BCA announces roadmap to healthier and greener buildings for Singapore

To enhance the indoor environment quality of buildings and ensure healthier atmosphere, Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore has announced several initiatives today with the review of its third Green Building Masterplan.

These initiatives, which will be rolled out in phases, were announced at the opening of the Singapore Green Building Week today.

BCA announces roadmap to healthier and greener buildings for Singapore
BCA reviews third Green Building Masterplan for enhancing better indoor environment quality of buildings. Photo courtesy: nccs.gov.sg

One of the initiatives announced said that BCA will conduct a one-year pilot under a new set of criteria for the Green Mark for Existing Non-Residential Buildings certification, which was last revised in 2012. The new measurements will include greater requirements for building owners to improve their indoor air quality, as well as adopt "smart" control systems to operate their buildings.

For example, building owners will be encouraged to use high-efficiency filters in air distribution systems and sensors to monitor indoor air pollutants.

Study proves that BCA Green Mark buildings provide healthier indoor environment

BCA Green Mark buildings provide a healthier indoor environment for its occupants and they are also more satisfied with their indoor environment and were less likely to experience sick building syndrome symptoms. This has been revealed in a research study conducted by BCA and the National University of Singapore (NUS). 

BCA also made the announcement that it is exploring possibilities with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to develop a new Green Mark scheme to encourage good designs such as the provision of energy-efficient lighting and office equipment (the hardware) as well as the development of workplace health-related programmes (the software) to encourage healthy practices amongst office occupants.

BCA to develop a new Green Mark scheme to encourage good designs.
BCA to develop a new Green Mark scheme to encourage good designs. Photo courtesy: gov.sg

The new scheme aims to get companies to consider the health and well-being of their occupants when designing both interior fit-outs and provisions of the offices, as well as the workplace health programmes and policies for the workers.

BCA Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Lim, said, “BCA continues to work with stakeholders to green our built environment. In addition to our focus on energy and resource efficiency, it is timely for us to consider how good design in green buildings can impact occupants’ health and sense of well-being. Making such benefits clear to building users will better engage them as champions of change in promoting green practices at homes, offices and schools. This will strengthen the impetus for developers and building owners to create greener and healthier spaces for the end-user.”

BCA will also disclose the energy performance date of commercial buildings whose owners have voluntarily agreed to publicly disclose their building’s data. This will cover about three-quarters of all commercial buildings in Singapore and is a follow on from last year’s round of anonymised disclosure. Such data disclosure aims to encourage building owners and facilities managers to consciously adopt cost-effective measures for their buildings and also with their tenants, to reduce the energy footprint of their buildings.

BCA to train 25,000 green building professionals by 2025

To meet the increasing demand for green buildings, BCA has revised its target to train 25,000 green building professionals by 2025 (from the previous target of 20,000 by 2020). To date, about 16,000 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) have been trained by the Institutes of Higher Learning, BCA Academy and the industry.

BCA will train 25,000 green building professionals by 2025.
BCA will train 25,000 green building professionals by 2025. Photo courtesy: hdb.gov

Some of the professions BCA is looking at are: architects that can design energy-efficient buildings; M&E engineers that know how to design devices that save energy; facilities managers that can operate a green building; researchers and developers with know-how on ‘smart’ technologies.

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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