The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) will be coming up with a masterplan for green buildings and other initiatives as part of the country’s climate mitigation strategy which includes having more green buildings.
In Singapore, buildings account for more than 20% of the country’s carbon emissions. This masterplan is an effort to remedy that particular issue.
This was announced by Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad on Wednesday (4 March) who told Parliament that the country’s industry transformation efforts are not limited to just improving productivity.
“We must remake our city to meet the challenges of climate change,” asserted Mr Zaqy, who also called for stakeholders to collaborate in the creation of this Singapore Green Building Masterplan over the next few months. Aside from the BCA and SGBC, stakeholders also include trade associations and chambers, tenants, homebuyers, young people, and activists.
A key to this plan is the promotion of energy-efficient buildings.
“We intend to raise the minimum energy performance standards. This will lower emissions, and also benefit building owners over the building life cycle,” said Mr Zaqy, adding that the BCA green mark certification standards will be reviewed.
Another initiative under the masterplan is to create transparency in terms of building green energy performance. At the moment, about 80% of commercial buildings owners disclose the names and addresses as well as energy performance data of their buildings on a voluntary basis. This is then published annually by the BCA.
On this note, Mr Zaqy said, “We intend to identify all buildings when publishing the data, so that the best-performing buildings will serve as role models to encourage others to improve their own energy efficiency.”
Later during the parliamentary session, Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng noted that he thinks the BCA Green Mark Scheme is “a good policy that we should build on”.
Mr Ng went on to say, “Young PAP and climate activists have proposed that the scheme be reviewed and updated with more weight given to reducing energy consumption and shifting dependence to greener sources.”
Pointing to the School of Design Environment block 4 (SDE4) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a good example of a building that has net-zero energy consumption, Mr Ng noted that it has a hybrid cooling system that combines the use of air conditioning and ceiling fans to provide “thermal comfort” to occupants. This, he says, is the kind of feature that should be “propagated to new buildings”.
“I understand that there already is a green mark for zero energy buildings, but we should also raise standards for other green mark schemes,” said Mr Ng. “Buildings should be held to a higher standard before we can call them green.”
Mr Ng then asked if the Ministry of National Development would consider raising the green mark standards for all new government, commercial, public, and residential buildings to encourage a sustained reduction in overall energy consumption.