| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Implementation of strategy
A holistic Masterplan approach was adopted in making the Green Mark Scheme a cornerstone in the design of buildings in Singapore.
Since the launch of the first Green Building Masterplan in 2006, it has been progressively enhanced and is now into its 3rd version. Over the years, the focus of this Masterplan has shifted from the traditional values of Energy Efficiency and the techno-centric approach to look at community level interventions. These include tackling the education sector through strategies to involve teachers and students to groom the next generation to cultivate an acute awareness of the environmental issues and to advocate the sustainability mindset to enable the future paradigm shifts that will be required. In addition to the focus on the young, Green Mark also pays great attention to the wider community with a vast outreach and public education platform. Another key shift is to focus on building users and tenants, advocating all parties who affect the performance of the building to work together, learn together and implement together positive strategies to enhance their sustainability efforts.
The strategic thrusts under the Masterplan covers:
(i) Public Sector Taking the Lead – Adopting a whole-of-government approach for the public sector to take the lead in achieving higher Green Mark standards for key government buildings. This involves partnering agencies and forming advisory working groups to educate and share best practices with the government agents, and with the public.
(ii) R&D - Furthering the development of Green Building Technology through R&D. The research and development operates through working with local and global academia, research institutions and our own living lab. R&D also has a partnering approach which aims to test and commercialise research prototypes by partnering academia with corporations;
(iii) Green incentives - Spurring the private sector to develop more energy-efficient buildings through a suite of incentives that target every stage of the building process, from the design and construction of new buildings, to the upgrading and retrofit of existing buildings;
(iv) Training - Putting in place a comprehensive training framework to develop green capabilities;
(v) Awareness - Organising outreach, educational and publicity programmes to educate the public and the young on the benefits of green buildings. The social aspect is one of the key cornerstones of the entire process. BCA actively engage all members of the community locally, regionally and globally. This active community engagement approach is used to drive the consumer demand for a progressively more sustainable built environment. The knowledge empowers the citizens to demand more for their buildings and rally them to take spatial ownership to steer balanced development ; and
(vi) Legislating Minimum Standards - Being the 1st in the world to mandate minimum Green Mark standards for all new buildings and progressively, for existing buildings
Chronology of key activities
The chronology of key activities are scheduled below:
2005 - Launch of BCA Green Mark certification programme
2006 - Launch of First Green Building Masterplan
2007 - Launch of Sustainable Construction Masterplan
2008 - Amendment of Building Control Act to impose minimum environmental standards on new buildings
2009 - Launch of Second Green Building Masterplan
2012 - 1000th Green Mark building project and 100th Green Mark Platinum building project milestone, Amendment of Building Control Act to require minimum environmental sustainability standards for existing buildings, the submission of energy consumption and building-related data by utility companies and building owners, and regular audits and compliance on the efficiency of the cooling systems in buildings
2013 – Drafting of the 3rd Green Building Masterplan
See 2nd Green Building Masterplan attached
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Value chain engagement approach
For the green building agenda to succeed, BCA’s approach has been to engage all players across the entire value chain and to encourage sustainable behaviour amongst the end users.
BCA has worked with its partners to develop and refine the Green Mark criteria as well as helping to raise awareness of green building sector both locally and internationally. They include:
(i) Government agencies. BCA adopts a whole-of-government approach in working with other government agencies to green all public spaces eg. government offices, public residential developments, road infrastructures and the integration of green spaces into other aspects of urban development.
(ii) Non-profit organisations. Non-profit organisations such as the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) are important counterparts in raising understanding and acceptance of green buildings. The most successful are the Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) Certification Scheme to raise the standard of green building products and the Green Schools Initiative (GSI) to help schools green their environment.
(iii) Industry players. BCA’s Green Mark Incentive Schemes play a part in encouraging industry players and professionals along the supply chain to work towards sustainable buildings. BCA’s seminars and events also enable industry professionals to learn from other organisations’ approaches in driving environmental sustainability, their best practices and project experiences.
(iv) Educational institutions. We engage educational institutions to educate their students and staff about sustainability.
(v) End users. Government agencies and industry players play a significant role in influencing end users to appreciate the benefits of green buildings and to adopt green behaviour. Public engagement efforts include green building roving exhibitions, portals, facebook and youth engagement programmes.
(vi) Schools – BCA has a number of tools to aid with the green outreach to schools including student competitions, a green curriculum as well as to aid schools in their green retrofits.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Green Mark has helped to guide industry in achieving higher sustainability standards which resulted in energy savings to the building owners and tenants. Hence, the adoption of Green Mark is self-sustaining as there is a business case for going green.
However, to address any gaps eg. to bridge retrofitting costs, a suite of Green Mark Incentive Schemes are available to encourage the industry to build green and retrofit less environmentally-friendly buildings. These schemes target every stage of the building process, from the design and construction of new buildings, to the upgrading and retrofitting of existing buildings. Government strongly supported the Green Mark by funding these incentives.
Human & Technical resources
The following are the human and technical resources which were committed to the initiative:
(i) Development of the Green Mark Scheme to green buildings –BCA developed and launched the Green Mark Scheme in 2005 as a structured approach of greening buildings in order to reduce its carbon footprint in terms of energy and water efficiency, waste reduction or the use of sustainable materials. Since then, BCA has updated the Green Mark continuously to ensure that our green building standards remain on par, if not ahead of international standards.
(ii) Comprehensive training framework to develop green capabilities in industry - To develop a green workforce to support the green building movement, the BCA Academy, an education and research arm of BCA, has set a target of training 20,000 green specialists at the professional, manager, engineer and technician level by 2020. The BCA Academy offers a wide range of training programmes from diplomas and specialist certifications, to degree programmes for undergraduates, graduates and executives, to build capabilities in the design, operation and maintenance of green buildings. This included collaborations with renowned universities such as UCL, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Nottingham. More than 5000 have been trained to date.
(iii) R&D to build solutions - R&D is crucial in testing and developing new green building technologies and sustainable products. It also affects everything about green buildings from policy to building practices to how design is approached at the drawing board stage.
Therefore, BCA actively carries out green building R&D collaborations with the industry, academia and other government agencies in the form of grant calls, funding support, inter-agency coordination, Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and international collaborations. One R&D project is BCA’s Zero Energy Building which is the first such building in Southeast Asia which has achieved a net zero energy consumption annually for 4 years since completion despite an increasing load year-on-year. The ZEB serves as a living lab for R&D of green building technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) technologies, types of integration (roof, facade, window, shading, railing etc) and the innovative Passive Displacement Ventilation (PDV) system which has clinched the Asean Energy Award. Another R&D project is the Samwoh Eco-Green Building, which is constructed entirely from recycled concrete aggregates.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The following are the key elements that have contributed to the success of the Green Mark both locally and regionally:
(i) Strong Government leadership – In Singapore, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD), which consists of government leaders from key sectors, is championing the national effort to green 80% of the buildings by 2030. To achieve this goal, BCA has set out specific initiatives to lead Singapore’s building and construction industry in greening our built environment. BCA has also worked with other government agencies to green all public spaces eg. government offices, public residential developments, road infrastructures and the integration of green spaces into other aspects of urban development.
(ii) Buy-in from key stakeholders (including end users) along the value chain - For the green building agenda to succeed, BCA’s approach has been to engage and get the buy-in of all players across the entire value chain. Our partners include government agencies, non-profit organisations, industry players, educational institutions, end users and schools. We engage them and garner their buy-in through collaborations as well as by getting their feedback in developing and refining the Green Mark criteria as well as working together to raise awareness of green buildings.
(iii) Building industry capability – We have put in place a comprehensive training framework to develop green capabilities.
(iv) Energy conservation through demonstrated savings. In 2005 a study was completed that checked the average central chilled water plant efficiency. The reason that this is considered important is due to the wide use of air-conditioning in the tropical climate to maintain conditions conducive to contemporary enterprise. Due to the high humidity, the chiller plant can consume as much as 50% of the total building energy. In 2005 the performance average was 1.1kW/RT today with the stringent baselines we are seeing this drop to below 0.7kW/RT with higher awarded projects for both new and existing buildings under retrofit being at 0.6kW/RT. This is a greater than 40% energy savings from 2005 baseline in 7 years.
(v) Assessment process - The assessment process in which there is face-to-face contact between the assessors and the project team allowing for chances for an iterative and dynamic approach to building optimisation and certification, yet in an objective and professional manner.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
BCA monitors and evaluates the progress of its green building initiatives in various ways. Over the years, these reviews have enabled us to make strategic improvements to the Green Building Masterplan as well as to the Green Mark Scheme.
The following are the key approaches through which the progress is monitored and evaluated:
(i) Setting of annual targets – In order to achieve the stretched target for 80% of buildings to be green by 2030, BCA has set annual targets to chart its progress. So far, we have consistently met our annual targets and are on track in meeting our long-term target.
(ii) Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC) – The IMCCC, which consists of government leaders from key sectors, reviews the progress of the specific targets set under the Green Building Masterplan at interim levels.
(iii) International Panel of Experts (IPE) – BCA adopts a global perspective in reviewing its green building strategies and progress through the appointment of an International Panel of Experts (IPE), which comprises both foreign and local experts. So far, the IPEs have been successfully held in 2008, 2009 and 2013. Besides garnering valuable global endorsements and perspectives from the foreign experts, the discussions at the open-door IPE sessions are also open to industry players. Such open-door IPE sessions facilitate the gathering of ground feedback on the Green Building Masterplans and policies, providing BCA a better understanding of the challenges faced by the industry stakeholders. These sessions also enable BCA to garner the support and buy-in of industry stakeholders for its Masterplans and policies.
(iv) Green Mark Advisory Committee – This Committee comprises industry experts who advise on developments that will enable the Green Mark programme and assessment criteria to be relevant and up-to-date. The Committee also provides feedback on the implementation of the Green Mark programme.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The key challenges encountered were:
(i) Misperception of a high green premium. A key challenge in promoting wider adoption of green buildings in Singapore is the general misperception of overly high costs in going green. To address these concerns, BCA publicised the findings of a study on the ‘Business Case of Green Buildings in Singapore’, based on an analysis of Green Mark buildings. The study shows that the cost premium for green buildings varies from 0.3% (basic standard) to 8% (highest standard) with a payback period between 2 and 8 years. We also shared case studies of buildings that had enjoyed significant energy and water savings as well as better indoor environmental quality.
(ii) Community demand. While we have mandated minimum green building standards in Singapore since 2008, the demand for high quality green buildings has to be consumer-driven. With strong consumer demand, developers will be motivated to go beyond basic requirements and strive for high green building standards.
Hence, BCA has collaborated with its partners to educate homeowners and tenants, on the benefits of green buildings in terms of lower energy and water consumption as well as better indoor environmental quality. Public engagement efforts include roving exhibitions, portals, facebook, youth engagement programmes as well as outreach to schools which include student competitions, a green curriculum and aiding schools in their green retrofits.
(iii) Level of industry expertise. To develop a green workforce to support the green building movement, BCA has set a target of training 20,000 green specialists by 2020. BCA offers a wide range of training programmes from diplomas and specialist certifications, to degree programmes for undergraduates, graduates and executives, to build capabilities in the design, operation and maintenance of green buildings. This included collaborations with renowned universities such as UCL and Carnegie Mellon.