Singapore acknowledged as green building leader

Singapore, a city state with a population of just over 5 million people, consists of a fairly typical urban Asian mix of new and old buildings. What is not so typical is its leadership in green construction and green renovation, especially in the institutional and commercial sectors. The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore recently won the International award for energy efficiency from the US-based alliance to Save Energy for its commitment to achieve a national target of greening at least 80% of the buildings in Singapore by 2030. From no green buildings in 2004 Singapore has achieved green standards for 21.9% of its buildings by 2014. As those knowing about Singapore’s strict regulatory frameworks might expect, the green building targets are being achieved through a combination of voluntary industry action and regulations.

Green buildings implemented so far cover many uses in the commercial and institutional sector. Two examples:

A new 204,000 square feet shopping mall described as ‘ultra-hip’, J-Cube, lists the following green attributes:

  • Air-conditioning system with an efficiency of 0.66 kW/ton
  • Permanent measurement and verification instrumentation for the monitoring of chilled-water plant efficiency
  • Use of energy efficient lighting
  • Photovoltaic panels on rooftop with system capacity of about 50 kWp (Kilowatt peak – the output power achieved under full solar radiation)
  • Rainwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation
  • Recycling of waste heat and air handling unit condensates
  • Green demolition
  • Green leases for tenants

The green features produce estimated energy savings of 8,793,984 kWh/year and estimated water savings of 3,419 m3/year.

A new Pan Pacific ParkRoyal hotel in Singapore has implemented:

  • High efficiency air-conditioning system
  • Extensive/vertical greenery
  • Sky gardens and lush landscaping, including solar-powered features that power landscape lighting, constituting more than 200 percent of the total land area
  • Rainwater harvesting and use of NEWater (reclaimed water from sewage produced by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board).
  • Extensive use of natural light
  • Use of natural ventilation in spaces such as external hotel corridors
  • Use of energy efficient LED and T5 type fluorescent lamps
  • Renewable energy
  • Dual refuse chutes separating recyclable from non-recyclable waste
  • Water efficient fittings
  • Automatic sensors to regulate energy and water usage
  • Green Leases for both office tenants and hotel operators


These have achieved estimated energy savings of 3,117,212 kWh/year and estimated water savings of 6,900 m3/year.

Lots of information on Singapore’s green building initiatives, including policies, manuals, and building achievements, can be found on the website of the Building and construction Authority at

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