Singapore ranks 2nd among global cities for green buildings

Nur Sabrina Azmi, The Straits Times AsiaOne 15 Jun 16;

PARIS, Singapore and London hold the top three spots in a ranking of global cities for green buildings in a recent White Paper published by management consultancy firm Solidiance.

The White Paper aimed to assess and compare the performance of top 10 global cities in relation to green buildings.

According to Solidiance, Green buildings are one of the most important elements in the discussion of sustainable development.

Accounting for more than 40 per cent of energy use and responsible for an estimated 30 per cent of city-wide emissions, buildings make up the largest energy-consuming sector worldwide.

The global cities are assessed for their green building performance across four categories: city-wide green building landscape, building efficiency and performance, green building policies and targets and, green city culture and environment.

Paris and Singapore took the top spots by excelling in all four assessments.

According to the White Paper, they were the only two cities that ranked within top five in every category.

Singapore stood out as a forerunner by topping the category of green building policies and targets.

The city aims to green 80 per cent of its built-stock by 2030.

Amendments in the city-state's Building Control Act in 2008 also requires all new buildings and existing ones to undergo major retrofitting to achieve, at the minimum, a certified rating under the Green Mark Scheme, Singapore's green building certification scheme.

By 2014, more than 25 per cent of the city's entire built-stock were green buildings.

CEO of World Green Building Council, United Kingdom, Terri Willis said: "Singapore can certainly be considered a leader in the field of green building. The city target for 80 per cent of buildings to achieve BCA Green Mark standards by 2030 is ambitious but achievable, and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) will play a key role in delivering this."

London, however, takes the lead under the category of green building landscape by achieving the highest number of green buildings.

68 per cent of buildings in London are green buildings, which can be linked to the fact that the United Kingdom was the first country to introduce a green building certification system.

Paris and Singapore rank closely behind with 64 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.

Paris, Sydney and Singapore were on top of the list when it came to the overall performance and efficiency of its green buildings.

Paris came up on top for its low percentage of carbon emissions, which is attributable to the city's built environment.

The level of energy used in buildings in Paris and Singapore were amongst the lowest in the list, reflective of the cities' level of eco-consciousness.

Their efficiency is evidence that both local and international building certifications set a strong benchmark for green building performance.

Singapore comes in fourth, closely behind Sydney, Paris and New York for the assessment of a green city's culture and environment.

While each global city has adopted their own set of policies and regulations to combat climate change, some have performed better.

For example, New York performed particularly well in renewable energy consumption, standing in first place.

The rankings include newcomers Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai, that have joined the green building movement in 2010.

Despite their lagging behind in certain categories, the rankings should see changes in the future as these newer "green building cities" set ambitious targets to catch up to other cities' levels.

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