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BCA to give out record number of green awards to organisations

A record number of Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Awards will be given out this year to building owners and developers for environmentally-friendly practices.

SINGAPORE: A record number of awards will be given out this year to building owners and developers for environmentally-friendly practices.

According to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), two companies will receive the Green Mark Champion Award at the BCA Green Mark Awards next month.

A sloping roof garden has become an iconic feature of the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and it is not only about the aesthetics.

The garden also helps to bring down the surface temperature of the building, thereby reducing the need for air-conditioning.

There are also more than 100 sensors installed in the school. They are able to detect the intensity of sunlight as well as the movement of people, and the lights are then dimmed or brightened according to the conditions.

This has helped the university to save 10 per cent of its electricity bill each year.

Such features across the campus have helped NTU clinch the Green Mark Champion Award.

Freddy Boey, NTU’s Provost, said: "My vision is for the whole campus to become a test bed. I have many buildings coming up, and the architects are free to put in enhancements, features that maximise energy usage, minimise wastage. And if they get this right -- some of these technologies actually come from NTU, we're trying it out -- and if it works, we can export it overseas."

The top accolade is also being shared with property company Keppel Land this year.

One of its projects, the Ocean Financial Centre, boasts the world's largest vertical garden.

The 2,125-square-metre green wall is equivalent to the size of eight tennis courts. It comprises close to 57,000 pots of plants, which form the map of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world.

Due to the green wall's proximity to the car park, it helps to filter out emissions from vehicles. Solar panels have been installed on its roof to generate electricity for the building's energy needs.

The organisation recognises that adopting green initiatives has a positive impact on their eco-system.

Ang Wee Gee, Keppel Land’s chief executive officer, said: "For sustainability to work, we need to actively engage and involve all our stakeholders -- from our employees to contractors to homeowners and office tenants. Through our ongoing 'Go Green with Keppel Land' outreach efforts, we hope to influence and change mindsets, and ultimately, achieve sustainable outcomes for all our stakeholders."

More organisations are joining the effort to be environmentally-friendly.

This year, a record number of 225 Green Mark Awards are being given out.

Building projects are assessed on how well they incorporate environmentally-friendly and sustainable features.

Assessment criteria include energy and water efficiency as well as indoor environment quality.

But the BCA wants the green message to reach all users.

John Keung, BCA’s chief executive officer, said: "The users' energy consumption can sometimes take more than half of the consumption of the entire building. So even if the building is energy-efficient, but if the users are not, then you are not achieving the full potential of the green building. So our next target is to go big on users, to get them to commit and achieve the highest possible ratings for their operations."

To date, there are about 2,000 BCA Green Mark building projects in Singapore, translating to about 24 per cent of the total gross floor area.

BCA said that it is on track for the target to green at least 80 per cent of all buildings in Singapore by 2030.

The BCA Green Mark Awards will be given out in a ceremony on May 22. 

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