Speech by Senior Minister of State for National Development and Education Grace Fu at the official opening of CapitaLand's Indoor Vertical Garden, 24 March 2011
Mr Olivier Guyonvarch
Deputy Chief of Mission for the French Embassy in Singapore
Mr Chong Lit Cheong
CEO of CapitaLand Commercial Limited
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is a pleasure to be here at the official opening of CapitaLand’s indoor vertical garden. This vertical garden is the centerpiece of the revitalised Six Battery Road’s main lobby. It represents CapitaLand’s commitment and leadership in environmental sustainability.
Vertical Greenery in Action
2. I am happy to see such strong support from developers to integrate greenery with their skyrise developments. Skyrise greenery not only enhances the buildings aesthetically, it also brings about many other tangible benefits. In Singapore, skyrise greenery helps to reduce the urban heat island effect and enhance our biodiversity. It is one of the critical components of being truly a City in a Garden, where greenery is lush and pervasive.
3. Dr Patrick Blanc has planted about 120 plant species originating from the tropical rainforests of Asia, Americas and Africa in the vertical garden. These plants are not just aesthetically pleasing, they absorb pollutants, add oxygen to the air, and refresh the building’s lobby. This first vertical garden created by Dr Blanc in Singapore features the greatest biodiversity in terms of the number of plants per square foot area, amongst all the gardens that he has designed. I would like to commend Dr Blanc and CapitaLand for the rich diversity created.
Incentives to encourage Skyrise Greenery
4. To encourage more developments in Singapore to integrate greenery with their buildings, I would like to announce two new initiatives today.
5. First, I am pleased to launch the new Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme. This new scheme enhances the existing Green Roof Incentive Scheme, which was introduced in 2009 by NParks to encourage the installation of green roofs on existing buildings in Singapore. Since its inception, the Green Roof Incentive Scheme has attracted many organisations, from corporations and shopping malls to schools and hospitals, to green their buildings. What were previously harsh and bare concretised areas have been transformed into picturesque green roofs.
6. The new Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme provides funding support to building owners for the greening of not just rooftops, but also the building facade. NParks will provide cash incentives of up to half the cost of installation of green roofs and green external walls. NParks will release more details of this new scheme.
7. Second, NParks and the Singapore Institute of Architects will raise the value of the prizes for the annual Skyrise Greenery Awards. The Awards are now into their fourth year. Each year, the Awards have seen increased participation, and for 2010, the Awards attracted applications from Australia, India, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates. We hope to grow the Awards into a key event on the international architectural and horticultural calendar, to raise the benchmarks of our local skyrise greenery projects, and to encourage more world-class skyrise greenery developments in Singapore.
BCA’s Green Mark Incentive Scheme
8. Beyond incentive schemes for greenery, we have schemes to encourage environmental sustainability for buildings. For instance, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) administers the Green Mark Incentive Scheme for existing buildings. This provides cash incentives to building owners who want to upgrade and retrofit their buildings to meet Green Mark Standards. The Green Mark Standards provide a holistic benchmark of green buildings in areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, green and innovative features, and indoor air quality.
9. Six Battery Road has achieved the Green Mark Platinum standard - the highest Green Mark standard - for existing buildings in May last year. This makes it the first existing office building in Singapore’s Central Business District to be conferred the Platinum award.
10. I strongly urge more building owners and developers to tap on the available schemes that encourage skyrise greenery and Green Mark standards for your developments. Together, we can play our part to make Singapore a City in a Garden.
11. On this note, let me congratulate CapitaLand and Dr Blanc for a successful collaboration to construct the largest vertical garden right here in Singapore’s Central Business District. Thank you.
Source: National Parks Board