Green buildings make business sense

Muneerah 30 Sep 2014

Green buildings make business sense

Incorporating environmental sustainability into a building’s design and operation makes business sense, according to Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, as utility bills make up a large portion of a building’s operational expenditure.

Delivering the keynote address at the 15th KPMG Global Real Estate and Construction Conference on 29 September, Dr Balakrishnan said, “Quite frankly, sometimes there is a mismatch between the interests of the developer, who wants to put up the building as quickly, as efficiently, and as cheaply as possible; versus the interests of the tenants and the users who want to have a cost-effective, energy-efficient building for the long term.”

The most cost-effective way to design and develop an energy-efficient building is to do it from the start, and not to retrofit the building later, he added. Hence, there is a role for governments to impose standards, and to try to align the interests of the developers and building users.

For example, Singapore has set a target to green 80 percent of its building stock by 2030. “Currently, only a quarter of all buildings have reached the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)’s Green Mark Scheme, but we are going to continue to push. Because once a building is put up, it locks in consumption patterns for decades. We cannot afford to go slow on this,” Dr Balakrishnan added.

The government also wants to encourage building owners to become stewards of public spaces around the buildings to increase walkability and activity levels.

Image (by Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources): CleanTech Park is the first eco-business park in Singapore.


Muneerah Bee, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email


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