BMSPA 2021: Planting sustainability values from young - Sri KDU Schools

10 Years and Above Specialised Category (Gold)

Sri KDU Schools

Sri KDU Schools is a familiar name within the education fraternity in the country. It started in 2003 as a private education institution with Sekolah Sri KDU that uses the national curriculum for its primary and secondary classes.

In Sept 2011, Sri KDU International School (SKIS) was set up, offering the UK curriculum for Years One to Nine, IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) for Years 10 to 11 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for Years 12 to 13. In 2017, SKIS became the first school in the nation to be awarded Gold for the Education Development Trust’s International School Quality Mark.

Located on a 12-acre plot in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Sri KDU Schools are currently an asset under Alpha Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). In fact, it is part of Alpha REIT’s maiden acquisitions in Aug 2017 as the first REIT in Malaysia focused on education-related assets. 

Appointed by Alpha REIT to manage the schools, Henry Butcher Malaysia Property Management (Selangor) Sdn Bhd (HBMPM), working with the in-house management team, has kept Sri KDU Schools’ buildings and facilities in good condition over its 18 years of operation, resulting in a deserving Gold in the 10 Years and Above – Specialised Category of EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2021.

“Sri KDU has been built and designed sustainably, and being deeply part of the students’ education process, they’ve managed to continue doing so.

With such values ingrained from young, the students will continue to adhere to the principle of sustainability well into their adulthood, not just from a brick and mortar perspective but also in terms of human capital and knowledge capital,” says Alpha REIT Managers CEO Shireen Iqbal Mohamed Iqbal.

Other than Sri KDU, Alpha REIT also has Eaton International School and The International School @ ParkCity (ISP) under its portfolio. ISP received Silver in the Below 10 Years – Specialised Category of the Awards.

“We attribute the good condition of the schools to our progressive maintenance and preventive programme. Over the last 10 years, there has been no major upgrade conducted. Our facilities have been very well taken care of with a quarter of our budget dedicated to the maintenance of our buildings, equipment and facilities,” says HBMPM director Grace Goh.

The premises comprise a primary school in two blocks of 3 and 4 stories, a 3-storey secondary school, and a 6-storey international school. Among notable facilities within the schools are its fields, classrooms, swimming pool, labs for information and communications technology, science, cookery as well as design and technology.

The school also offers specific facilities to help expand the students’ creativity through art, music, dance and singing.

Recently, with the absence of students on school grounds due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the school utilised the opportunity to accelerate its maintenance programme.

“All three schools (primary, secondary and international) just had a fresh coat of paint for their internal and external walls. We also took the opportunity to upgrade our ageing Astroturf field to the latest version,” says HBMPM associate director Raymond Ng.

Conservation efforts

Sri KDU has managed to bring sustainability to the fore by involving and educating the students on conservation efforts such as reducing energy and water consumption.

From way back in 2011, they have been made aware that schools constitute as much as 10% of the total domestic water demand, based on data by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage. A strategy suggested by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (2015) was to engage consumers, and schools in particular, in helping to better manage water supply through conservation.

Through various initiatives, during pre-pandemic times, Sri KDU Schools were able to save up to 30% in terms of water consumption, Goh shares. The schools also embarked on the Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project from March 2020 to Feb 2021.

“One of the main ways of reducing the schools’ consumption is through education. The school is exposing young students to global warming issues and teaching them the ways of conservation,” says Goh.

“We also have a recycling garden where the students upcycle certain materials into pots and are taught how to create compost to help fertilise the garden. Additionally, the school has a zero single-use plastic bottle policy,” adds Ng.

Contributing to the school’s conservation efforts, a rainwater harvesting system was installed.

“We use it for toilet flushing and garden irrigation,” says Goh, while Ng points out the system has enabled them to save up to 5% of total water usage in 2020.

Other impressive feats towards eco-friendliness were the installation of solar panels some two years ago and an automatic climate control system three years ago, at the international school.

“Although it does not fully power the entire building, it does provide clean energy for the fourth and fifth levels of the building,” says Sri KDU Schools deputy chief operating officer Chong Yee Wah who leads Sri KDU Schools’ in-house management team.

Meanwhile, in air-conditioned areas of the school, the automatic climate control system will regulate the facilities to remain at 24 degrees Celcius, regardless of the external environment’s temperature. The system saved the management up to 28% in utility costs.

Chong shares they are currently looking to expand the climate control system to the primary and secondary schools while more solar panels will be installed.

Even after being hit by the pandemic, the school still maintains a positive outlook for the future.

“We have learnt how to maintain assets like Sri KDU even more effectively and we hope we will be able to set a new baseline for the education industry to follow,” says Chong.

Check out the microsite for Edgeprop’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2021 here

This story first appeared in the E-weekly on April 9, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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