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Save Energy and Money: Award Winning Green Buildings & Master Plans
Singapore’s Building and
Construction Authority (BCA) has won the inaugural Regional Leadership Award -
one of the six in the world presented at Durban – for its exceptional Green
Building Masterplan and efforts in steering the construction industry towards
sustainable development. Meanwhile, a new Singapore school campus is winning
plaudits: The newly opened United World College of South East Asia in Tampines
now relies on a solar thermal system for all of its hot water and a third of
its air-conditioning. Saving energy and money, says director of operations and
facilities Simon Thomas.
UWC’s ‘green’ new campus
By Kezia Toh in The Straits Times (9 December
A school here is enjoying hot
water and air-conditioning, courtesy of the sun’s rays.
The newly opened United World
College of South East Asia in Tampines now relies on a solar thermal system for
all of its hot water and a third of its air-conditioning.
The system, installed by Austrian
solar engineering company Solid Asia, cost nearly €5 million (S$8.6 million)
and was funded by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and two Austrian banks –
Raiffeisen-Landesbank Steiermark and Oesterreichische Kontrollbank.
Mr Julian Peter Whiteley, head of the college,
said: ‘It’s been crucial because we’ve been able to teach the students about
how you can genuinely achieve sustainability, and not just talk about it.’
Solid Asia approached the college
to set up the system, and it agreed. The company, which has an office in
Singapore, had applied for EDB’s Solar Capability Scheme, which grooms the
solar industry here by encouraging design and integration of solar panels into
The system was installed on top
of the campus building and shelter at the school field in the middle of last
It began operating in August this
year and was officially launched on Wednesday.
Besides being a clean and
renewable energy source, solar energy will also guarantee stable electricity
With this system and other
energy-saving features, the campus will likely consume 25 to 30 per cent less
electricity than conventional buildings of similar size and function.
Dr Christian Holter, chief
executive of Solid Group, the parent company of Solid Asia, said: ‘Electricity
costs will rise and go even higher, but the cost of this system will remain the
same because the sun shines for free.’
The system absorbs the sun’s heat
to warm up water that runs through it.
Some of the hot water is used
mainly for the college’s boarding house, which can take up to 150 students.
The remaining hot water powers a
chiller that cools water for the college’s air-con system.
This project was one of six
awarded the Solar Pioneer Award last year by the inter-agency Energy Innovation
Programme Office, which plans and executes strategies to develop the energy
sector here. The office is led by EDB and the Energy Market Authority.
Dr Holter said: ‘The only thing
is that we need to invest upfront, but this technology at the college is
expected to last for the next 25 to 30 years. It is a long-term investment.’
The campus won a Platinum Green
Mark for Buildings Award for its eco-friendly design.
For example, the college boasts
green walls to reduce ambient temperature, and a rain garden to collect rainwater
for landscape irrigation.
Minister for the Environment and
Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan congratulated the college for the project
in a post on his ministry’s Facebook page yesterday.
He said: ‘Much of our energy
demand in buildings relate to cooling due to our tropical climate. It is
fitting that we should see such a tangible demonstration of innovation in a
place of learning.’
By Esther Ng in Today
SINGAPORE – Setting cooling pipes
at 45-degree angles instead of conventional right angles. Using fresh air and
ceiling fans to cool the classrooms. Installing pipes before the walls were
These were among the measures
taken by the United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) to make its new
Tampines campus “green”.
“We had a S$6 million Green
Mark budget, but we didn’t have to touch it,” said UWCSEA director of
operations and facilities Simon Thomas.
Such green features helped the
UWCSEA’s Tampines campus to clinch the Building and Construction Authority’s
(BCA) Green Mark Platinum award in September.
The BCA Green Mark is a
green-building rating system that evaluates a building for its environmental
impact and performance.
The UWCSEA yesterday shared its
experience in developing a green campus with members of the National Climate
Change Secretariat’s (NCCS) focus group on building efficiency.
The campus also has
air-conditioning chillers which are two times more efficient than typical
commercial chillers, leading to savings of S$70,000 a month in its electricity
bill, Mr Thomas said.
The monthly bill is the same as
that of the UWCSEA’s Dover Road campus, which is around S$140,000, but the
Tampines campus is bigger, at 76,000 sq m, compared to Dover Road’s 50,000 sq
Other green features at the
Tampines campus include having fresh air, channelled through the air-handling
unit, blowing onto a cooled coil before making its way into the classrooms.
Two 15-watt ceiling fans spin the
cooled air in the classrooms, some of which overflows into the corridor,
thereby reducing the need for air-conditioning and the use of ducts in the
International Recognition for BCA
Singapore and its Green Building Masterplan
Singapore, 6 December 2011 – The
Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has been conferred the inaugural
Regional Leadership Award, one of the six World Green Building Council Government
Leadership Awards, for its exceptional Green Building Masterplan and efforts in
steering the construction industry towards sustainable development in
Singapore, and leadership in the green building movement in Asia Pacific.
The annual World Green Building
Council Government Leadership Awards highlights world-leading government
policies that maximise the opportunity of buildings to mitigate carbon
emissions in the environment. WorldGBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Henley
said, “The WorldGBC’s ‘Regional Leadership Award’ recognises the
outstanding vision and commitment of Singapore’s Building and Construction
Authority. We congratulate the Singapore Government for developing a Masterplan
that sets minimum environmental standards for building codes, provides
incentives for the private sector and promotes research, development and
capacity building. Singapore’s achievements clearly demonstrate that green
building is not only achievable, but also affordable and practical.”
The Singapore Green Building
Council, one of the 80 over Green Building Councils from around the world,
nominated BCA for this award. Mr Tai Lee Siang, President, Singapore Green
Building Council commented that this is a recognition for the significant
efforts by BCA in showing the industry the way forward by not just
understanding the private sector conditions but also taking on the leadership
role to get the public sector to go green.
BCA’s flagship Green Mark scheme
was launched in 2005, setting minimum standards for buildings on environmental
factors such as energy efficiency, environmental impacts, waste management and
water efficiency. It is the first green building rating system developed to
suit the tropical climate. However, in its first year, only 17 buildings made
the cut for the certification. To accelerate the growth of green buildings, BCA
formulated a Green Building Masterplan that sets out specific initiatives to
achieve the national target of greening at least 80% of the buildings in
Singapore by 2030. Its current focus is on greening existing buildings.
To-date, there are more than 940 green building projects, translating to a
gross floor area of about 28 million m2 or 300 million ft2, or 12% of the nation’s
total gross floor area.
Having led the construction
industry forward in developing green buildings in Singapore, BCA has began to
share Singapore’s green building expertise in the region by exporting its Green
Mark scheme and profiling its construction industry’s expertise
Dr John Keung, Chief Executive Officer
of BCA, the leader behind the BCA Green Building Masterplan, was honoured and
delighted by the new award. He said, “While BCA is championing the green
building movement, this would not have been possible without the strong support
from the Singapore Green Building Council, and all stakeholders in the building
and construction industry for their unceasing support of the BCA Green Mark
Scheme to propel Singapore towards environmental sustainability.
“I would also like to thank
the World Green Building Council and look forward to closer collaboration in
events and projects such as the Singapore Green Building Week, International
Green Building Conference and the BCA Centre of Sustainable Buildings, in
igniting and sustaining the green building movement in our region”, he
Lately, Singapore’s greening
efforts and policies are gaining international recognition. In 2010, BCA became
the first government agency outside North America to be conferred the
prestigious Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Award (Government) for its
comprehensive policies and programmes in steering the industry towards the
development of green buildings and sustainable construction in Singapore.
Earlier this year in 2011, in a study conducted by a private consultancy firm
on Asia-Pacific cities, Singapore was also ranked first in green building
policies, before advanced cities like Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul. The United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has also chosen BCA to form a
collaborating centre, which will be the first in Asia and one of the few
centres in the world to collaborate with UNEP to drive greater adoption of