Parliament: Green buildings cost up to 5 per cent more, but savings 'more than offset' costs

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, a Green Mark Platinum building. Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said the extra costs of such buildings can be recuperated within three to six years.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, a Green Mark Platinum building. Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said the extra costs of such buildings can be recuperated within three to six years.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Certified energy-efficient buildings cost up to 5 per cent more than regular buildings, but the additional costs are "more than offset" by savings from reduced energy and water consumption.

These costs can be recuperated within three to six years, "well within the typical useful life of the building asset," said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in Parliament on Wednesday (Jan 10).

But beyond the obvious cost benefits, he added, having green buildings help ensure a healthier lifestyle. For that reason, the Government must continue to encourage developers to build Green Mark Platinum buildings, he said.

He was responding to Ms Sun Xueling (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC), on whether the costs of and tender process for designing and building a green building were fair.

Mr Lee explained that government agencies award a potential green project to the proposal that achieves the desired efficiency outcomes at "optimal costs".

"While consultancy and construction fees are driven by market forces, the public procurement frameworks ensure that agencies pay fair and competitive prices," he said.

He added that the Centre for Public Project Management, which falls under the Ministry of Finance, compiles norms for construction costs and consultancy fees to help agencies budget for projects.

It also works with agencies to "review the design of major infrastructure projects to ensure cost effectiveness and value for money", he said.