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BCA working with developers on 'super low energy' buildings with launch of new green rating

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Keppel Bay Tower is a Green Mark Platinum building, but property developer Keppel Land is working with the Building and Construction Authority to turn it into a super low energy building.

THE Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is working with industry professionals, including property developers, to build super low energy commercial buildings that will qualify for a new green rating, said its chief executive Hugh Lim.

Launched on Wednesday, the Green Mark for Super Low Energy is for non-residential buildings that are at least 60 per cent more energy efficient compared to the 2005 building codes. Previously, the highest class under the Green Mark – BCA’s benchmarking scheme – was the Green Mark Platinum, awarded to buildings that save at least half of the energy listed in the codes.

Under the new rating, office buildings cannot use more than 100 kilowatt hour per square metre a year.

More than 10 organisations, including Defence Science and Technology Agency, Singapore Management University and City Developments, have pledged to achieve at least one super low energy project in the next five years, a BCA spokesman said.

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The BCA is now working with property developer Keppel Land to convert Keppel Bay Tower, a Green Mark Platinum building, into a super low energy building.

In 2017, Keppel Land was awarded S$1.28 million from BCA’s Green Buildings Innovation Cluster to conduct a pilot on super low energy technologies at its building in Harbourfront.

A smart lighting system, high-efficiency air distribution system and a cooling tower water management system, among other technologies, will be tested in different parts of the 18-storey building later this month (Sept).

If successful, its annual energy consumption is expected to go down by 20 per cent, from 145 kilowatt hour per sq m a year to 115 kilowatt hour per sq m a year, said the company’s spokesman on Wednesday. This will help the company save S$250,000 a year.

It also translates to an estimated overall annual energy savings of about 1.5 million kilowatt hour, equivalent to the energy required to power more than 250 five-room Housing Board flats for one year.

It will also mean annual savings of about 7,000 cubic m of water, enough to fill three Olympic-size swimming pools.

When applied to the entire building, annual energy consumption is estimated to fall to 92 kilowatt hour per sq m, the spokesman added. The pilot is expected to be completed by July 2020.

Mr Lim said the BCA is also doing more rigorous research and innovation to further push the frontier for green buildings. “By setting such new performance benchmarks, Singapore can play an important role in mitigating climate change,” he said.

THE STRAITS TIMES