According to the “Sustainability Efforts” (n.d.) webpage taken from Gardens by the Bay (GBTB) website, heavy emphasis has been placed on achieving environmental sustainability. Firstly, GBTB uses their lake system to filter water naturally with aquatic plants. This system aims to promote the importance of clean water and how plants can play a significant role in our ecosystem. Also, the web page further explained the two conservatories which consume lesser energy due to the specially chosen glass, along with the incorporation of thermal stratification and “Combined Heat Power (CHP) steam turbine”. Some “Supertrees” in GBTB act as the exhaust air storage while others have solar cells to collect solar energy. I acknowledge the effort GBTB put in to reduce pollution and energy and agree that they followed closely to the environmental sustainability concept.
Environmental sustainability defines how we should be protecting our ecosystems and the sustainability of our natural resources (Mason, n.d.). Protecting our environment from any potential damage will be the key to this sustainability.
In my opinion, the lake system makes efficient use of the natural ecological processes. Instead of using other sophisticated technologies, they choose to use reed beds and aquatic plants for the water cleaning process. By using reed beds in the lake system, it requires minimal energy input and is also environmentally friendly (“Reed-Beds,”n.d.). In addition, the lake system provides the benefit of nutrients and pollution absorption by incorporating aquatic plants and reed beds. Nutrient pollution occurs when there is excess nitrogen and phosphorus in air and water (US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2016). Too much of these two nutrients can lead to algal bloom, affecting the water quality. It may even cause serious impact on humans and the environment. This system of GBTB has proven their attempt to protect our ecosystem, following their main concept of environmental sustainability.
GBTB also came up with an energy-efficient solution by using the specially selected glass as the main material of the conservatories to reduce the heat, and uses horticultural waste to generate electricity on-site for the cooling system. This reduces their dependency on natural resources, such as fossil fuels. Using CHP requires lesser fuel to produce energy, which will result in the decrease of greenhouse gases emissions other possible air pollution (EPA, 2016). Greenhouse gas is one of the main causes of global warming and the change in climate. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. By doing so, GBTB has shown efforts in environmental sustainability.
Furthermore, the photovoltaic cells on “Supertrees” absorb radiation from the sun and converts the energy into usable electricity to light themselves up. The world’s natural resources are depleting, but solar energy will last as long as the sun rises. This makes it a good alternative to generate electricity. Furthermore, this way of creating electricity does not create pollution or result in global warming. With the “Supertrees”, GBTB attempts to protect the sustainability of the natural resources and our environment as well.
To sum it up, GBTB proved that their systems and technologies were indeed upholding the environmental sustainability concept.
Mason, M. (n.d.). What Is Sustainability and Why Is It Important?. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.environmentalscience.org/sustainability
Shahan, Z. (2013). Advantages & Disadvantages Of Solar Power. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/08/advantages-disadvantages-solar-power/
Sustainability Efforts (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/about-us/sustainability.html
US Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership Share. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://www.epa.gov/chp/chp-benefits
US Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). Nutrient Pollution. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution
Wall, A. (n.d.). Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.processindustryforum.com/hottopics/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-solar-energy
What are the advantages of using a reed-bed system? (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.reedbeds.co.uk/page/what-are-the-advantages-of-using-a-reed-bed-system.php