The criterion upon which the BCA Green Mark is handed out is based on 5 different categories. These are namely energy efficiency, water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor air quality and other green features and innovation. 1 The assessment process constitutes points being awarded under each of these criterion and the overall points score will correspond to which level of the Green Mark is awarded, from the Platinum, Gold Plus, Gold and certified ratings. 1 Over the next 2 posts, I shall discuss these various criteria and use them to give examples on the sustainable features of buildings.
The first criterion is energy efficiency. This encapsulates air-conditioned areas, non-air-conditioned areas as well as general areas. This covers important aspects such as ventilation, lighting, lifts and escalators, energy efficient practices and renewable energy. 2 This is essential as energy is still mainly generated through the burning of fossil fuels and this releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which accelerates the process of global warming among other concerns. An example of a building that scored well in this category includes 313@Somerset with its carbon-offsetting carpark and solar panels.3 A small portion of the car park fees is used to fund solar panels on the development and these solar panels provide the energy for the carpark’s lighting and barrier systems. 3 These solar panels are shown below.
The second criteria is water efficiency. This includes water efficient fittings, water usage and leak detection, irrigation system and landscaping and water consumption of cooling towers. 2 This is important as water is a precious resource and usable water only constitutes 3% of the world’s water resources. Hence, we need to save as much water as we can without impacting our daily lives to a large degree. One example of a building that scored well in this aspect is Nanyang Polytechnic. The polytechnic has installed a rain sensor which is linked to the auto-irrigation system so that no unnecessary water is used to water the greenery around the school. 5Also rainwater harvesting is practiced and this water is then re-used for irrigation on non-rainy days. 5
I shall discuss more about the next 3 criterion in my next post.
1 BCA Green Mark Criteria. (2014, July 1). Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.bca.gov.sg/greenmark/green_mark_criteria.html
2 BCA Green Mark for Non-residential Building. (2013, January 13). Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.bca.gov.sg/greenmark/others/gm_nonresi_v4.1_rev.pdf
3 313@Somerset. (2014, January 1). Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.greenmark.sg/building_directory_detail.php?id=111&page=1
4 Sustainability. (2013, January 1). Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.313somerset.com.sg/sustainability/sustainability
5 Nanyang Polytechnic. (2013, January 13). Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.greenmark.sg/building_directory_detail.php?id=38&page=15