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S$63m Green Mark incentive scheme to encourage building owners to green existing properties

S$63m Green Mark incentive scheme to encourage building owners to green existing properties

File image of buildings in Singapore. (Photo: Unsplash)

SINGAPORE: To help existing buildings become more energy-efficient, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will launch a new S$63 million incentive scheme that will help building owners lower the upfront costs of retrofits.

Under the Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings 2.0 (GMIS-EB 2.0), building owners can get grants based on the emission reductions to be achieved through retrofitting their developments, subject to certain caps.

Building projects that pursue higher standards of energy performance, such as Super Low Energy or Zero Energy, can also get higher rates of funding support.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (Mar 8), National Development Minister Desmond Lee noted that more than half of Singapore's buildings that are more than 20 years old have not been retrofitted, and they "lag behind" newer ones in energy performance.

The grant aims to help these building owners, given that retrofits have high upfront costs and investments may take several years to be recouped, said Mr Lee.

The move also comes after the revised Green Mark scheme was launched in September last year, setting out higher energy-efficiency standards and other sustainability outcomes.

SCHEME AVAILABLE FROM 2Q 2022

To improve energy efficiency, building owners will have the flexibility to choose design strategies and technologies, based on a list of approved works – which includes retrofits to cooling systems, as well as installing automation systems and sensors.

The scheme, available from the second quarter of this year, applies to privately owned commercial, residential or light industrial buildings with gross floor areas (GFA) exceeding 5,000 sq m.

The move also comes amid a broader push to green the built environment sector, based on new goals set out last year in a master plan – which included “80-80-80 in 2030” targets.

In particular, out of a goal to green 80 per cent of buildings by GFA by 2030, more than 49 per cent has been greened, said Mr Lee.

Another goal is to have 80 per cent of new developments by GFA be Super Low Energy buildings from 2030. BCA said that over the past year, close to 7 per cent of new buildings by GFA have been classified as such.

Requirements for public sector buildings have also been tightened in line with this, while similar requirements for developments on new Government Land Sale sites will take effect from the second quarter of this year.

The third goal is to have an 80 per cent improvement in energy efficiency (compared to 2005 levels) for best-in-class green buildings by 2030.

BCA said Singapore's best-in-class green buildings have achieved 65 to 70 per cent improvement in energy efficiency over 2005 levels.

To "further push the boundaries of energy efficiency", an extra S$45 million in funding will be set aside for the enhanced Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) 2.0 programme, said Mr Lee. 

INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY

Separately, Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How also said that the facility management sector must transform, especially amid "twin pressures of ageing buildings and rising manpower costs".

To that end, BCA is committing S$30 million to a new Integrated Facility Management (IFM) and Aggregated Facility Management (AFM) grant, which firms can start applying for in the third quarter of this year.

The move aims to raise the adoption of these technologies, which can help improve productivity by up to 20 per cent for facility management firms and service buyers, said BCA.

Other measures to push productivity include extending the Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) Incentive Scheme, which helps firms adopt Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) and Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) technologies.

This will be extended by another two years, to Mar 31, 2024.

Source: CNA/cl(gs)

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