Go for gold by going green

Go for gold by going green

Even parks can do more …

 

Sheralyn Tay

sheralyn@mediacorp.com.sg

 

A GREEN Mark for a park?

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While it may seem strange for a park to win a green prize, apparently, parks — green as they are — could be greener still. For example, they can use rainwater for irrigation, energy efficient lights or environmentally friendly fertilisers, which all go towards ensuring a park that is not just green, but environmentally-sustainable.

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Last night, three parks — the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Fort Canning Park and Chinese Garden — were presented with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and National Parks Board’s inaugural Green Mark for Parks award. This extension of the Green Mark award comes as further enhancements are made to the three-year-old incentive scheme for environmentally-friendly buildings.

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Speaking at the annual BCA Awards last night, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, said the scheme would now recognise the role of architects and engineers and the critical role they play in the drawing board and building stages.

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Mr Mah said: “With the green building movement in Singapore gathering momentum, it is timely for us to enhance the scheme, as well as apply the Green Mark concept to the wider physical environment.”

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Smaller buildings — with a gross floor area (GFA) of 2,000 square meters and onwards — will also now be eligible for the scheme.

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The pick up of Green Mark has gone from just 17 projects awarded in each of the first two years, to 100 last year. According to the BCA, more than 200 are already being assessed this year.

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And it’s no wonder. According to a BCA study, the cost of meeting Green Mark requirements is only a small portion of development costs, but the returns are significant.

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A basic Green Mark rating adds 0.3 to 1 per cent to costs, but the return-on-investment (ROI) is two to five years. And though a platinum rating costs the most at 2 to 8 per cent with an ROI of two to eight years, the higher the rating, the higher the energy savings, which can range from 15 to 35 per cent.

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Some 19,000 green homes now enjoy $1,000 worth of utility savings for each household each year thanks to green features.

 

Source: Today Newspaper

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