Criterion for the BCA Green Mark

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.

 img_313_sustain3  4

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

Article Review from the Business Times

Today, I shall be reviewing the article “Green Buildings in Singapore: Adding the Green Touch with Technology”, which was published in a local newspaper, the Business Times on 26 April 2011.  The article can be found at the following URL, http://www.eco-business.com/news/green-buildings-in-singapore-adding-the-green-touch-with-technology/.

The article basically outlines how the property industry in Singapore has embraced the need for building sustainability and Green Buildings, especially in light of the Green Mark Legislation, which was imposed in 2008 for all buildings above 2000m2.

The article states that there are two main causes for Singapore growing into one of Asia’s leading green building leaders. Firstly, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of companies in Singapore. CSR is defined as the corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare. 1 Companies now try their best to stand out from the crowd and give back to the community as well as do their part to improve environmental sustainability. Examples cited in the article include Siemens.

In my opinion, companies that exhibit strong CSR and aim for the platinum award in the BCA Green Mark instead of just barely achieving the baseline required for certification, should be awarded with incentives as well as increased recognition in the media. Firstly, the government and its regulatory bodies could give corporations and construction firms greater incentives should they achieve the Platinum Green Mark. These could include reduced utility bills, which would motivate these companies to invest more into building sustainability in the long run. Secondly, the media has to play a role in bringing public recognition and prestige to the company. This will result in more members of the public knowing about their efforts and hence spread count towards a kind of “advertisement” for the company involved.

The second cause stated in the article is the usage of regulation by the government, which is basically the implementation of the BCA Green Mark in 2005. In my next post, I will discuss more about the BCA Green Mark, and in particular the criterion upon which it is awarded.

1 Corporate Social Responsibility. (2014, January 1). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/corp-social-responsibility.asp

What is the BCA Green Mark?

Global warming is one of many issues that the global population faces today. Singapore, like all other countries, has to do its part to help combat this problem. Many organisations in Singapore are stakeholders when it comes to solving this increasingly alarming problem, the BCA is no different.

As evidenced from its website and I quote, “As Singapore aspires to be a leading global city in environmental sustainability, there is scope to further improve on energy efficiency requirements in buildings, to address the impact on climate change.” 1

This has resulted in the need to regulate buildings in Singapore to be environmentally sustainable. The BCA has constantly enhanced the Building Control Act and since 15 April 2008 has implemented the Building Code (Environmental Sustainability) Regulations in the hope that there will be a minimum environmental sustainability standard for new and existing buildings that undergo major retrofitting.  This code applies to all buildings with gross floor area above 2000m2, additions or extensions to buildings with gross floor area of 2000m2 or more and building works that require major retrofitting with gross floor area of 2000m2 or more. 1

Beginning in 2008, BCA has constantly updated the criteria and codes for the Green Mark scheme, with the first version implemented in 2008, and with revisions in 2010 and 2012. The latest Code for Environmental Sustainability for Buildings was released in October 2012. It spells out requirements for the various different buildings and includes the various scoring criteria in which the Green Mark is awarded, such as water and energy efficiency, as well as environmental protection and indoor air quality. 2

Further information on the BCA Green Mark will be posted soon as well as further analysis of the scheme.

 

1 Legislation On Environmental Sustainability For Buildings. (2013, July 30). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.bca.gov.sg/Envsuslegislation/Environmental_sustainability_legislation.html

2 Code for Environmental Sustainability for Buildings Third Edition. (2012, October 1). Retrieved August 20, 2014, from http://www.bca.gov.sg/Envsuslegislation/others/Env_Sus_Code2013.pdf

Building Sustainability in Singapore, an Introduction

Sustainability is definitely a buzzword nowadays when during discussions about the environment. In view of the latest global environment crises the earth is facing, such as global warming, the world population has become much more aware of the need to put in place practices or to innovate in order to save our precious home. This has resulted in the term sustainable development being coined. The Brundtland Report defines the term as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 1 Many countries are now aware of the need to consider their environmental footprint and impact and are thus devising new strategies in order to continue to develop without too adverse an impact on the global environment.

Singapore is no different. Organisations such as the National Environment Agency (NEA) have continuously implemented different policies and measures to control problems such as water pollution and air pollution. These include guidelines for vehicle emissions of harmful gases as well as controlling noise pollution from various worksites and construction sites.

rick fedrizzi quote2

Another aspect of environmental sustainability is building sustainability. As the quote by Rick Fedrizzi goes, there is definitely a future for green buildings. Hence, this blog will focus on a relatively new initiative rolled out by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the BCA Green Mark Scheme and how it aims to promote and increase the number of green buildings in Singapore and hence increase the sustainability, and more specifically building sustainability, in this concrete jungle. 

BCA Green Mark

 

1 What is Sustainable Development? (2013, January 1). Retrieved August 18, 2014, from http://www.iisd.org/sd/

2 Rick Fedrizzi Quote. (2013, January 1). Retrieved August 18, 2014, from http://www.pinterest.com/pin/129830401730443822/