Singapore American School | Big Ass Fans

Case Study: Singapore American School

We now have a first-rate cafeteria that is much greener than it ever has been, and the design provides students with a relaxing setting at lunchtime and all day. Marc L’Heureux, deputy principal of the Intermediate School at the Singapore American School

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The Singapore American School is the largest single-campus international school in the world, with 3,900 students from 50 countries. Needless to say, all those energetic young people gathered in one place can generate some heat, and in Singapore’s tropical climate that means air conditioners must do some very heavy lifting. But the school is committed to being a good steward of the environment, and its location in the Woodlands section of Singapore, directly beside a forest, led its staff to seek better, more efficient ways to cool than air conditioning alone.


School officials decided to install Big Ass Fans in the school cafeteria, a popular gathering place for activities throughout the day. The space, which had been fully enclosed and had relied entirely on air conditioning, was opened up with folding doors to the cooler forest air outside. Now, Big Ass Fans spin slowly overhead, circulating the air and dramatically reducing the school’s energy usage. Officials had feared a backlash to the change. Instead, both students and parents love the amount of cool air the fans move, and the greater natural airflow. Other Big Ass Fans have been installed in the middle school gymnasium and in hallways throughout the elementary schools.

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