Sustainability targets for built environment sector under newest Green Building Masterplan

Sustainability targets for built environment sector under newest Green Building Masterplan

Amid a nationwide push for sustainability, more ambitious targets to green the built environment sector have been set under the latest edition of the Singapore Green Building Masterplan (SGBMP). The fourth edition of the SGBMP comes as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which charts Singapore’s green targets over the next decade. Isabelle Lim reports. 

SINGAPORE: Amid a nationwide push for sustainability, more ambitious targets to green the built environment sector have been set under the latest edition of the Singapore Green Building Masterplan (SGBMP).

The fourth edition of the SGBMP comes as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which charts Singapore’s green targets over the next decade.

During a joint segment on sustainability on Thursday (Mar 4), National Development Minister Desmond Lee said in Parliament that buildings account for more than 20 per cent of Singapore’s emissions.

“We need to push hard to make our city more sustainable. To achieve this, we will use cleaner energy and increase our energy efficiency,” he said.

In line with this push, the masterplan, dubbed “80-80-80 in 2030”, was developed by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Singapore Green Building Council, along with industry stakeholders.

“The SGBMP captures our collective commitment to pursue more ambitious sustainability standards in our Built Environment,” said Mr Lee.

TARGET 1: GREEN 80% OF BUILDINGS BY 2030

An existing goal is to green 80 per cent of buildings by gross floor area (GFA) by 2030.

This ensures that “the majority of buildings that we use in our everyday lives will be sustainable and energy efficient,” Mr Lee said.

As of December last year, the figure stood at more than 43 per cent, which marks “good progress” - but more can be done, he said.

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TARGET 2: 80% OF NEW BUILDINGS TO BE SUPER LOW ENERGY

Beyond this, more building owners should be pushed to pursue “best-in-class standards”, and become Super Low Energy (SLE) buildings, said Mr Lee.

These buildings, which achieve at least a 60 per cent improvement in energy efficiency compared to 2005 levels, represent “the next wave” of the green building movement.

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“They are the key to our transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon built environment,” he said.

That is why the masterplan’s second target is for 80 per cent of new buildings to be SLE ones from 2030.

Mr Lee added that the Government will “take the lead”, without providing more details.

“In so doing, we will build industry capability to develop SLE buildings and provide more use cases for the private sector to take reference from.”

TARGET 3: 80% IMPROVEMENT IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The third target is for best-in-class green buildings to see an 80 per cent improvement in energy efficiency, compared to 2005 levels, by 2030.

This is an increase from the improvement of at least 60 per cent that they can currently achieve.

“We will ramp up research and innovation efforts to push the boundaries of energy efficiency, and accelerate deployment of cost-effective green technologies,” said Mr Lee.

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In particular, this will be done through the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC), a research, development and demonstration platform for energy-efficient technologies set up in 2014.

“We are seeing how we can further enhance funding support for GBIC to help us achieve this third target,” he said.

In his speech, Mr Lee also outlined other plans to make Singapore’s urban environment more sustainable, such as greening HDB towns and investing in R&D.

In line with the country’s vision to become a “City in Nature”, Mr Lee also detailed efforts to continue weaving nature into Singapore’s urban fabric, on top of protecting ecologically important areas.

These moves all have one thing in common: They require "all hands on deck", he said.

“Sustainability is a marathon which we cannot run alone. We must be in it for the long haul – to be responsible stewards not just for our children, but their children after them.”

Source: CNA/cl

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