Innovative technology and design are essential in Singapore, as the property industry works to adopt green building practices, which are largely driven by the robust regulatory framework.

Singapore’s position as one of Asia’s green building leaders, and the integration of green designs and technologies by both the public and private sectors, is mainly attributed to the government’s implementation of a robust regulatory framework and strong market incentives, according to industry analysts.

“The green movement is likely to grow stronger because of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as legislative pressure,” said Tan Yew Chin, Executive Vice-President for property services at Ascendas.

“Strong government initiatives and incentives provide developers a platform on which to pursue and develop green solutions for buildings,” added Kevin Wong, Chief Executive at Keppel Land.

Mr. Wong also noted that the Singapore government takes a dynamic role in initiating academic research and development of green technologies, as well as promoting and facilitating responsible sustainable development.

The launch of the successful Green Mark rating system in 2005 was followed by the first Green Building Masterplan in 2006, which requires all new and major renovation projects for public buildings to be Green Mark certified.

The legislature has also developed a framework that ensures green building opportunities are not missed by private developments. As of 2008, all projects of more than 2,000 sq m (new buildings and major refurbishments of existing buildings) must by law conform to the minimum standards of Green Mark.

In order to achieve the Green Mark certification, most developers are now incorporating greener features in new buildings.

Common practices include optimised orientation of a building to reduce solar heat gains, with lesser direct West-facing facades and architectural designs that maximise day-lighting.

Some projects feature extensive photovoltaic panels, while others use more eco-friendly materials like “green concrete”, which consists of recycled concrete aggregates, copper slag and ground-granulated blast furnace slag.

“Singapore impresses not just by the pace of green building adoption, or the sheer numbers of green buildings it now boasts, but also by the industry-leading technologies and practices being employed in the market,” according to a CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) report.