Singapore has organised a new council to accelerate the country’s development of ‘green’ buildings.

The Singapore Green Building Council is designed to enhance cooperation between public and private sectors in Singapore and drive the construction and building industries towards environmental sustainability.

The start-up fund of the new council came from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), but this has been raised over 10 times because of its members and sponsors from the private sector. There are 141 founding members in the council, that includes Keppel Land, CapitaLand and ‘diamond’ sponsors City Developments.

The council aims to promote green technologies and practices, as well as green building designs, said President Lee Chuan Seng.

Defined targets under the Singapore Sustainable Blueprint call for 80 percent of all Singapore buildings to have at least the basic Green Mark Certification by 2030. This effort is expected to lessen consumed energy intensity by over 30 percent.

After the industrial sector, buildings in Singapore are the second largest consumers of electricity.

“The ‘greening’ of buildings will require concerted effort,” Minister for Defence and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday. Mr. Teo made the announcement of the creation of Singapore Green Building Council during the launching of a green building exhibition and conference.

The government, together with building owners, will work hand in hand to raise awareness on the efficient use of energy, and reduce their electricity bills.

The new council will help co-ordinate and lead the efforts of the industry, in coordination with the government, to speed up the development of green buildings and improve energy efficiency within the built-in environment in Singapore.

In the meantime, the council plans to organise a system for certification in the next six to twelve months.

“One of the things that hold back the development of green buildings in Singapore is that we don’t have certification; we have some green labelling system for products but it is not comprehensive,” Mr Lee said. “So what we are trying to do now is start up some product directory. That will then move into certification.”