Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Not An Easy Route To Green Buildings

26 March 2007

Wong Siew Ying

A PROPOSED law on green buildings would see minimum standards being set
for future developments - yet even with the savings these eco-friendly
buildings could bring, not everyone is ready to go green.

Industry watchers point out that the construction sector would need to use
less labour-intensive materials. Architects would have to look beyond
aesthetics and functionality. Material suppliers and developers would have
to be more innovative.

Said Mr Tai Lee Siang, president of the Singapore Institute of Architects:
"We have to start looking at alternative (or) recyclable materials and
materials that help us to cut energy usage. Developers can start by
looking at how to re-package their buildings and make green features

While it is estimated that adopting green features could raise
construction costs by 5 to 10 per cent, energy savings could amount to 15
per cent over 20 years.

And being green would be good for Singapore in other ways as well. Said Mr
Nicholas Mak, Knight Frank's property analyst: "The introduction of more
green features in our buildings may actually increase our competitiveness
vis-a-vis our neighbours."

Pollution in Hong Kong saw the city drop drastically in last year's
rankings of the most attractive locations for expatriates, with some
relocating to cleaner Singapore.

Industry players also felt there was a need for more incentives to
encourage owners to add green features to their buildings - for example,
better insulation and a more energy efficient air-conditioning system.

Greening efforts should also extend to residential projects as Singapore
has one of the highest heat emissions due to air conditioning, said Mr
Tai. Improving ventilation and building facades would reduce the need for
air conditioning. - Channel NewsAsia

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