BCA introduces new Green Mark scheme for commercial buildings

The Building and Construction Authority's (BCA) Green Mark 2015 will have an expanded focus to "address sustainability in a more balanced and holistic manner", the agency says.
Channel NewsAsia 2 Sep 15;

SINGAPORE: There will be a new benchmarking scheme, called Green Mark 2015, for non-residential buildings, and this will have an expanded focus to "address sustainability in a more balanced and holistic manner", said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) on Wednesday (Sep 2).

The Green Mark 2015 has been structured into four main sections: Climactic response; building energy performance; resource stewardship; and smart and healthy building. There is also a bonus section on advanced green building efforts, to "spur efforts beyond requirements".

Key benefits for building occupants and users include a stronger emphasis on indoor environmental quality in relation to enhanced health and well-being, and buildings that are equipped with smart controls and analytics to assist in the management and optimisation of building resources, it said.

The revamped scheme will also enable projects to analyse its energy effectiveness in both the optimisation of energy efficiency and consumption, while greater recognition for renewable energy will be considered, BCA said.

Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer of BCA, said: “Green Mark 2015 will play a more prominent role in driving and communicating sustainability outcomes in Singapore, as buildings consume more than 30 per cent of the total electricity."

Findings from the BCA Building Energy Benchmarking Report (BEBR) were also released, and it showed that commercial buildings had better energy performance in 2014 compared to 2013. Retail buildings showed the most improvement.

BCA Green Mark-certified commercial buildings continued to perform better than non-certified ones, it added.

Additionally, the world's first high-rise rotating laboratory for the tropics will be built on the roof of a new building at the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Academy, the agency touted.

The BCA SkyLab will be located on the roof, and can turn 360 degrees to test energy-efficient building technologies. It will also have two similar indoor units that simulate an office environment to compare tests results. The units are equipped with sensors to measure energy performance and environmental parameters.

Each unit measures 40 square metres and its layout can be easily changed and configured for installation of different testing technologies, BCA said.

Dr Keung said: "With the BCA SkyLab, we are moving another step closer to the ambitious goal of achieving 'low-energy high rise' buildings and 'zero-energy low-rise' buildings in the tropics."

The BCA SkyLab is expected to be opened in the first half of 2016.

- CNA/wl

BCA to build rotating rooftop lab for green tech R&D
Audrey Tan Straits Times AsiaOne 3 Sep 15;

Singapore has rotating restaurants. Now it is going to get its first rotating rooftop laboratory.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will build this special 132 sq m lab at the top of one of its buildings at its Braddell Road premises.

Located on the sixth floor, and costing $4.5 million, the BCA SkyLab will give researchers a new place to test and develop green technology and materials.

BCA chief executive John Keung told The Straits Times that the advantage of building a lab here which rotates and on the top floor is that it can catch sunlight and wind any time of the day - and be tailored specifically for the tropics.

Ready by the first half of next year, the lab is being developed in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, which has a similar rotating lab suited for a temperate climate.

Environment and Water Resources Ministry Permanent Secretary Choi Shing Kwok said getting buildings to become greener is key in reducing Singapore's carbon emissions. "In cities worldwide, including Singapore, buildings contribute about a third of all global greenhouse gas emissions and make up nearly 40 per cent of energy consumption," he said, adding that this is why the sector has to lead the way in sustainability.

He was speaking at the official opening ceremony of the International Green Building Conference, Bex (Build Eco Xpo) Asia and MCE (Mostra Convegno Expocomfort) Asia 2015 at Marina Bay Sands.

During the event, the BCA also launched the revamped Green Mark scheme, which recognises buildings for their environmentally friendly features. More than 2,500 buildings, or around 30 per cent, are considered green here. The revamped scheme will, among other things, take into consideration passive features which cut electricity use, such as the use of natural lighting. Buildings that tap renewable energy, such as solar power, will also be better recognised.

Dr Keung said: "Green Mark 2015 will recognise the leadership of building owners who drive improvements to the overall environmental credentials of projects."

Yesterday, the BCA also released its Building Energy Benchmarking Report for 2015, which helps building owners get a sense of their energy performance as compared to buildings of similar types and sizes.

One of its key findings showed that commercial buildings here are getting greener. While gross floor area grew at a rate of 25 per cent from 2008 to 2014, electricity consumption for commercial buildings increased by only 16 per cent.

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