At the BCA Awards 2016, Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong lauded exemplary achievements by the built environment industry and shared with more than 2,000 industry players the initiatives that BCA has introduced to spur building owners on their green journey.
Stronger drive to green buildings in Singapore
Minimum Environmental Sustainability Standards for Existing Buildings
With the national target to green at least 80% of our building stock by 2030, a phased approach was adopted to require existing buildings to meet minimum sustainability standard when they are retrofitted. The initial phase took effect from January 2014, targeting commercial buildings with Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 15,000m2 or more. The next phase, which will take effect in early 2017, requires medium-sized buildings, with GFA greater than 5,000m2, to meet minimum standards equivalent to the BCA Green Mark Certified level when they undergo retrofitting to install or replace the cooling system within their building.
More help for building owners to green their buildings
Enhancement to $50 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises
The $50 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EBP), which was introduced in September 2014, will be enhanced to provide stronger support for building owners and tenants to jointly undertake energy improvement works within their buildings. Building owners with at least 10 per cent of tenants that are Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), will be eligible to tap on the scheme, which provides a cash incentive amounting to up to 50% of the cost incurred solely for the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment within the building.
Besides relieving the high capital cost of replacing the air-conditioning system, the scheme will also cover the cost of building optimisation to help improve energy efficiency. This scheme is also applicable to office and retail buildings in Business Parks, as well as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and religious organisations. The new enhancement to the GMIS-EBP (Building owner) will apply to applications received on or after 30 June 2016.
Extension of Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing Scheme
Another scheme that helps building owners secure upfront capital to enhance their building’s energy efficiency is the Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) scheme which was introduced in 2011. Under the scheme, BCA partners selected Financial Institution (FIs) in Singapore to facilitate loans to building owners, with BCA sharing the risk of any loan default with the participating FIs. The scheme has been extended by two more years, till end March 2018.
New SGBC-BCA Zero Capital Partnership Scheme
A new initiative that BCA is rolling out in partnership with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), is the SGBC-BCA Zero Capital Partnership Scheme (ZCPS), aimed at helping building owners carry out building retrofits. Building owners who require capital and technical assistance in building retrofits can now find support from Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) firms accredited by SGBC. These EPC firms will conduct energy audits and propose the necessary retrofits as well as provide financing, and/or facilitate the application of suitable financing and incentive schemes for building owners.
BCA Green Mark Champions and First PlatinumSTAR Champion
The highlight of the BCA Awards was the top accolades that were given out to honour the industry’s best. This included the inaugural BCA Green Mark PlatinumSTAR Champion award conferred to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This latest honour category was introduced in recognition of outstanding developers and building owners who have 50 or more building projects that have achieved the highest BCA Green Mark Platinum rating.
To date, NTU has 51 Green Mark Platinum new and existing buildings in its campus grounds which are projected to generate an estimated 39,000 MWh of energy savings annually. This amount of energy saved is equivalent to the amount used to power up over 8,000 HDB 4-room flats for a year. This year, NTU won 37 BCA Green Mark Platinum awards. Amongst the winning projects are the Clinical Sciences Building located at the Novena Campus and the upcoming Academic Building North.
NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey said, “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do – in research, education, and service to the community. NTU aims to become one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly university campuses by greening all new buildings, retrofitting existing ones to higher BCA Green Mark standards and partnering with industry leaders looking for long-term sustainable options. Green buildings are a great investment for universities. They inspire innovation and encourage students to see for themselves how green living benefits the environment and communities. This is important if we want leave this planet in good condition for future generations.”
“The built environment sector has been working closely with us and is becoming increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment. Over the years, we are heartened to see more firms picking up pace in their green building journey. We hope that the new BCA Green Mark PlatinumSTAR Champion Award will encourage developers and building owners to play a more active role and stay committed in the fight against climate change,” said Mr Neo Choon Keong, Acting Deputy CEO for Industry Development, BCA.
Given the increasing awareness and popularity of the BCA Green Mark within the industry, BCA gave out 304 Green Mark awards this year – the highest thus far – including four Green Mark Champions awards conferred to Genting Singapore PLC, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and National Parks Board. (Please refer to Annex E and F for more information)
Record number of awards this year
This year, a record number of 424 awards were given out at the annual BCA Awards which celebrates the best in the industry in areas of safety, quality, sustainability, productivity and universal design.