$50m fund for greener SME premises; $52m fund for research on green building solutions

The Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre has several environmentally friendly features, such as this green wall, and is the Singapore Sports Council's first Green Mark-certified sports complex. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre has several environmentally friendly features, such as this green wall, and is the Singapore Sports Council's first Green Mark-certified sports complex. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will get help to make their buildings and premises more energy efficient under a new $50 million incentive scheme.

The Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises will fund up to half the retrofitting cost for energy improvements, or up to $3 million for building owners and $20,000 for tenants.

It is one of several initiatives in the third Green Building Masterplan, launched on Monday at the opening ceremony of Singapore Green Building Week 2014.

Other moves include the setting up of a $52 million fund for research on green building solutions, and a new award to recognise developers and building owners who have encouraged tenants to reduce energy consumption.

The $52 million Green Buildings Innovation Cluster will develop, test and showcase green building solutions that are relevant to the tropics.

And the Green Mark Pearl Award will recognise buildings which not only have high Green Mark certification for the base building itself, but also have a minimum number of Green Mark-certified tenants. The Green Mark is a Building and Construction Authority (BCA) certification scheme for environmentally-friendly buildings.

The third Masterplan takes Singapore's greening efforts beyond building structures and hardware, and focuses on the behaviour of building owners, noted National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday. The previous two Masterplans in 2006 and 2009 had focused on new and existing buildings respectively.

Also released on Monday was the BCA's inaugural Building Energy Benchmarking Report. Based on data collected from building owners, it confirmed that commercial buildings here have become more energy efficient in the last five years, and that Green Mark-certified buildings are indeed more energy efficient than those without the certification.