$52m carrot to help building developers research, adopt green innovations

By tapping into the fund, building developers can work with research partners to develop new innovations that can help boost the energy-efficiency of a building, and then test-bed them in their own buildings. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
By tapping into the fund, building developers can work with research partners to develop new innovations that can help boost the energy-efficiency of a building, and then test-bed them in their own buildings. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - As part of the Government's push for greener buildings, the National Research Foundation has set aside $52 million to spur building developers to engage in greater research into energy-efficient technology and to adopt the new innovations that arise from it.

By tapping into the fund, building developers can work with research partners to develop new innovations that can help boost the energy-efficiency of a building, and then test-bed them in their own buildings.

This will provide a platform to "demonstrate promising technologies (so) they can be brought closer to market adoption", the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The five-year programme, called the Green Building Innovation Cluster (GBIC), will be administered by the BCA Centre for Sustainable Buildings and Construction at the BCA Academy.

It was launched by Senior Minister of State Lee Yi Shyan on Wednesday morning at an event held in conjunction with the Singapore Green Building Week.

Aside from the demonstrations of energy efficiency, the GBIC will also include a database that will collect and analyse data in real-time or near real-time from the demonstration projects. This database is known as the National Building Energy Efficiency Repository.

The repository will be able to validate the performance of the innovations being tested, establish a benchmark for various building types and develop best practices that can be used in academia or shared with the industry.

GBIC will also include a capacity building component, which will drive research in five areas - integrated designs, building envelope and facade systems, building management and information systems, air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation, as well as in policy and behavioural studies.

Eight developers have expressed interest in taking part in the initial phase of GBIC, although more are expected to come on board later. The eight, which include Ascendas Land Singapore, the Housing Board and Nanyang Technological University, inked an agreement with BCA to firm up the collaboration on Wednesday morning.

"Some of the world's fastest growing cities are in Asia and require tangible green building solutions. In order to do so, we need to be relentless in our research for more effective green building solutions and combine our efforts in developing large scale and high impact demonstration projects to educate both the industry and the public," said BCA chief executive John Keung, pointing to GBIC as an initiative that underlies the agency's commitment to lead the green building movement.