About Green Building

Find out what makes a green building green and how it factors into national and global climate aspirations.
 

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Home Green Home

Homes influence almost every aspect of our lives - from how well we sleep, to how comfortable and safe we feel, directly impacting our quality of life. Just like commercial green buildings, green homes use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities. However, the benefits of a green home do not stop here.

In BCA’s 2016 survey of 610 homeowners in Singapore, 90-93% of private and public home owners respectively agreed that living in a green building enables energy saving, hence lowering utility bills.  What is perhaps less associated with green homes is that many of these design features which bring positive environmental benefits also enhances health and wellbeing. The consideration of health and wellbeing is increasingly influencing consumers’ buying and decision-making processes today. A greener home begins with a plan.

Check out the green renovation guide below and tips on how to adopt an eco-lifestyle! 

Find out more about creating Home Green Homes:

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To download a brochure on greening your homes for health and wellbeing, click here.

To download a list of indoor plants that can help improve indoor air quality, click here.

Green Renovation

Renovation of your home provides many opportunities to make great sustainable choices right from the start. Homes last a long time, and many of your finishings and fixtures will have a lifespan of decades. From paints to flooring, from lighting to air-conditioning, today’s products and systems deliver better performance with less environmental impact than even a decade ago.

3 key areas to focus on are: 

1. Increasing the energy and water efficiency of your home: reducing the amount of energy and water your home uses will cut the operating cost of your home, providing you with savings in your utility bills now and in the future. 

  • Upgrade or replace light fixtures and bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lights.
  • Choose windows with energy-saving features such as multiple glazing, low-e coating and insulating spacers. Block out excessive sunlight with curtains or blinds.
  • Look for top ratings on the Energy and Water Efficiency Label when selecting high-consumption equipment like air-conditioner, refrigerators, and water heaters. For example, using a 5-ticks air-conditioner will save $220 in electricity bills a year* as compared to using a 2-ticks model.

 

2. Ensuring clean indoor air: a good indoor environment can greatly improve your comfort and health, preventing problems such as mold growth on interior fixtures and allergy issues related to dust and other pollutants. 

  • Ensure your home has adequate ventilation. Discuss with your interior designer on advice to maximise ventilation e.g. to have openings (whether doors or windows) that are situated directly opposite, include features such as ceiling fans and a kitchen exhaust fan.
  • Select low or no-VOC products and materials (e.g. paints, adhesives, carpets, built in cabinets, flooring etc) for your renovation that will not release harmful pollutants into the air at home.
  • Install an aircon filter that is designed to complement the existing filtering screen of your home air conditioners (instead of heavy duty HEPA air filters that are suited for more powerful commercial aircon systems).
  • Use house plants to absorb and filter chemicals from furniture, floor finishes, paints, detergents and household cleaners that linger inside homes. Examples of low maintenance indoor plants are ferns, snake plant, spider plant, philodendrons, bamboo palm and peace lily.
  • Get rid of possible moisture culprits to prevent mould and bacteria growth, e.g. let damp laundry and wet towels dry outside, wipe dishes thoroughly dry before putting away in the cabinets, and invest in a dehumidifier for humid spots at home.

 

3. Choosing resource-smart materials and products: there are a lot of options in the market to choose from when selecting finishings and products for your home. When considering a material or product that claims to be “greener”, the manufacturer should provide clear information supporting their green claim. Where possible, select materials and products that are:

  • Reused from existing home interiors. Many homes have “hidden treasures” like high-quality hardwood that can be refinished, or framing lumber, baseboards or trim that can be reused.
  • Made from recycled waste. For instance, paper waste is used in insulation and fibreboard, recycled glass in glass fibre insulation and tiles, and plastics wastes are reused to make carpeting.
  • Obtained from easily renewable or well managed sources. Prime examples include flooring made from fast-growing bamboo or sustainably harvested wood.
  • Natural with less processing. For instance, materials like linoleum and stone can be used with less processing and addition of harmful additives.
  • Durable. Choose quality products that performs for a longer time. Each time an item is replaced, there are environmental costs related to the production of the new and the disposal of the old.
  • Locally produced. Pick comparable materials or products that are sourced from or manufactured locally to reduce energy-intensive transportation.
  • Look out for products and materials bearing the SGBP logo:
  • SGBP Combined

 

Find out more about green renovation through this article in SG Green:

Greno

 

Green Renovation Loan

SGBC Member DBS Bank has launched a green home renovation loan to help property owners create the eco-friendly home of their dreams. The loan is part of the DBS Green Solutions package that offers options to help consumers integrate green practices in their daily lives. On top of switching to green electricity retailers, consumers looking to take up the green renovation loan should also fulfil simple requirements from a checklist developed in collaboration with SGBC, which includes: use of certified low-VOC paints, use of energy-efficient LED lighting as well as use of ceiling fans for ventilation. Find out more.

DBS Green Reno Checklist

 

Living Green

A greener, eco-friendly way of living complements and helps to maximise the potential of your green home. These habits can be cultivated at home and applied in schools and at workplaces as well.

1. Save Energy

  • Choose energy-efficient household appliances by looking out for more ticks on the Energy Label. Also choose models with a suitable capacity for your family’s needs, as larger models tend to consume more energy.
  • Switch off or unplug appliances such as your TV and laptops when not in use, as they continue to draw power even when turned off.
  • Reduce the use of air-conditioning and lights. Open the windows to enjoy natural ventilation and daylight.
  • Ensure windows and doors are shut tight when the air-conditioning is switched on. Set the temperature to a comfortable 25°C.
  • Clean the air filters of your aircon regularly as dirty filters impede airflow and waste energy. Service your aircon at least once a year.
  • Consolidate your laundry and wash them on a full load to maximise energy usage
  • Set your computers/laptops to sleep mode instead of using a screensaver during periods of inactivity
  • Check the thermostat in your refrigerator is adjusted to the recommended setting to prevent overcooling, and that the door seal is tight.
  • Be aware of your energy usage and monthly utility bills. Install a smart meter at home to further breakdown your energy usage patterns.

2. Conserve Water

  • Check areas prone to leakage like toilet flappers and faucets, and repair them promptly.
  • Install a water thimble for taps to control the water flow.
  • Select water-efficient household appliances by looking out for the Water Efficiency Label.
  • Take shorter showers and turn off the tap while soaping and shampooing.
  • Reuse rinse water from washing machines and water from washing fruits and vegetables, to mop the floor and water plants.

3. Reduce Waste

  • Bring your own bag for shopping
  • Bring along a food container and a set of cutleries when taking away food to reduce the use of disposables
  • Reuse old clothing as rags and plastic bags to bag garbage
  • Build your own compost bin and turn food waste into fertilisers for house plants
  • Sort your waste and bring recyclables such as paper, glass bottles and tin cans to recycling bins in your neighbourhood

4. Green Commuting

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by using public transportation where possible. Alternatively, check out car-sharing schemes and carpool to work.
  • Walk or cycle short distances. Save on fares and get health benefits from a more active lifestyle.

Refer to the HDB's Green Living Guide for more tips!

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