The design of a building can directly contribute to more efficient energy use, which is why it is important for buildings to be constructed or adapted with green designs.
Existing buildings can be retrofitted to incorporate such designs to increase their energy efficiency. This lowers electricity costs for the building’s tenants and typically pays for itself in as little as five to seven years.
Test-bedding and Sharing Knowledge on Energy Efficient Technologies for Buildings
Research, development and demonstration (RD&D) play a prominent role in achieving energy reductions in the building sector by pushing the envelope and accelerate the adoption of promising building energy-efficient technologies and solutions in the industry. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has set up the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) in 2015 as an integrated RD&D hub to support the national drive towards greater energy efficiency as well as to streamline, coordinate and disseminate building energy efficiency-related activities. GBIC will be a one-stop integrated RD&D hub to experiment, exhibit, and exchange knowledge of promising building energy-efficient solutions with industry stakeholders.
Reducing Emissions through Green Mark Standards
The BCA’s Green Mark Scheme was launched to encourage developers and owners to build and maintain greener buildings. Green Mark standards require developers and owners to achieve a 28 per cent energy efficiency improvement from 2005 building codes. These standards, which apply to both new and existing buildings undergoing major retrofitting works (with a gross floor area of 2,000 m2 or more), help buildings achieve energy savings of between 20 per cent to 40 per cent over their lifetimes.
From the second half of 2013, the Building Control Act requires all existing buildings with a gross floor area of 15,000 m2 or more to achieve the minimum Green Mark standard when they install or replace a chiller system. Audits of cooling systems will also be conducted every three years in new and existing buildings that have undergone retrofitting. In addition, companies have to submit energy consumption and energy-related building data.
As incentive for existing buildings to improve energy efficiency, BCA has introduced the following schemes:
- Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB): BCA’s S$100 million GMIS-EB helps building owners offset part of their retrofitting costs to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
- Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Pilot Scheme: BCA’s BREEF Pilot Scheme empowers existing building owners with limited financial resources to go green by encouraging financial institutions to offer financing for energy efficiency retrofits. Under this pilot scheme, BCA will share the risk of any loan default with participating financial institutions who provide loans to building owners and energy services companies carrying out green retrofits.