New Green Mark criteria for residential buildings in the works

Residential buildings in the Toa Payoh district of Singapore.
Residential buildings in the Toa Payoh district of Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - In the future, developers of residential buildings could have to use more sophisticated technology in order to get their buildings Green Mark certified.

Announcing this at the opening of the Singapore Green Building Week on Wednesday(Sept 7), Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong said that the updated Green Mark Scheme will take into account technologies, such as sensors, to track real time energy usage.

Such sensors would hopefully encourage users to be more proactive in monitoring their energy usage.

Among other features, the new certification scheme will also look at climatic responsive designs such as responsive wall facades that reduce heat gain into a building, and reducing the need for artificial cooling.

This goes beyond the current set of criteria where such technologies are not required.

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

The new set of criteria will be tested for a year before it is fully implemented after consultation with the industry, said BCA.

To encourage buildings to improve their energy efficiency, the BCA will also put out anonymised data on building energy consumption .

According to a report done by the BCA, commercial buildings had a 7 per cent improvement in energy use intensity - or the amount of energy usedper square metre from 2008 to 2015.

However, healthcare, and tertiary and private education institutions showed an increase in energy use intensity by 4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively during the same period.

BCA chief executive officer John Keung said: "We hope building owners, and even occupants, can make use of these 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."

Dr Keung added that BCA is working towards implementing mandatorydisclosure of energy usage for buildings in the next few years.