Speech by BCA CEO Dr. John Keung at the launch of the BCA Green Building Exhibition at Funan Digitalife Mall

Friday, 13 September 2013

Mr Lawrence Wong
Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & 
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and gentlemen 

A very good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today for the opening of the Building and Construction Authority's Green Building Roving Exhibition.

Overview of Singapore's Green Building Journey
Singapore has come a long way in its green building journey. When BCA's first Green Building Masterplan was launched, it began with just 17 green building projects in the first year. Today, the number of Green Mark certified building projects has increased by nearly a hundred-fold to 1,650. This is because we have constantly recalibrated our flagship Green Mark scheme, a keystone of the Masterplan, to encourage more building owners to come onboard.

From an initial focus on the hardware of buildings, we have moved on to heartware. This is because it is the people who live, work and play in the built environment that will drive the demand for green buildings and businesses. With this in mind, we focused on creating user-centric Green Mark schemes.

I am pleased to share with you that one of our user-centric schemes, the Green Mark for Office Interior, has seen an exponential increase in take-up rate in the last few years. The scheme was introduced to help promote the use of environmentally-friendly features and sustainable practices in offices. To date, 63 offices have been greened.

Launch of Dummies Guide
To encourage more offices to come onboard, we have worked together with renowned book publisher John Wiley to produce a special edition, 40-page booklet on the assessment criteria, certification process and useful case studies. Today, I am pleased to launch the BCA Green Mark for Office Interiors for Dummies.

This is the first time that we are working with Wiley to develop such a guide book, and we intend to use this as a pilot test to gauge the demand for a series of similar guidebooks on our other user-centric Green Mark Schemes in the future.

The launch of the BCA Green Mark for Office Interiors for Dummies is one of many initiatives we have to engage the People, the Private and the Public (3Ps) sectors. However, it is important that we also reach out to the young to educate them about green buildings as they will be our future leaders. Besides the general public, BCA has tapped on competitions and outreach programmes to stimulate interest in green buildings among youths.

One such green building outreach initiative by BCA is the "Green Shots" photography competition, first held in 2011.

"Green Shots" photography competition
This year, BCA teamed up once more with its official partner, the Photographic Society of Singapore, to organise this competition for the second time. Through photography, BCA aims to stimulate public interest on the aesthetics of green buildings and appreciate sustainability in the built environment.

This year's theme is "Happiness in a Green Built Environment", as we wanted to get photographers to showcase how we, as users of buildings, derive enjoyment and happiness from living, working, playing and learning in green buildings and districts.

Photography enthusiasts were encouraged to venture out and explore the many Green Mark buildings and environments in Singapore and discover "happiness in a green built environment" through their cameras. Leveraging on the increased interest in photography among youths, BCA introduced a new category this year for young budding photographers aged 16-21.

There were a total of about 2,000 submissions for the competition, and it was a challenge to shortlist only 16 for the top three awards for the Open and Youth categories and 10 merit prizes. I am proud to announce the unveiling of the winning photographs today. These winning entries will be featured in this Green Building Exhibition from 13 to 15 September, and I encourage you to take the opportunity to check out these stunning photographs. The photos could also be viewed on the competition website.

I would also like to thank the participants who took the time and effort to submit an entry for this competition. Your creativity and imagination are to be applauded, and I hope each and every one of you will continue to support our green building movement. 

Before I conclude, I would like to acknowledge the kind sponsorship from the companies, 3M and HiiGa, for BCA's Green Building Exhibitions. I would also like to thank our official partner for the "Green Shots" photography competition, the Photographic Society of Singapore, as well as our guest judge from Ngee Ann Polytechnic School of Film and Media Studies. Lastly, let me thank Minister Lawrence Wong for gracing this important public engagement event to drive home the importance of a sustainable built environment for the present and our future generations.

I urge you to join us too on this green journey to develop a sustainable built environment. Please take the opportunity to tour the exhibits and I hope we can all start adopting these green tips in our daily lives. Thank you.

Media release: New For Dummies® guidebook provides help to offices keen to go green

Portable document format version of the speech is also available (25KB .pdf).

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