Joanne Koh Phuay Theng

A certified BCA Green Mark facility manager since 2010, Koh joined Temasek Polytechnic (TP) a year later and has since been tasked to infuse sustainability issues into the diploma curriculum.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Building from the National University of Singapore, Koh is also a certified fire safety manager in Singapore. Prior to joining academia, she was in projects and facilities management, managing numerous Singapore government facilities, space utilisation and sustainability-related projects.

She shares with Construction+ her thoughts on preparing students for a Green world.

What is sustainability to you?
For me, sustainability is a mindset, and it is practised in every aspect of life. If you need something or enjoy certain things, there is always this question: When will it run out? Will there come a day when it no longer exists? With that, it is not about passion anymore but more because I wanted something to last as long as it could.

How do you infuse this mindset into a curriculum?
In any other diplomas in the built environment, students can take subjects on sustainability and what they can potentially do now and in the future.

Koh at the Young Green Advocate of the Year 2017 awards ceremony (Image by Singapore Green Building Council)

In TP’s Diploma in Integrated Facility management, we add a little more by getting students to go back to their alma mater to provide consultancy for their schools to achieve their BCA Green Mark awards. The intent is to let the students see that they are the agents of continuity and, at the same time, give them an opportunity to practise what they have learnt in the classroom and put it to good use. The pilot was so successful that it was officially launched as the Back to School programme by Building & Construction Authority (BCA) and the Ministry of Education in September 2016.

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