Six bids logged for green building project

Six bids logged for green building project

But contractors sound caution with requests for longer warranty period

 

SINGAPORE’S first zero energy building (ZEB) project has attracted six bids for the main tender and interviews with four ‘serious’ bidders will start next week, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said yesterday.

 

The tender to convert the BCA Academy into a net zero energy building has drawn bids ranging from $10.4 million to $11.8 million.

 

The six companies that tendered are: ACP Construction, Dokota, Logistics Construction, Lexon Furniture & Construction, Shanghai Chong Kee Furniture & Construction and Stallion Development. All six are mid-size unlisted companies. ‘We have six that came in. There are four serious ones that we are going to proceed with tender interviews next week,’ Ang Kian Seng, deputy director of technology and innovation development at BCA, said on the sidelines of a ZEB seminar.

 

Of the four short-listed firms, three are Singaporean while one is a Chinese company, he said.

 

BCA closed the construction tender on June 6. It has already awarded the building’s solar energy tender to Singapore firm Grenzone for $1.7 million.

 

In a sign of caution, some suppliers and contractors for renewable energy projects are ‘over-specifying’ with requests for warranties as long as 20 years, said Lee Siew Eang, who heads the research centre set up by BCA and the National University of Singapore. This is double the usual warranty period for specialised building projects and could raise costs as much as 40 per cent, said Eugene Seah, executive director of Davis Langdon & Seah.

 

‘There is a benchmark in the industry and the maximum is usually 10 years,’ he said.

 

Companies are seeking 20-year guarantees because while solar panels tend to last for that long in temperate regions, they could be damaged faster by Singapore’s tropical weather.

 

‘When (the panels) are exposed to the afternoon sun, it can be over 50 degrees. With rain and thunderstorms, you can go down to 28 degrees, so there is expansion and contraction. That element of uncertainty is still there,’ said Prof Lee.

 

Singapore lags regional neighbours such as Malaysia, Japan and Thailand, which are also constructing ZEBs.

 

The ZEB project was launched in November last year. By 2009, the BCA Academy will be fitted with solar panels to generate electricity that is transferred into a normal power grid.

 

The amount of energy produced will match the amount of power consumed in the building.

 

ZEB, which will cost about 10 per cent more than a conventional building, will become a test centre for other green building technology, such as energy- efficient lamps and fan-ventilation systems.

 

The target is to run the building on 70 per cent less energy than a conventional building. ZEB is expected to run on 86 kilowatts per hour (kwh) per sq metre, compared with 230 kwh per sq metre for standard buildings.

 

Source: Straits Times

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