Singapore Green Building Council offers free trip to Melbourne in bid to stir public interest in green buildings

Jose Hong Straits Times 2 Aug 18;

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) is offering a free trip for two to Melbourne on Singapore Airlines, as part of its campaign to get the public interested in sustainable buildings.

Titled "Live.Work.Play.Green", the two-month campaign, launched on Thursday (Aug 2), also dangles prizes such as a staycation at Marina Bay Sands or Resorts World Sentosa through an online quiz.

SGBC president Tan Swee Yiow said the public still does not know enough about the value of green buildings, or of the power they have to influence their environment through the places they live, work and play in.

This is why the non-governmental organisation is shifting its focus away from companies in its campaign.

"When people buy an apartment, most aren't prepared to pay a premium for a green unit," he said at the National Gallery Singapore. "We hope that people will learn that green buildings are healthier and better for their occupants, and that utilities savings are just one part of the equation."

Examples of green features in buildings are large windows to let in more natural light, which Singapore has an abundance of, as well as smart systems that can monitor air quality and energy usage.

In his opening speech at the annual SGBC Leadership Conversations meeting where the campaign was launched, Mr Tan said: "Although buildings only occupy 3 per cent of the world's total land mass, they are responsible for more than half of the energy use and one-third of all carbon emissions."

Mr Tan said the council aims to support the Year of Climate Action, and added that eight buses advertising their campaign will ply Singapore roads until the end of September.

He hoped that through the quiz, people would have fun while learning about the sustainable structures Singaporeans spend their lives in.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said: "Improving energy and carbon efficiency in our buildings is a key strategy for reducing our emissions."

Mr Masagos, who was guest of honour at the launch, added: "This is a good effort to raise awareness... of the value of green buildings and the important role they play in reducing our carbon footprint."

The quiz can be accessed at https://greenbuildings.sg/

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