Tuo Tuo is a BCA Local Undergraduate Scholar with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) from National University of Singapore. She is currently a Senior Manager in the Super Low Energy Buildings Department, working on GreenGov.sg, to set more ambitious green standards for public sector buildings and the SLE Challenge to encourage industry adoption of SLE buildings.
For many people today, the built environment is largely the living environment,” says Tuo Tuo, a BCA Undergraduate Scholar. Her words can definitely resonate with many of us, as much of our country’s environment is man-made.
Behind this beautiful and efficient city lies the masterful planning of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), an agency under the Ministry of National Development (MND) that champions the development of our buildings, structures and infrastructure.
BCA does not merely govern building regulations, it has its eye on a bigger picture: a built environment which is safe, liveable and smart.
Tuo Tuo is currently a Senior Manager in the Super Low Energy Buildings Department (SLEBD) under the Environmental Sustainability Group. Primarily, she is working on GreenGov.sg, an initiative that sets higher green standards for public sector buildings, and the Super Low Energy (SLE) Challenge, which encourages the adoption of SLE buildings.
Tuo Tuo believes her work – these Super Low Energy, best-in-class energy performing Green Mark Buildings that achieve at least 40% energy savings based on the prevailing code, are the next wave of Singapore’s green building movement.
“Under Singapore Green Building Masterplan, at least 80% of new projects are to achieve SLE from 2030,” she shares.
BCA’s future-oriented spirit shines through as she applies herself to making their vision a reality.
Built for the Built Environment
“Whenever I am indoors, I have always been sensitive to the space surrounding me and felt elements such as temperature, lighting, ventilation and greenery influenced my wellbeing,” recalls Tuo Tuo, on what piqued her interest in the built environment sector. That, and her penchant for the application of physics steered her to pursue Mechanical Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS).
Despite aligning her interest and studies, Tuo Tuo was still uncertain on her career options. Then, a timely email nudged her in the right direction.
“I was studying in NUS when I got an email about the BCA Scholarship. I felt I could relate to BCA’s mission, and I liked the idea of working in public service for its stability, and that I would contribute to making positive changes in society. So I decided to find out more,” she said.
Things fell into place and after accepting the BCA Undergraduate Scholarship, and Tuo Tuo took up a specialisation in energy in sustainability, which offered courses on energy efficiency that would prove essential to her future work. BCA also sponsored a two-year industry secondment, an invaluable opportunity to pick up technical and project management knowledge.
She spent two years as an External Attachment Mechanical Engineer in a Mechanical and Electrical consultancy firm, which is involved in several construction projects such as NTU’s Academic Building South and lyf one-north Singapore.
There were other key learning points as well. As Captain of the Chinese Debate Team at her university, she sharpened her skills in critiquing and presenting complex arguments.
“Critical thinking has been very useful in evaluating proposals and understanding the implications of initiatives at BCA. I also think the debate experience has helped me communicate ideas more logically and clearly.”
On the more technical front, sustainable technologies often need to be incorporated into the mechanical systems of buildings, such as the air-conditioning and ventilation systems. Here, Tuo Tuo draws on her engineering background to work on solutions for developments to meet sustainability goals.
Constructing Buildings, Futures, and More
Surprisingly, all her accomplishments barely scratch the surface of Tuo Tuo’s career with BCA.
The organisation believes in giving its scholars ample room to explore. Thus, Tuo Tuo spent nearly three years with the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Group, which regulates lifts, escalators and amusement rides. There, she made her mark working on the proposed amendments to the Building Control Act and Regulations that enhanced lift and escalator regulatory frameworks at the design stage, ensuring these essential machines operate safely and reliably.
Even with all these experiences under her belt, Tuo Tuo understands that BCA has much, much more to offer. She described her experience as a “foundation for developing sound regulations that help the sector adapt and grow” and looks forward to more.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Sustainability is vital to both the built environment and talent pipeline of our future. To that end, BCA and its scholars look forward to inspiring and welcoming new blood.
Tuo Tuo concluded: “Our work at BCA ensures our built environment continues evolving to cater for the changes in our society so that Singaporeans can live well and have confidence in a safe, reliable, healthy and sustainable future.”
Tuo Tuo does judo in her free time and feels calmed and relaxed after an intensive session.