Regional green building council needed in Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a need for a regional green building council (GBC) co-operative in Asia where countries can look at new technologies, research and development integration as well as benchmark and data collection, said Singapore GBC’s founding board member Lee Siew Eang.

Speaking on the second day of the Conference on Sustainable Buildings in South East Asia held in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, May 5, Lee said he has received similar interest from China for such a cooperative to be set up.

“Green ratings are very much policy driven, and each country needs one,” he told when asked if he thinks there are currently too many ratings available. Lee is also an associate professor at the department of building, school of design and environment of the National University of Singapore.

He says the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore is expected to introduce two new Green Mark schemes (Green Mark for Existing Residential Building and the Green Mark for the Mass Rapid Transit System) within the next 1½ years.

“It is not about taking small steps. The challenges, moving forward, are to get it right at the first go for new buildings and in ensuring excellence in retrofit for existing buildings. Basically, the later you join the bandwagon, the faster you will have to run,” he said.

Lee says Singapore does not have much choice when it comes to renewable energy and therefore, solar energy via photovoltaic (PV) technologies will be implemented in 30 public housing buildings to improve resource efficiency. Roof gardens will also be introduced. PV technologies would be used for projects such as City Square Mall, Ocean Financial Centre and Tampines Grande.

Lee said Singapore’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development has set a target for 80% of existing buildings to be green-certified by 2030. The Singapore government, he added, wants all government and public-sector buildings with about 107,639 sq ft of air-conditioned floor areas to achieve Green Mark Gold Plus standards.

Singapore’s GBC was formed in May 2009 and launched in October 2009. Lee said the Green Mark assessment under BCA was made compulsory in Singapore in 2008. Since its introduction in 2005, 465 buildings, equivalent to 185.14 million sq ft of space, have been certified.
Looking for properties to buy or rent? With >150,000 exclusive listings, including undervalued properties, from vetted Pro Agents, you can now easily find the right property on Malaysia's leading property portal EdgeProp! You can also get free past transacted data and use our proprietary Edge Reference Price tool, to make an informed purchase.