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  • 10 Sep 2019

    Green Buildings (MRT)

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    Do you know what is a green building?

    A green building generally refers to a building that is resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout its life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. Increasingly, green buildings also take occupant health factors into consideration, focusing on ensuring that the indoor environment quality supports occupants’ comfort and wellbeing. In Singapore, green buildings are certiifed through the Green Mark Scheme, administered by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). SGBC certifies green building products and materials that play a complementary role to the national green building rating tool.

    Find out more about the BCA Green Mark Scheme here.

    Find out more about the Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) certification scheme:

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    What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?

    These occur during situations in which building occupants experience health and comfort symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, eye, nose and throat irritation etc that appear to be linked to time spent in the building and which lessen after leaving the building.

    How do Green Buildings benefit us?

    A majority of us spend more time inside buildings than we think: whether at home, at work, and in schools.  Green design attributes of buildings and indoor environments can improve work productivity and occupant health and well-being, resulting in bottom line benefits for businesses. For instance, reducing pollutant sources such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and having better ventilation rates to keep carbon dioxide levels similar to outdoor levels can help to reduce Sick Building Syndrome significantly, up to 70-85%. 

    Home Green Home

    Homes influence almost every aspect of our lives - from how well we sleep, to how comfortable and safe we feel, directly impacting our quality of life. Just like commercial green buildings, green homes use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities. However, the benefits of a green home do not stop here. In a BCA’s 2016 survey of 610 homeowners in Singapore, 90-93% of private and public home owners respectively agreed that living in a green building enables energy saving, hence lowering utility bills.  What is perhaps less associated with green homes is that many of these design features which bring positive environmental benefits also enhances health and wellbeing. The consideration of health and wellbeing is increasingly influencing consumers’ buying and decision-making processes today. A greener home begins with a plan. Check out the green renovation guide below and tips on how to adopt an eco-lifestyle!

    Find out more about creating Home Green Homes:

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    Green Renovation

    Renovation of your home provides many opportunities to make great sustainable choices right from the start. Homes last a long time, and many of your finishings and fixtures will have a lifespan of decades. From paints to flooring, from lighting to air-conditioning, today’s products and systems deliver better performance with less environmental impact than even a decade ago. 3 key areas to focus on are: 

    1. Increasing the energy and water efficiency of your home: reducing the amount of energy and water your home uses will cut the operating cost of your home, providing you with savings in your utility bills now and in the future. 

    • Upgrade or replace light fixtures and bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lights.
    • Choose windows with energy-saving features such as multiple glazing, low-e coating and insulating spacers. Block out excessive sunlight with curtains or blinds.
    • Look for top ratings on the Energy and Water Efficiency Label when selecting high-consumption equipment like air-conditioner, refrigerators, and water heaters. For example, using a 5-ticks air-conditioner will save $220 in electricity bills a year* as compared to using a 2-ticks model.

    2. Ensuring clean indoor air: a good indoor environment can greatly improve your comfort and health, preventing problems such as mold growth on interior fixtures and allergy issues related to dust and other pollutants. 

    • Ensure your home has adequate ventilation. Discuss with your interior designer on advice to maximise ventilation e.g. to have openings (whether doors or windows) that are situated directly opposite, include features such as ceiling fans and a kitchen exhaust fan.
    • Select low or no-VOC products and materials (e.g. paints, adhesives, carpets, built in cabinets, flooring etc) for your renovation that will not release harmful pollutants into the air at home.
    • Install an aircon filter that is designed to complement the existing filtering screen of your home air conditioners (instead of heavy duty HEPA air filters that are suited for more powerful commercial aircon systems).
    • Use house plants to absorb and filter chemicals from furniture, floor finishes, paints, detergents and household cleaners that linger inside homes. Examples of low maintenance indoor plants are ferns, snake plant, spider plant, philodendrons, bamboo palm and peace lily.
    • Get rid of possible moisture culprits to prevent mould and bacteria growth, e.g. let damp laundry and wet towels dry outside, wipe dishes thoroughly dry before putting away in the cabinets, and invest in a dehumidifier for humid spots at home.

    3. Choosing resource-smart materials and products: there are a lot of options in the market to choose from when selecting finishings and products for your home. When considering a material or product that claims to be “greener”, the manufacturer should provide clear information supporting their green claim. Where possible, select materials and products that are:

    • Reused from existing home interiors. Many homes have “hidden treasures” like high-quality hardwood that can be refinished, or framing lumber, baseboards or trim that can be reused.
    • Made from recycled waste. For instance, paper waste is used in insulation and fibreboard, recycled glass in glass fibre insulation and tiles, and plastics wastes are reused to make carpeting.
    • Obtained from easily renewable or well managed sources. Prime examples include flooring made from fast-growing bamboo or sustainably harvested wood.
    • Natural with less processing. For instance, materials like linoleum and stone can be used with less processing and addition of harmful additives.
    • Durable. Choose quality products that performs for a longer time. Each time an item is replaced, there are environmental costs related to the production of the new and the disposal of the old.
    • Locally produced. Pick comparable materials or products that are sourced from or manufactured locally to reduce energy-intensive transportation.
    • Look out for products and materials bearing the SGBP logo:
    • SGBP Combined

    Find out more about green renovation through this article in SG Green:

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    Living Green

    A greener, eco-friendly way of living complements and helps to maximise the potential of your green home. These habits can be cultivated at home and applied in schools and at workplaces as well.

    1. Save Energy 

    • Choose energy-efficient household appliances by looking out for more ticks on the Energy Label. Also choose models with a suitable capacity for your family’s needs, as larger models tend to consume more energy.
    • Switch off or unplug appliances such as your TV and laptops when not in use, as they continue to draw power even when turned off.
    • Reduce the use of air-conditioning and lights. Open the windows to enjoy natural ventilation and daylight.
    • Ensure windows and doors are shut tight when the air-conditioning is switched on. Set the temperature to a comfortable 25°C.
    • Clean the air filters of your aircon regularly as dirty filters impede airflow and waste energy. Service your aircon at least once a year.
    • Consolidate your laundry and wash them on a full load to maximise energy usage
    • Set your computers/laptops to sleep mode instead of using a screensaver during periods of inactivity
    • Check the thermostat in your refrigerator is adjusted to the recommended setting to prevent overcooling, and that the door seal is tight.
    • Be aware of your energy usage and monthly utility bills. Install a smart meter at home to further breakdown your energy usage patterns.

    2. Conserve Water 

    • Check areas prone to leakage like toilet flappers and faucets, and repair them promptly.
    • Install a water thimble for taps to control the water flow.
    • Select water-efficient household appliances by looking out for the Water Efficiency Label.
    • Take shorter showers and turn off the tap while soaping and shampooing.
    • Reuse rinse water from washing machines and water from washing fruits and vegetables, to mop the floor and water plants.

    3. Reduce Waste

    • Bring your own bag for shopping
    • Bring along a food container and a set of cutleries when taking away food to reduce the use of disposables
    • Reuse old clothing as rags and plastic bags to bag garbage
    • Build your own compost bin and turn food waste into fertilisers for house plants
    • Sort your waste and bring recyclables such as paper, glass bottles and tin cans to recycling bins in your neighbourhood

    4. Green Commuting

    • Reduce your carbon footprint by using public transportation where possible. Alternatively, check out car-sharing schemes and carpool to work.
    • Walk or cycle short distances. Save on fares and get health benefits from a more active lifestyle.

    Refer to the HDB's Green Living Guide for more tips!

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    Green buildings and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

    The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. Buildings are not only an inanimate structure – they embody both the physicality and the process by which they are created. Hence, green buildings present an opportunity on a greater scale to not only save resources and reduce carbon emissions but to educate, create jobs, strengthen communities, improve health and wellbeing, and much more.

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    Look out for our in-train panels on the North South and East West MRT lines! Take a picture of them and post them to the SGBC Facebook page (@singapore.gbc) to stand a chance to win prizes!

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    Like and follow us on Facebook and #GreenToWin!

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  • 5 Jul 2019

    SGBC Green Mark Professional Qualification Scheme

    Strengthening our Professionals

    First announced last year during the SGBC Gala Dinner 2018 (https://tinyurl.com/y7p6zh8q), the SGBC Green Mark Professional Qualification Scheme - refreshed from the former Building and Construction Authority (Singapore) Green Mark Specialist scheme - is more than just a register of green building professionals in the industry. The programme will support the learning and development of our green-collared workforce with a full learning & development framework that includes courses, lunch & learn sessions as well as learning journeys to green building projects.

    “The sustainability of the built environment is built on the efforts of our green building professionals. With SGBC’s new programme and framework dedicated to the men and women of the green building industry, our green building professionals will be well prepared and ready for the future of buildings," said Dr. Ho Nyok Yong, President of the SGBC.

    All certified Green Mark Managers and associated qualifications will be referred to as the Green Mark Accredited Professional, aligning the qualification with well-known international industry standards. This also allows Green Mark APs to be readily recognised as green building professionals in international markets.

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    SGBC Green Mark Professionals can look forward to a suite of events and platforms to sharpen their edge, which will be made easier to manage by a dedicated web portal.

    Click here to visit the SGBC Green Mark Professional Qualification Scheme website: https://gmp.sgbc.online/public/home

  • 7 May 2019

    Celebrating 10 Years of Advancing Green Building

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    Into our 10th year of advancing the green building movement, SGBC has grown from strength to strength from its humble beginnings in 2009. With a strong collaborative spirit, SGBC has gerninated from a certification body of green building materials and products to a champion and voice of the green building movement, working with like-minded partners to put forward meaningful, useful and synergistic programmes for the indiustry and beyond.

    Watch the Anniversary video here:

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    Read on to find out more about #SGBC10!

    About the Anniversary Logo

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    SGBC Milestones

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    A Video Down Memory Lane

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     SGBC Founding Sponsors

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     SGBC Founding Members

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     SGBC Presidents 

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    #SGBC10 Commemorative Events & Activities

    SGBC CNY 2019 Lohei

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    SGBC AGM 2019 

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    SGBC Green Trends Seminar 2019

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    Closing the Loop Movie Screening

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    Sustainability Spotlight

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    Keep Clean Singapore 2019

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    SGBC Green Mark Professional Scheme

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    BuildSG Leadership Forum 2019

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    Asia's 1st Green Roof Bus

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    JTC-SGBC Joint Seminar 2019

     

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    Brunch with SGBC

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    SGBC-GSI Challenge 2019

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    REDAS-SGBC Seminar 2019

     

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    Strengthening our Professionals

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    Green Inside Out Seminar 2019

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    #SGBC10 10th Year Anniversary Partners

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     AGC  CDL ebmlogo  Lutr Sop