BCA launches new certification scheme for laboratories with a green footprint

SINGAPORE - The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will be launching the world's first green certification scheme for laboratory design and operation in Singapore.

The new scheme, called "BCA Green Mark for Laboratories", will recognise efforts and commitments by lab owners and operators to reduce the environmental impact of the operations of their laboratories, which tend to consume three to five times more energy than a typical office space.

Laboratories have special needs, such as high receptacle load, the need for fresh air dilution due to safety requirements and the need to operate for long hours.

Besides recognising efforts by labs to reduce their carbon footprint, the new scheme will also complement the BCA Green Mark for Buildings scheme by encouraging operators to adopt best practices, optimise operations of lab equipment and systems while addressing safety requirements, the BCA said in a release issued on Wednesday (May 31).

NUS Chemistry Lab in Tahir Foundation building and Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education (Cares) in Singapore are the inaugural winners of BCA's platinum awards under the new scheme. The Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology - IBN Chemistry Lab has clinched the gold award. The awards will be presented during the annual BCA Awards ceremony on June 13.

"Different laboratories have different specifications and safety requirements; hence it was a challenge to come up with a holistic system to rate them," said Dr John Keung, CEO for BCA. We are glad to see two platinum award winners, NUS and CARES, in the inaugural list of winners. We hope to see more of such exemplary winners join us in the sustainability movement," he added.

"We are honoured to be the first Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore to be conferred the inaugural platinum award under the BCA Green Mark for Laboratories scheme," NUS campus infrastructure vice-president Yong Kwet Yew said. "NUS remains committed to explore new sustainable approaches to be more resource efficient."

Cares director Markus Kraft expressed pride to be recognised by BCA. "Our teams of consultants and contractors have delivered this project way beyond our expectation," he said.