New green standard in store for residential buildings

Mr Wong, flanked by Mr Francis Tay (at right), senior manager of the Green Mark Department at the BCA, and BCA chief executive John Keung, at Build Eco Xpo Asia yesterday. Residential buildings here will have to use smart technologies to be Green Mar
Mr Wong, flanked by Mr Francis Tay (at right), senior manager of the Green Mark Department at the BCA, and BCA chief executive John Keung, at Build Eco Xpo Asia yesterday. Residential buildings here will have to use smart technologies to be Green Mark-certified in the future.PHOTO: BCA

In the future, smart technologies will be among the criteria needed for developers of residential buildings here to get their buildings Green Mark-certified.

Announcing this at the opening of the Singapore Green Building Week yesterday, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong said that the updated Green Mark Scheme will take into account the use of technologies, such as sensors, to track real-time energy usage.

The scheme will also look at other features such as responsive wall facades that reduce heat gain in a building. The scheme's current criteria do not require the use of such technologies.

Launched by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in 2005, more than 2,800 buildings have been certified under the Green Mark Scheme in Singapore.

Under the scheme, a building's environmental impact is evaluated in areas including energy and water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

More than 31 per cent of Singapore's built area is now Green Mark-certified, and the aim is to increase this to 80 per cent by 2030.

The new set of criteria will be tested for a year before being fully implemented after consultation with the industry, according to BCA chief executive John Keung.

To encourage buildings to improve their energy efficiency, the BCA will also publicly put out building energy consumption data, but without revealing the names of the buildings.

Major cities such as Boston and New York already have mandatory disclosure of building energy performance and the BCA is working towards implementing this in Singapore in the next few years.

"We hope building owners, and even occupants, can make use of this data to assess where their building performance stands and develop cost-effective solutions to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint if they find that their building is less energy efficient than similar building types," said Dr Keung.

In his speech yesterday, Mr Wong said buildings account for a quarter of all emissions in Singapore.

He added: "We have to step up green building efforts as part of the overall global effort to tackle climate change."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2016, with the headline 'New green standard in store for residential buildings'. Print Edition | Subscribe