So its Singapore Green Building Week 2014! In honour of this special event I shall elaborate on the latest initiatives the BCA has taken today and continue with the criteria for the Green Mark in future posts. Announced today there are three main initiatives to increase building sustainability in Singapore during the launch of the event by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan. 1
Firstly, it was announced the Small Medium Enterprises will receive government funding to reduce cost of retrofitting their premises for energy improvements. 1 The amount will vary from up to half or up to $3million for building owners and $20,000 for tenants in existing buildings. This is part of an effort to make as many buildings in Singapore as sustainable as possible, not just new buildings. Everyone must do their part to ensure building sustainability in this concrete jungle, existing buildings can be upgraded to have more environmentally friendly features. This could include installation of solar panels, motion-sensor lights and water taps and more efficient lighting and ventilation systems.
Secondly, the $52 million Green Buildings Innovation Cluster will develop; test and showcase green building solutions that are relevant to the tropics. 1 This is crucial to Singapore remaining sustainable. We are now able to develop technology and strategies that are unique to our climatic conditions and hence reduce our dependence on Western countries such as the US. This research can also allow more jobs to be created should there be technology to be manufactured and installed in the various buildings around the island.
Lastly, a new award will be implemented, the Green Mark Pearl Award. 1 This award will recognise buildings that not only have a high Green Mark certification for the base building itself, but also have a minimum number of Green Mark certified tenants. This will encourage building owners to provide incentives to its tenants as it aims to achieve this new award. Even if the base structure of the building is sustainable, its tenants may not be contributing to it, hence diluting the eventual effect on the environment. For example, tenants can install energy efficient lighting or water efficient technology can be installed.
These new initiatives definitely prove that the Ministry of National Development is taking green buildings in Singapore seriously and they are here to stay and will definitely become more numerous in the future.
1 Heng, J. (2014, September 1). $50 Million Fund for Greener SME Premises, $52 Million Fund for Research on Green Building Solutions. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/50m-fund-greener-sme-premises-52m-fund-research-green-bu