User behaviour key to greening buildings (The Straits Times Forum)

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

We refer to Dr Snigdha Sharma�s letter "Step up efforts for more green buildings" (8 August 2018).

Singapore has made good progress in the development of green buildings over the past decade. We agree with Dr Snigdha Sharma that a key success factor in this green building journey is to have corresponding change in the users� behaviour and consumption patterns.

People are at the heart of buildings becoming greener, and they are a key consideration when BCA formulated the Green Building Masterplans (1.7MB .pdf) and Green Mark schemes, which emphasise user engagement and well-being.

Over the years, BCA has actively engaged building professionals, building owners, tenants and students to raise awareness on green buildings.

One of our key engagements with industry professionals is at the annual Singapore Green Building Week (SGBW), which will be held in September this year. The Week comprises various technical workshops, site visits and the flagship International Green Building Conference, which will deep-dive into various aspects of green buildings, including green financing and investment, net zero design, low carbon construction, smart facilities management, health and well-being and behavioural change, supported by local and international case studies.

BCA also has in place incentive and financing schemes to encourage more building owners and tenants to green their premises. We collaborate with industry associations on engagement programmes. One example is the close partnership with the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) on a "Behavioural Change Pilot Programme" to help companies engage their staff and tenants to adopt green practices at their workplaces. Office users can do their part by supporting the green initiatives within their organisations.

To interest our youth, BCA has worked with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the industry on a "Back to School" Programme where we mentor IHL-level student interns to assist their alma maters in going green. To date, more than 70 schools have come on board the programme.

Indeed, the benefits of green buildings are aplenty. They not only provide healthier indoor environments for their users, they also have a positive impact on market value and operational efficiency. A joint study by BCA and NUS (194KB .pdf) in collaboration with top valuation firms, found that green buildings can potentially have a 2% increase in capital value.

We urge more persons like Dr Snighda Sharma to join us in raising awareness of green buildings in this Year of Climate Action (https://www.mewr.gov.sg/climateaction).

Ang Kian Seng
Group Director, Environmental Sustainability
Building and Construction Authority

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