Minimum energy performance requirements to be raised for new, some existing buildings

AS Singapore enhances sustainability standards for green buildings under the refreshed Singapore Green Building Masterplan, the minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and existing ones which undergo major retrofitting will be raised.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will raise the minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and for existing buildings which undergo major retrofitting to 50 per cent and 40 per cent more energy efficient respectively (vis-a-vis 2005 levels), up from 30 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. This is comparable to the existing Green Mark Platinum standards.

The Green Mark Scheme will also be updated.

Speaking at the Committee of Supply debate on Thursday, Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development (MND) Tan Kiat How said: "The revised scheme will raise energy performance standards and place greater emphasis on other aspects of sustainability such as health and well-being, and how the buildings are designed for maintainability."

The new standards will be trialed from Q2. And as Singapore steps up efforts to "green" 80 per cent of its buildings by 2030, it will publish the energy performance data of all buildings, starting with commercial buildings from H2 2021.

Meanwhile, to speed up the adoption of technologies such as Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), the BCA will raise the minimum buildable design scores (B-scores) for all industrial, commercial and institutional building projects with a gross floor area (GFA) of at least 25,000 square metres from April 2022.

Under the Buildability framework, projects with a GFA of at least 5,000 sq m are required to meet minimum B-scores by adopting labour-efficient designs and technologies.

Eventually, around 80 per cent of the GFA of projects submitted for approval will be subject to the higher minimum B-score. Mr Tan added: "This move will help us achieve our target of 70 per cent DfMA adoption by 2025."

In his speech, Mr Tan also said that the MND is working together with the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Health to progressively increase the number of incoming foreign workers to tackle the ongoing labour shortage in the construction industry.

In addition, it is working with the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) to facilitate a change of employer for construction workers whose contracts have expired or were terminated, through the SCAL Manpower Exchange (SCMX).

And to help firms such as small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), the Construction Productivity and Capability Fund (CPCF) will be extended for another year until March 2022. The enhanced co-funding support of 80 per cent under the Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) scheme will also be continued.

The CPCF fund provides support for firms to adopt productive technologies and develop their workforce, while the PIP scheme helps defray the costs of adopting technologies such as DfMA.