Technical Report – Letter of Transmittal

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land)

Faculty of Engineering

Singapore Institute of Technology

10 Dover Drive

Singapore 138683

7 November 2015

 

Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (Headquarters)

JEM Office Tower

52 Jurong Gateway Road

#14-01

Singapore 608550

 

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: Proposal for Increasing Local Vegetable Production

This letter is to notify you of our acknowledgement and response to your letter of sanction. It is a great pleasure and opportunity to present you with the following proposal for increasing local vegetable production in Singapore. The report has been prepared in accordance with creating a new system, Ecoflex, to boost local vegetable production, which ultimately will improve Singapore’s food security.

This report includes an overall view of food security in Singapore, existing technologies used for farming in Singapore and a proposed solution to increase local vegetable production. In addition, both primary and secondary research are also provided for a better understanding of our proposed solution.

We are appreciative for your constant guidance and pointers during this period. We would also like to thank you for taking the time to peruse through our proposition, and hope you will take Ecoflex into consideration for making Singapore a more self-reliant country.

 

Yours Sincerely,

(Team)

Cherlynn

On Behalf of Team Obama

Technical Report – Personal Statement

Ng Wen Min Cherlynn

Being a gluttonous person myself, I cannot imagine if one day there is a shortage of food in Singapore. Food will be less affordable and unavailable. There might be a possibility that everyone is competing due to the lack of food. I believe that food is the essence of life. This project offers an opportunity for me to propose a means to increase local vegetable production. This could allow Singapore to be more self-sufficient and risk of food shortage will be reduced.

Technical Report – Executive Summary

Food security will always be an ongoing challenge for countries like Singapore that have no natural resources. Even though Singapore has its own local vegetable production, it is not sufficient in the case of emergency. As such, the team is concerned with the current local production and is interested in boosting the production, using existing farming technologies.

The team’s proposed solution, Ecoflex, is to integrate existing technologies into one system and to implement it in locations which are normally empty throughout the day. Ecoflex will help to boost local vegetable production effectively and efficiently as well as to maximize unused spaces. In the internet survey conducted by the team on grocery shoppers, many respondents have indicated that they are likely to choose local production over foreign import.

The implementation of Ecoflex into existing infrastructures will be beneficial to the local community and Singapore will also be one step closer to being self-reliant. This report is separated into three main areas namely current farming technologies that are being adopted in Singapore, Ecoflex system and research methods or procedure. This proposal will include an in-depth explanation of how Ecoflex works, both advantages and disadvantages of it. Additionally, this proposal includes primary and secondary research.

Critical Reflection – The Role of Peer and Tutor Feedback

As the end of the semester is drawing near, it also indicates the end of SIE 2016 module. These 12 weeks has been a fruitful journey for me as compared to the communications that I took during my diploma days. Everything was very different. In this course, everybody was encouraged to voice out their views as a class. Also, the frequent open discussion within groups also helps to boost my confidence to speak up. It has allowed me to express my opinions and inquiries whenever needed. With mock presentation, feedbacks regarding my strengths and weaknesses of my presentation were given and I was able to learn ways to improve my presentation skills. I feel that this part of the module have helped me to articulate my ideas better and it will help me in my future endeavour be it presentation, class discussion and even in my future job.

From the reader response, we were asked to provide critical thinking skills evaluating and constructing viable arguments, identifying problems and providing an explanation to back up on our thesis. With multiple drafts on the reader response, I learned that citation is only required if I were to reference from the source. With the multiples of drafts that we were required to come up with, it allows me to see what were my mistake were. From there on, I was able to improve bit by bit on my English from each draft. This assignment helped me to have a better idea on how to construct my points of explanation which are particularly essential in near future when writing a report, ensuring that proper explanation was given, and it will not be out of point.

Some take away from Brad’s class for a technical report; it is always a challenge in ensuring that the flow of the report is necessary and not written by different individuals. Every individual have their own style of writing which might affect the flow of the report when organizing the report. It is important that as a group, every member will go through the report in ensuring that language used in the report is consistent and good.

Another difference is that during diploma days, the marking scheme is being evaluated solely based on the lecturer feedback. But in this course, Brad ensures that there are multiple peer evaluation and editing from the peer evaluation before submitting our final draft. Peer evaluating helps to reduce grammatical, vocabulary errors and sentences structure issues. We were also being asked to provide feedbacks on our peers’ blog. From such feedback, I was able to learn from my mistake and improve on my writing, ensuring that I will reduce the number of errors in my future assignment.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Brad and the whole class for making the module enjoyable and giving valuable feedbacks for my assignments to help me improve on my language and communications. This module will be useful not only in future modules but also essential throughout my life. Even though this module has to come to an end, it sparks an interest in me to continue my English journey by reading more.

Reader Response Draft 4

Title: “Developing Sustainable Infrastructure in New Cities”
In the article, “Developing Sustainable Infrastructure in New Cities”, Cho (2014) demonstrates the belief that having a sustainable and efficient infrastructure will allow countries to have a competitive edge and to improve the life of the community. The “Envision Sustainability Rating System” evaluates the performance of infrastructure based on its sustainability and is used by the author to assess King Abdullah Economic City’s sustainable structure to provide a holistic vision for its development. According to the author, projects from Mexico and Peru have succeeded in using the rating system as a guideline in integrating sustainability into their infrastructures. The successful infrastructures rated by the guidelines, increase human traffic flow and promote businesses around the two particular projects in Mexico and Peru. This resulted in heightened efficiency. Having a good sustainable infrastructure will bring about positive effects economically, environmentally and socially for the cities. The author hopes to influence new cities to build an efficient and sustainable infrastructure to connect and unite societies.

I agree to a large extent that developing countries should work towards building sustainability into infrastructure, as there are many tangible benefits. Such benefits include improving the living standards of the community which in turn, boost its economy. While I agree with Cho that it is important to build sustainability into infrastructure, she does not provide sufficient details and examples on the different aspects of envision rating system take into consideration to evaluate the infrastructure as well as how it improves the community.

In the article, Cho (2014) mentions that a sea port being constructed under the KAEC project will contribute to “boosting the light industry” and creating homes for “two million people.” Thanks to the project, there will be an increasing supply of jobs and business opportunities that attract investors.

Cho (2014) also indicated that building sustainable infrastructures such as “roads and pipelines” can connect and unite two communities together. With the integration of two communities, they will be able to bring about convenience and development, which ultimately improve the lives of the locals. The urban area may have access to basic necessity such as food and water from the rural area’s agricultural and stream. In exchange, communities in the rural areas will be able to have access to filtered water due to advanced technology in urban cities. Residents in the rural area will also be able to travel to the cities in urban area to look for jobs. Fay (2005) indicated that “limited infrastructure access also affects the poor’s productivity” and “access to reliable transportation determines access to job and markets to sell goods”. With good sustainable infrastructures, both rural and urban communities will be able to benefit from one another.

In the article, the author only mentions briefly that ‘Envision Sustainability Rating System’ was used to evaluate the performance of the infrastructure. Cho did not explain comprehensively, how envision rating system is better or comparable to other available systems that are being used to evaluate the sustainability of infrastructure. She also did not provide adequate examples on how envision rating system helps to improve the community. Other rating systems such as ‘BCA Green Mark Assessment Criteria’ and ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)’ can also be used to assess the infrastructure sustainability. Both of these rating systems address more specific areas, like environmental evaluation, which ultimately contributes to attain the sustainability of the infrastructure. According to Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2014), ‘LEED’ focuses more on ‘Green Projects’ while the ‘Envision System’ evaluates a ‘broader scope of sustainability’. Thus, I feel that the author could have compared other rating systems such as ‘BCA’ or ‘LEED’ together with ‘Envision System’ so readers will have a better understanding that the envision is a choice in evaluating the sustainability of the infrastructure.

Secondly, the author mainly emphasizes on the success of Peru and Mexico project that the infrastructure is sustainable after it has been built based on the ‘Envision Rating System’. Cho did not provide any illustrations on how envision evaluates the sustainability of infrastructure for the project in Peru and Mexico. Digitek (2015) states that ‘Envision Rating System’ also considers 5 different aspects namely “Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk” during the planning phase of building the infrastructure. By doing so, it can minimize the negative impact on the community. Georgoulias (2015) research showed that under ‘Envision Rating System’, they will educate locals about the benefits of having the sustainable infrastructure, allowing them be involved in decision-making. The research also mentioned that ‘Avoiding Adverse Geology’ is part of the key criteria in choosing a particular site to ‘avoid habitat fragmentation.’

In conclusion, Cho affirms that ‘Envision Rating System’ plays an important role in evaluating sustainability in infrastructure as shown in the Peru and Mexico projects that she was involved in. However, as a reader, I would like to understand in details or examples how envision rating system considers all various aspects in evaluating the infrastructure’s sustainability. This will help readers to better gauge the effectiveness of envision.

References

Cho, Heidi. (2014) Developing Sustainable Infrastructure in New Cities – New Cities Foundation. Retrieved 14 September 2015, from http://www.newcitiesfoundation.org/evaluating-sustainable-infrastructure-development-new-cities/

Digitek, P. (2015). Institute For Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI): Rating System. Sustainableinfrastructure.org. Retrieved 29 November 2015, from https://www.sustainableinfrastructure.org/rating/

Fay, M., Toman, M., Benitez, D., & Csordas, S. (2015). Infrastructure and sustainable development (1st ed., p. 10). Busan, Korea: World Bank. Retrieved from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEC/Resources/84797-1275071905763/Infra_and_Sust_Dev-Fay_and_Tomanr.pdf

Georgoulias, A. (2015). The Envision rating system for sustainable infrastructure:  Development, applications, and the potential for Lebanon (13th ed., pp. 3 – 8). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cedro. Retrieved from http://research.gsd.harvard.edu/zofnass/files/2015/02/141107035045984TheEnvisionratingSystemforsustainableinfrastructure.pdf

Harvard University Graduate School of Design, (2014). Envisioning the future: Rating system helps infrastructure projects meet long-term sustainability goals «  Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure – Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Retrieved 26 September 2015, from http://research.gsd.harvard.edu/zofnass/envisioning-the-future-rating-system-helps-infrastructure-projects-meet-long-term-sustainability-goals/

 

 

Oral Presentation Reflections

Last Thursday, my team gave a presentation to propose the increase of local vegetable production to improve Singapore food security. My role was to introduce the proposed solution, benefits, and weakness of the proposed solution.

During the presentation itself, I felt very nervous, even though I practiced the night before. However, I still gave my best for the presentation so that I will not regret it afterward. Even then, I feel that there are still a lot of room for improvement for my oral presentation. I believe that I should have described the proposed solution better so that the audience will be able to understand it better. Also, I think that I could have smile more while I was presenting so that I would not give an impression that I was very stern.

When feedback were given from the class, the most noticeable comment was that most of us was not passionate during the presentation of the proposed solution. I think this is one of weakness that everybody have to work on.

I feel that our team did a good job overall during the presentation yesterday. Compared to the mock presentation we had on Monday, I feel that both Sheng Da and Daniel improved. Sheng Da reduces the number of pauses while explaining the 3 technologies Singapore currently have and Daniel was able to bring the point across. Benjamin did a great job introducing food security in Singapore confidently and clearly. All three of them had appropriate non-verbal communications.

What I really like about our presentation is that every presenter in the group linked to the previous presenter so that there was a link and flow for the overall presentation. Daniel was the last presenter during the presentation, and he manage to link everyone back to the main topic which is to increase local production to improve Singapore food security.

Write about a person who has influenced you

It took me years before I realize that my mother had influenced my life extraordinarily. She is a very clumsy and forgetful woman. So, you may ask why she is the person who has influenced me.

In my eyes, she is one of the greatest woman that I respect and the one I am working towards to becoming. She showed me the importance of a family and never gave up on me when I thought I was a hopeless case.

She never fails to call my grandfather every single night because she knows that this small little action will make my grandfather feel better, and replace the company that she could not give to him, she can’t visit him every day. I remembered that she always ensure that our whole family will go to my grandfather’s house at least once a month, so as to update one another, on our lives and keep the ties close. Till date, I will head over to my grandfather’s place to visit him, or bring him out for a short walk with my mother whenever I am free.

With the value of the importance of family being cultivated into us from a young age, my sisters and I have a very strong bond with our parents. Whenever any of us is faced with a problem, the rest of us will be able to sense it, and we know that we will be there for one another.

I was not coping well when I first entered the university. I thought that I was not suited for this course. I was so stressed out and even thought of dropping out, but my mother assured me that I can do it. She gave me encouragements frequently and even attempted to make a fool out of herself just to cheer me up, in order to distress me. She ensured that I had my meals and even wakes up every day, in the middle of the night, to remind me to go to bed because she knows that I will lose track of time while studying. My mother’s faith/belief in me gave me the motivation to press on till today.

She taught me that we should help those in need, as long as it is within our ability. Since young, whenever my mother sees anyone in need, she will go forward to help them without much hesitation. She once told me “help those in need because you never know when you will need help from others.”

She is the one whom I look up to, the one who taught me to follow my dreams and work towards my goal and never run away when faced with a problem. I will not be the person today without her. Even though I did not express my gratitude towards my mother over the years, I feel very thankful deep down. Thank you, mummy, for always putting us as your first priority.