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Media Release: Building and Construction Authority clinches prestigious award from The Aspen Institute and sets higher Green Mark standards for new buildings

- BCA conferred the prestigious 2010 Energy and Environment Award (Government) from The Aspen Institute award, a recognition of its innovative and comprehensive “green” efforts in Singapore’s built environment
- Revised Green Mark criteria will raise the standards of environmentally friendly buildings in Singapore, a step towards fulfilling the Government’s goal for 2030

Singapore, 5 August 2010 – The Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”) announced that it had been conferred this year’s Energy and Environment Award (Government) (“The Award”) by The Aspen Institute (“The Institute”) for its comprehensive approach and efforts in steering the industry towards the development of green buildings and sustainable construction in Singapore. BCA is the first government agency outside North America to have clinched this prestigious award, given out by the international non-profit organisation which focuses on fostering thought leadership in global issues.

Following the award win, BCA is pressing on with its efforts to further green the built environment by introducing revised criteria for its widely accepted Green Mark standards. The revisions would raise the standards of environmentally friendly buildings in Singapore, a move that would boost the country’s efforts in “greening” 80% of its buildings by 2030.

The Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Award (Government)

Based on The Aspen Institute’s assessment criteria, the Award recognises BCA’s role in designing and implementing policy and programmes in promoting green buildings and sustainable construction, which are innovative, comprehensive and replicable by other cities. It was given out on 26 July 2010 during the Aspen Institute’s annual Energy and Environment Forum at The Institute’s campus in Aspen, Colorado. CEO, BCA Dr John Keung received the award from Mr Bill Dirks, Co-founder and Board Chair of the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Awards.

Mr Dirks said, “We were impressed with how BCA demonstrated leadership at the national level in this very critical area of renewable energy standards and green buildings. In our evaluation of the government category, we had also considered efforts from cities in United States, Middle East and Central Europe, but we saw a clear outstanding example of disruptive innovation, creative and breakthrough solutions in Singapore’s entry, which could be reproduced around the globe to tackle large scale energy and environment issues.”

One of the judges for the government category, Mr Eric Pooley, also Deputy Editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek in New York, said, “For the judges, BCA’s top-to-bottom and comprehensive approach in tackling this important issue of emissions reduction and sustainability in the built environment, was an innovative approach that had replication potential. We hope that by recognising Singapore’s efforts through the Aspen Energy and Environment Award that other cities and municipalities could start moving in a similar direction.”

Commenting on the win, CEO, BCA Dr John Keung said, “I am delighted that BCA clinched the Energy and Environment Award in the Government category from The Aspen Institute. This is a strong endorsement of our policies and efforts in steering the built environment towards sustainable construction and ‘green’ buildings. I hope that with such international recognition from a renowned and respected organisation, it will spur us on to do more to guide the industry towards developing more ‘green’ buildings in Singapore.”

Introducing revised Green Mark Criteria

Moving ahead, BCA has revised its Green Mark Criteria for new buildings, which would take effect in December 2010. The move will raise the standards of ‘green’ buildings in Singapore and guide the industry towards more sustainable and energy efficient practices in building design, construction and maintenance.

Raising Energy Efficiency Standards for new buildings

Under the revisions, the minimum energy efficiency standard will be higher than that of the current building codes. With this, building professionals will be required to design buildings with an energy efficiency standard of 28% higher than that of the 2005 building code level. This will represent an additional 10% energy savings over the current standard. Some of the other key revisions include:
a. Requiring building projects to have air-conditioning systems that are more energy efficient,
b. Requiring buildings to have devices to measure and track the energy efficiency of the air-conditioning systems,
c. Greater emphasis on the use of passive design to reduce the need for air-conditioning and the integration of natural ventilation in building design, and
d. Encouraging the use of resource-efficient design and sustainable construction practices, e.g., the use of recycled concrete aggregates.

Commenting on the revisions, CEO, BCA Dr John Keung, said, “While we have been given international recognition for our efforts in fostering a sustainable built environment in Singapore, we have to press on to achieve our goal of greening at least 80% of our buildings by 2030. The added emphasis on energy efficient building systems, passive design and sustainable construction practices will gradually guide our industry towards more environmentally sustainable practices. We hope that in twenty years’ time, all Singaporeans will live, work, play and learn in buildings that are sustainable and energy efficient.”

In this review of the BCA Green Mark standards, BCA consulted the industry extensively over the last one year. The revised draft was also disseminated to the industry for feedback earlier this year and some 170 comments were given by practitioners.

Details of this latest revision to the Green Mark Criteria will be communicated to the industry via a circular which will be released this month. Briefing sessions for industry practitioners will also be held before its implementation in December 2010.

Issued by the Building and Construction Authority on 5 August 2010

About the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore champions the development of an excellent built environment for Singapore.

At BCA, our mission is to shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment, as these are four key elements where BCA has a significant influence. In doing so, we aim to differentiate Singapore’s built environment from those of other cities and contribute to a better quality of life for everyone in Singapore. Hence, our vision is to have "the best built environment for Singapore, our distinctive global city".

Together with our education hub, the BCA Academy of the Built Environment, BCA works closely with its industry partners to develop skills and expertise that help shape the best built environment for Singapore.

About the 2nd Green Building Masterplan

In support of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development and BCA’s mission, BCA has formulated the 2nd Green Building Masterplan. It is a roadmap that sets out specific initiatives to achieve a truly sustainable built environment in Singapore by 2030.

Following the successful implementation of the 1st GB Masterplan – formulated in 2006 to spearhead the delivery of Green Buildings with emphasis on new buildings and those undergoing major retrofitting, the 2nd Green Building Masterplan focuses on existing buildings. With the large existing building stock consuming a third of our national end-use electricity, BCA’s 2nd Green Building Masterplan places special emphasis on ‘greening’ existing buildings.

About the BCA Green Mark Scheme

The BCA Green Mark Scheme was launched by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in January 2005 as a green building rating system to evaluate buildings for their environmental impact and performance, with emphasis on energy efficiency.

It aims to promote a sustainable built environment by incorporating best practices in environmental design and construction, and the adoption of green building technologies.

Please visit www.greenmark.sg for more information.

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (49.1kb .pdf).