic farming, rooftop gardens, outdoor garden classrooms, and the incorporation of both solar and wind technologies.

Tabaquite Secondary School placed a solid third at the competition presenting an excellent, well researched, and viable solution to their school's sewerage problem. The group highlighted several of the challenges associated with their aging infrastructure, which included poor maintenance and its inability to effectively handle the current volumes of sewerage; and used it as an opportunity to solid turn waste into a sustainable resource - a working model that other schools can also emulate and implement.

Mr. Tim Cole, Sustainability Officer for Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the Vice President of the Green Schools National Network, delivered the featured address. Under his leadership, Virginia Beach City Public Schools constructed over 1.6 million square feet of LEED building space and was selected as the “Best Green School District” in the United States by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012. Mr Cole’s visit was facilitated through the United States Embassy.

Mr. Tim Cole, Sustainability Officer for Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the Vice President of the Green Schools National Network

Using the lessons learnt, Mr Cole's inspirational, entertaining, and informative presentation encouraged all students to take a more active and participatory role in the development and implementation of green building practices within their schools and respective communities, calling too on the support of their teachers, principals, and the local Green Building Council. He encouraged the students to be leaders within their respective roles and projects, chart their course forward, and lead by example.

The opening speaker was TTGBC’s President, Rudranath Singh. Mr Singh spoke of a need for an increased awareness and application of green building principles and strategies. There was a call not only to come up with great ideas, but to act on and implement them in a meaningful and sustainable way. He indicated that we all have a shared responsibility to live and develop responsibly, having recognized the shared interconnectedness of the world that we currently live in, underpinned by technology, economics, and the effects of globalization.

Mrs Mandilee Newton, the immediate Past President of the TTGBC, spoke on behalf of the judges who recognized that all of project submissions were innovative, creative, lucid, and practical, reflecting high levels of awareness of the environmental issues and challenges present at their schools. For the first time in the history of the competition, the winning schools would have the opportunity to bring their ideas to fruition courtesy Massy Technologies.

The Competition's other winners included;

  • Ste Madeline Secondary School (Best Drawings)
  • ASJA Girls College (Most Original Presentation)
  • Penal Secondary School (Most Enthusiastic).

Three Special Prizes were awarded to the Mayaro, Five Rivers, and Mount Hope Secondary Schools.

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