There are two ways of looking at the BCA Green Mark Scheme, which was launched back in January 2005. Both viewpoints are valid and much-needed additions to the residential building industry in Singapore. First of all, it is an initiative with which to encourage the industry to prioritise the environmental aspect of their projects. This should involve all parts of the industry, from designers and developers to the builders, and as a result should be embraced at every part of the process – from the initial conception, through to the design and eventually to the actual building of the project.
The second way of looking at the scheme is through the eyes of the end user, or the perspective buyer. It provides a credible system by which they can judge the “greenness” of their potential future home or investment. The awards use globally recognized benchmarks for best practice in both the design and performance of residential developments, and in doing so they shine a light on the work that forward thinking developers, designers and builders are doing, and in the benefits to home owners who buy and subsequently live in projects that have been awarded the green mark.
So what makes a development green? There are many different techniques that are adopted, but some good examples include:
• Use of passive design features. By clever orientation, buildings can make the most of the Singaporean winds, as well as protecting the homes from the worst of the sun.
• Maximising the use of natural daylight.
• Choosing appropriate building materials, as well as fixtures and fittings.
• Utilizing appliances, techniques and designs that reduce the need for energy and electricity.
• Adopting appliances and facilities that save water.
The benefits of building and living in a green home are tangible and various, and can largely be separated into four distinct categories, namely financial, health environmental and corporate.
Green homes make the most of natural lighting and ventilation, and coupled with their use of energy efficient appliances the end result is a very real reduction in their energy and water usage, and hence a similar reduction in the property’s utility bills.
At a baser level, the design of green homes often employs innovative use of raw materials and resources meaning that less are required, once again resulting in reduced costs.
Green homes and buildings are also designed to minimise the need for costly modifications and alterations throughout their lifetime. This means it saves money in the short to mid-term, and also makes for an attractive proposition for future owners and tenants.
Through their use of natural lighting and ventilation – both proven to have positive health benefits, green homes provide a healthier living environment.
They also reduce, or eliminate all together, the use of toxic chemicals, providing a healthier and happier home.
By their reduced reliance on natural resources, such as water, building materials as well as being more energy efficient, green homes have a far smaller carbon footprint, and a vastly reduced negative impact on the environment as a whole.
If a company is seen to be championing environmentally friendly initiatives and techniques, it can only be a good thing for their corporate image. It also opens up many more marketing and business opportunities. It has also been proved that a green building is more valuable in terms of its leasing and resale value.
New Launch Condos that have been awarded the Green Mark Award
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