We thank Dr Snigdha Sharma for her letter (Step up efforts for more green buildings; Aug 8), and agree that more needs to be done to share the benefits of green buildings.
People usually base their choices of buildings on location, price and functionality.
Today, there is still a cost premium for green buildings; however, this has been decreasing over the years and these sustainable structures more than pay for themselves throughout their life cycles.
In the long run, green buildings not only reduce utility bills and our environmental footprint, but also provide a healthier indoor environment for their occupants.
The World Green Building Council has published several reports on the linkage between green buildings and human health.
For example, studies have shown that allowing access to natural daylight can improve employee productivity by 18 per cent, while mental function and memory see a 10 per cent to 25 per cent increase when building occupants are able to have outside views.
The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) reaches out and actively engages with not just the building and construction industry but also with the end users of buildings. The end users need to be made aware of how green buildings can benefit their health and well-being in order to make more informed decisions and grow the demand for healthier buildings.
The SGBC is now bringing the green message to the masses, in a bid to get the public to take individual action. Our Green Schools Initiative student outreach programme has reached out to more than 400 students, getting them to come on board the green building learning journey this year.
In addition, we also assisted Bukit View Secondary School to build the Joules Smart Centre - a green classroom fitted out with products certified by the Singapore Green Building Product certification scheme.
This centre will be used for a study to further illustrate the link between green buildings and occupants' health and well-being, as well as to encourage more schools to set up more green classrooms.
Earlier this month, we launched a major climate action campaign to spread awareness of green buildings among the public through an interactive website, www.greenbuildings.sg
In Singapore's Year of Climate Action, living, working and playing in green buildings should be one of our most important personal climate actions.
Yvonne Soh (Ms)
Singapore Green Building Council