New BCA Incentive to Drive Green Building Retrofits and Practices Under 3rd Green Building Masterplan
Release of the inaugural BCA Green Building Energy Benchmarking Report to share top performers and their green building best practices and encourage greater energy efficiency adoption
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) today unveiled its 3rd Green Building Masterplan to accelerate Singapore’s drive to become a global leader in green buildings with special expertise in the tropics and sub-tropics. Announced at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Green Building Week 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, the 3rd Green Building Masterplan will place greater emphasis on the behaviour and practices of tenants and occupants. New initiatives and a $50 million Green Mark incentive scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises (GMIS-EBP) will be introduced to encourage and enable greater adoption by smaller players and individuals.
“The 3rd Green Building Masterplan maps out a holistic strategy for the next five to 10 years to accelerate the ‘greening’ of existing buildings and bring us closer to achieving our target of 80 percent green buildings by 2030. Beyond focusing on the building infrastructure, we also want to get building owners, facility managers, tenants and occupants to play a bigger role in the green building movement. Achieving a green, sustainable built environment is a collaborative effort that requires commitment across the value chain, from policy makers, to developers, right down to the end-users. As such, there will be a greater emphasis on engaging and enabling stakeholder communities so that we can champion change together,” said Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer, BCA.
Over the past nine years, BCA has steadily introduced a comprehensive suite of policy levers and initiatives to promote building energy efficiency and encourage the adoption of green building practices. Through the efforts of its first two Green Building Masterplans, BCA has successfully grown the number of green buildings in Singapore from just 17 in 2005 to more than 2,100 today. This is the equivalent of about 62 million square metres or more than 25 percent of Singapore’s total gross floor area (GFA).
The 3rd Green Masterplan: Towards More Occupant-Centric Engagement
Under the first two Green Building Masterplans, initiatives such as the Green Mark scheme and legislation for minimum environmental sustainability standards for buildings were largely focused on the hardware of the built environment. However, besides improving the energy efficiency of buildings, it is important to address how building occupants carry out their daily activities and operations within the buildings’ premises as well.
Developed based on inputs from an international panel and built environment experts on sustainability, the 3rd Green Building Masterplan will address this crucial aspect on occupants’ behaviour. It identifies three strategic areas of focus: Continued Leadership, Wider Collaboration and Engagement and Proven Sustainability Performance, to further advance Singapore’s journey towards becoming a global leader in green buildings. A suite of recommendations have been tabled under these three pillars, with several initiatives being launched today as part of the International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2014.
LEAD: Public Sector Taking Stronger Lead
The Government has been leading the Green Mark movement by driving and strengthening sustainability efforts within public sector buildings. A “Public Sector taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability” framework (PSTLES) guides the adoption of resource efficiency measures, covering energy efficiency, water efficiency and recycling, within the public sector. Under the 3rd Green Building Masterplan new initiatives for the public sector will be rolled out to:
(i) Require existing public sector buildings with more than 5,000m2 gross floor area to achieve Green Mark certification
(ii) Require office spaces to be leased from a building of high Green Mark rating upon lease renewal
(iii) Certify public sector offices under the Green Mark for Office Interior scheme at the next lease or retrofit
(iv) Adopt green procurement approach by holding government events and functions in Green Mark certified venues
(v) Promote the adoption of green leases
ENGAGE: More Incentives for Existing Buildings and Premises
To promote continuous improvement in building energy efficiency and encourage occupants and tenants to adopt more energy efficiency measures within their premises, a $50 million Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises (GMIS-EBP) was launched today.
Targeted at building owners and tenants that are small and medium enterprises, the scheme aims to incentivise these stakeholders with lesser resources to commence energy efficiency improvements to their buildings and premises. The scheme will co-fund up to 50 per cent of the retrofitting cost for energy improvements, or up to S$3 million for building owners and up to $20,000 for occupants and tenants.
ENGAGE: Encouraging Occupants and Tenants to Go Green
Buildings are complex ecosystems and both building owners and tenants need to work together in order to reap the full benefits of green buildings. Following extensive engagement with various groups and communities, BCA will be introducing a series of occupant-centric programmes to engage tenants and occupants, and kick-start change in their energy consumption habits and attitudes.
One of the first initiatives is the Green Mark Pearl and Pearl Prestige Awards. This new award recognises buildings that have done well in terms of total building performance such as adopting green leases, achieving certification for at least 50 percent of tenant spaces under Green Mark occupant-centric schemes for higher Green Mark rated GoldPLUS or Platinum base buildings. With the introduction of this award, BCA expects to increase the GFA of green tenanted spaces and encourage the greater adoption of green leases by landlords and tenants in setting joint sustainability targets. The inaugural award will be conferred at the BCA Awards 2015.
Plans are also underway to enhance the BCA Green Mark assessment criteria to include more focus on areas such as better indoor environment quality for occupant health and well-being. This will further establish the BCA Green Mark as the green building rating tool of choice in the tropics and sub-tropics.
SUSTAIN: Industry Benchmarking to Spur Action
Building on the 2012 landmark legislation requiring existing buildings to submit building and energy related information, the 3rd Green Building Masterplan continues to address the need to monitor and sustain energy efficient building performance. As part of the phased approach to make building energy performance and energy consumption information more readily available to a wider audience, BCA has released the inaugural BCA Building Energy Benchmarking Report (BEBR) today.
The report provides key findings and statistics for building owners to benchmark their building performance with the aim to spur them into improving their own building performance if it is worse off than the average of other similar building types. It includes a list of the top 10 performers of each building category that have shown outstanding results. The results in the report were drawn from data gathered from the mandatory submission of energy consumption for commercial buildings (offices, hotels, retail and mixed developments) implemented in 2013. Notably, the report showed that tenant and occupant activities within a building take up as much as 50 percent of the total electricity consumption of the buildings.
“As the population in Singapore increases, more focused policies and measures are needed to foster greater awareness amongst tenants and occupants. By proactively changing their energy consumption behaviour and practices, tenants and occupants can be part of the solution rather than the problem. Through the initiatives launched today under the 3rd Green Building Masterplan we hope that more owners of existing buildings and tenants will recognise the important role they play in helping to shape a more sustainable and future-ready built environment for Singapore,” said Dr Keung.