Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 09/01/2014 11:00 | By Channel NewsAsia

Singapore’s third Green Building Masterplan launched

Singapore’s third Green Building Masterplan launched


Singapore’s third Green Building Masterplan launched

SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday (Sep 1) launched the third Green Building Masterplan to guide Singapore’s green building journey over the next five to 10 years.

The masterplan, developed by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), was launched at the opening ceremony of the International Green Building Conference and the BEX Asia Expo. Both events are being held as part of the Singapore Green Building Week.

'TIMELY' FOCUS ON TENANTS

The masterplan will focus on tenants and occupiers which, together with building owners, will be able to tap on the S$50 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme to adopt more energy-efficient measures in their premises, Mr Khaw said.

The scheme will help to fund up to half of the retrofitting costs of energy-efficient improvements to buildings and premises – subject to a maximum of S$3 million for building owners and S$20,000 for occupants and tenants. This will help the stakeholders, since they have fewer resources to implement such improvements, the BCA said.

One developer said the masterplan's focus on tenants is a timely one. Mr Rod Leaver, CEO of Lend Lease, said: "There was a gap in creating green buildings. Unless you actually got tenants on board and got them to understand, and educated them on the importance of energy efficiency, you could take a very green building and take it into a grey building over the long term." 

Mr Khaw noted that the first and second masterplans had previously focused on greening new buildings and existing buildings, but the third masterplan will take Singapore's greening efforts "beyond the building structures and hardware" and focus more on end-users, aiming to change behaviours and practices.

NEW INITIATIVES

New awards have also been introduced - the Green Mark Pearl and Pearl Prestige Awards - to recognise building owners and developers which have worked with their tenants to reduce energy consumption.

This could be through implementing a green clause in lease agreements and achieving Green Mark certification for at least half of the tenant spaces. The Green Mark is a rating system that assesses a building's environmental impact. The awards will be given out at the BCA Awards next year.

Lend Lease, which currently operates three malls, said all its tenants have signed leases which focus on saving energy and reducing electricity costs.

Dr John Keung, CEO of the Building and Construction Authority, said: "That is where the building owner and tenants have to work together. They have to look at those areas where they can do a lot more to achieve the kind of energy efficiency required. If you get the design right from day one, the payback period is quite short."

A S$52 million fund has also been set up for research in developing, testing and showcasing new solutions for green buildings in the tropics.

Mr Khaw said: "We need more opportunities to bring solutions from the lab to the real world - in actual buildings. We must make it easier and faster for these solutions to be adopted when we build or retrofit existing buildings."

Separately, new initiatives for the public sector will also be rolled out under the new masterplan. These include requiring existing public sector buildings with more than 5,000 square metres of gross floor area to be Green Mark certified.

BCA said about 400 public sector buildings, including community centres, schools, police stations and museums will, be affected by these requirements. Government events and functions would also need to be held at Green Mark-certified venues.  - CNA/cy/by

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