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Channel NewsAsia, 11 Jan 05
New 'green' award launched for environment-friendly buildings
By Chua Chin Chye
SINGAPORE : The Government has launched a Green Mark scheme to encourage developers and building owners to come up with environment-friendly buildings. Speaking at a construction industry seminar on Tuesday, Minister of State for Defence and National Development, Cedric Foo, says the move will boost the construction industry, and give it a competitive edge in its overseas drive.
It is a all about quality of life, and better use of resources. Green buildings are designed such that they enjoy lower running costs - be it for water, energy or materials consumption. And with better aesthetics, they also provide a more pleasant working and living environment.
Under the Green Mark scheme announced on Tuesday, both existing and new buildings can apply for certification. They will be assessed for design, construction and operation - based on five key criteria. And there will be four different levels of rating : Platinum Star, Platinum, Gold and Silver.
Mr Foo said, "We have decided that the green mark scheme should be voluntary...because I think the developers and owners of buildings will see it commercially beneficial for themselves, to adopt the scheme. "If our contractors, our consultants and developers can adopt these practices, they will find significant competitive edge when they venture overseas." Industry players have welcomed the new scheme.
Willie Shee, Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis, said, "By achieving this status and recognition, they will have a better competitive edge to compete overseas. The whole recognition scheme will provide a win-win situation for all. "For the building owners, the lower running costs will lead to better higher property values, as well as rental values. For tenants, they will enjoy a better and healthier working environment. For the community as a whole, they will get eco-friendly landscape."
Chia Ngiang Hong, First VP, Real Estate Developers Association/Group GM, City Developments, "In fact, many developers already started some kind of a green movement, in the projects. For example, recycling, water conservation and green roof terraces. This scheme more or less formalises the certification process."
And officials are hoping that the Housing Development Board will also take part. Lee Ting Sung, Manager, Building and Construction Authority, said, "I understand that there is also interest from HDB on environmental impact of their projects. It's certainly an area we can work with them, to see how we can apply the Green Mark also for HDB projects."
Buildings that apply for the Green Mark will be assessed prior to the award, and re-assessed once every two years. The Building and Construction Authority will give out the first Green Mark awards in May this year. - CNA
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