Green Building: Improving the lives of billions by helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The following article was first published by the World Green Building Council News & Media. This article was written by Dominika Czerwinska, who is a Director of Membership and Regional Networks at WorldGBC. You can view the original article here.

January 1st 2016 marked a key milestone in our collective efforts to “promote prosperity while protecting the planet” as world leaders agreed, and brought into force, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals set forth a challenge for humanity to decouple economic growth from climate change, poverty and inequality… and this is a challenge that we firmly believe green building can help to solve.

While many might look at a building and see only an inanimate structure, we look at buildings and see both the physicality and the process by which they are created – an opportunity to not only save energy, water and carbon emissions but to educate, create jobs, strengthen communities, improve health and wellbeing, and much, much more. Green building is a true catalyst for addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.

While the 17 goals are wide ranging, from ending hunger to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, each with detailed targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, there are several goals to which we believe green buildings can, and in fact already have, been contributing to in a significant way.

Goal 3: GOOD HEALTH & WELLBEINGEnsure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages

There is now overwhelming evidence which suggests the way a building is designed can affect the health and wellbeing of its occupants. According to the World Health Organization, lung and respiratory diseases associated with poor indoor environment quality are three of the top five leading causes of death. But green building features, such as improved lighting, better air quality and greenery, have been proven to positively impact health and wellbeing, and this agenda has gained increasing momentum over the last few years. Our Better Places for People global project is focused on creating a world in which buildings are not only good for the environment, but also support healthier, happier and more productive lives. And reducing emissions from buildings – particularly in cities – can reduce pollution and improve air quality, benefiting the health of city dwellers.  

Goal 7: AFFORDABLE & CLEAN ENERGY – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use, and energy savings from efficient, green buildings – whether commercial office buildings or homes – are often one of the most talked about benefits. Green buildings also use renewables energy, which can be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. For example, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggests home solar systems in Africa can provide households with electricity for as low as $56 a year – much cheaper than energy from diesel or kerosene. Renewable energy also has the additional benefit of producing no carbon emissions, limiting the impact on the planet. Energy efficiency coupled with local renewable sources also improves energy security.

Goal 8: DECENT WORK & ECONOMIC GROWTH – Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all

As the demand for green building grows globally, so does the workforce required to deliver them, and this is another goal that green building can significantly contribute to. For example, the green building industry in Canada represented nearly 300,000 full-time jobs in 2014. What’s more, the life-cycle of a green building – from conception to construction, operation and even renovation – impacts a wide variety of people, providing even more opportunities for inclusive employment.

And some Green Building Councils such as South Africa have developed ways to integrate more complex socio-economic issues such as unemployment or lack of skills into green building rating systems – creating further incentives for businesses to consider these criteria in their developments.

Goal 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION & INFRASTRUCTURE – Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Green buildings are not only about the here and now. They must be designed in a way that ensures they are resilient and adaptable in the face of our changing global climate. This is critically important in developing countries, many of which will be particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change. But it’s not just about future proof buildings, but the spaces in between – the infrastructure that must be equally as sustainable and resilient to future risks. A recent report from the New Climate Economy found that US$90 trillion of investment worldwide is needed in the next 15 years in the infrastructure sector to achieve a prosperous, net zero emissions future. And striving for buildings which push the boundaries on sustainability, such as net zero emissions buildings, is also a major driver for innovation and technology.

Goal 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES & COMMUNITIES – Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

Almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030, and so ensuring they are sustainable is of paramount importance. Buildings are the foundations of cities, and green buildings are therefore key to their long-term sustainability. Whether it’s homes, offices, schools, shops or green spaces – the built environment contributes to the make-up of communities, which must be sustainable to ensure a high quality of life for all. In fact, in many countries, Green Building Councils have moved beyond the certification of single green buildings and have developed tools that facilitate the formation of green neighborhoods and districts. Others, such as the Philippines GBC, have helped cities like Mandaue to develop and implement policies that promote sustainable building practices across entire cities.

Goal 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

This goal focuses on promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services and green jobs. The building industry has a major role to play in preventing waste through reduction, recycling and reuse – ‘circular economy’ principles where resources are not wasted. Our movement includes leading product manufacturers such as Shaw Contract who have developed ways to generate products – in this case carpet – from what was previously considered to be waste, known as the “cradle to cradle” approach. This not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfill but also reduces the amount of raw materials that are being extracted from the earth. Since 2006, Shaw has reclaimed and recycled more than 400 million kilograms of post-consumer carpet.

Goal 13: CLIMATE ACTION – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Buildings are responsible for over 30 per cent of global green house gas emissions, and are therefore a major contributor to climate change. But by the same token, green buildings have huge potential to combat it, offering one of the most cost effective ways to do so, through measures such as energy efficiency. For example, South Africa’s Green Star certified buildings save 336 million kilograms of carbon emissions a year – the same as taking 84,000 cars off the roads – helping to limit the effects of climate change.

Goal 15: LIFE ON LAND – Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

The materials that make up a building are key to determining its sustainability. And so the building industry and its supply chains have a major role to play in using responsibly sourced materials such as timber. Green building certification tools also recognise the need to reduce water use, and the value of biodiversity and the importance of ensuring it is protected, and incorporate this into the space they build on both during and after construction – minimising damage and designing ways to enhance biodiversity, such as through landscaping with local flora.

Goal 17: PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS – Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

Historically, the building industry has lacked a collective voice on the world stage at major climate change conferences and has often not been recognised for the huge opportunities it presents. In 2015, a significant milestone was achieved when WorldGBC, UNEP, the French government and several other organisations came together to host the first ever “Buildings Day” as part of the official COP21 agenda and to launch the Global Alliance for Building and Construction. A year and a half on, and our movement is already seeing the benefits of having a seat at the table. Strong new partnerships such as those with the World Resources Institute and the Global Environmental Facility have been secured, increasing our capacity to drive change and ensure that we are all building on one another’s strengths rather than re-inventing the wheel. Our movement has long recognised that the barriers to a sustainable built environment are not technical solutions but rather how we effectively collaborate, ensuring our collective efforts are truly aligned to achieve much greater impact.  

When it comes to the remaining SDGs, direct links between them and green buildings may be less explicit, but that’s not to say they don’t exist at all.

For example, there are a number of educational opportunities created through the process of creating green buildings – the training of professionals in sustainability issues or green building techniques – and by our individual Green Building Councils through their own educational programmes. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has recognised this opportunity by partnering with Green Building Councils, for example in Zambia, to deliver local green jobs programmes. And responsible businesses and organisations working in and around the building and construction industry are helping to breakdown sexism and promote gender equality in the green building workplace. Nearly 50 per cent of our Established Green Building Councils are led by women, and C40 Cities’ Women4Climate initiative is also highlighting the role women are playing on climate action. 

In Australia, as the Green Star certification scheme is revised, the Green Building Council of Australia is looking towards assisting building developers and owners to report on specific criteria against 16 of the 17 SDGs – demonstrating just how relevant they are to our industry.

For all of these reasons, we believe that the green building movement will mean significant progress in decoupling economic growth from climate change, poverty and inequality, helping to achieve the goals and creating a greener world that we can all be proud to call home.

Green Means Go Deeper

We are at a point in our collective green consciousness where we can look past the more typical messages of ‘choosing LED lightbulbs’ and buying ‘green-ticked appliances’ and start to explore more critically how we can actively make better green choices as we renovate, furnish and live in our homes. In this article we review some of the more common Green Home messages and look more critically at how we can take a step further.

What’s wrong with Choosing LED lightbulbs?

Absolutely nothing – there isn’t anything wrong with LED lightbulbs, it is established that these diode-using, power-reducing marvels use much less energy than the older incandescent light bulbs. In fact these lightbulbs have become so widely accepted that a homeowner would be hard pressed to find the older incandescent ones – so does the message of ‘Choose LED Lightbulbs’, really add value today? In a market where almost every lightbulb is LED, the better question might be – how much light do we need?

Working on your home lighting plans, whether on your own or with an interior designer, it is easy to over specify the amount light that you think you need. Mood lighting, main lighting, mirror lighting, entranceway lighting, cupboard lighting often takes over from the more fundamental adequate lighting. The act of identifying how much light we need for our homes, shapes not only how much lighting energy we consume, it influences the levels of comfort that we experience in the difference spaces of our homes.

Looking Past the Green Ticks

As consumers cotton on to the importance of choosing appliances that reduce energy, manufacturers similarly have been working hard to provide us with what we want. From fridges, to air-conditioners, washing-machines to water heaters and even the kettle, our everyday electronics are getting better at reducing the amount of energy that they need to do what they do. This can create an insidious and false sense of, ‘I’ve done my part by buying green ticks…’.

The more complex reality of buying green ticked appliances come to the fore when we consider how we use and maintain these powerful appliances. Leaving the water heater on longer than you need it for, flipping on a 2 litre kettle for single cup of coffee, winterising your home by setting the air-con to sub 20 degrees Celsius, are all indulgences that counteract any meaningful value those green ticks provide. An air conditioner that is 12 months past its maintenance period, will not perform as well or efficiently as it was intended to. The green ticks are huge step forward, but they are only the first step in a much longer home-journey with our appliances.

More on Recycling?

The importance of recycling cannot be overstated; in this instance we are simply asking the question of how? Asking people to recycle more is vague, and can often lead to sporadic periods of activity followed by a reversion to the old ways of mixing the trash. As we think about our homes, we should consider recycling as a process and a daily activity. In the same way we think about dedicated spaces for our washing machines, why not incorporate recycling spaces into our homes?

Creating actual spaces – albeit small, can trigger longer-term behaviour, and it acts as a signal for all in the household to participate. Educating ourselves on the processes also helps improve that the way we separate out our recycling, and ensures that more of what we recycle actually gets recycled!

Green Means Go Forward

Today, we are surrounded by greener products, innovation and possibilities, but we need to look beyond face value and find our own ways of taking action. As a country and a community, we’ve come along way in terms of cultivating better and greener practices, and we are at a tipping point where we have the capacity to think about the actions we take in building green into our home.

Enriching Lives, Building Communities, Growing Sustainably

Committed to enriching lives, building communities and growing sustainably, CapitaLand continues to create quality spaces for work, live and play in the communities in which it operates, through sustainable and innovative solutions.

The following is part of a series of articles showcasing the sustainability actions and buildings developed by CapitaLand. You can also learn more about their sustainability journey and 2030 Sustainability Master Plan.

CanningHill Piers

CanningHill Piers is the newest luxury residence located between the historic Fort Canning Hill and the iconic Singapore River. Sustainability features have been embedded within the development’s design to provide comfortable residential and vibrant community spaces.

The design scheme comprises four towers of different heights – a pair of diagonally-facing residential towers and one tower each for the hotel and serviced residence – set atop a double-storey commercial podium. This is done through optimising building massing and maximising naturally ventilated podium spaces within the development. The massing of the four towers provides self-shading to the internal façade of each tower, reducing direct sunlight into its internal courtyard and podium space, creating a comfortable shaded environment.

CanningHill Piers has a porous design for air movement throughout the development. Openings between the towers encourage prevailing winds to effectively pass through the outdoor podium areas for outdoor comfort, while exhaust vents are strategically located towards the north and south corners of the development.

Rain gardens harvest rainwater for landscape irrigation, and extensive greenery will be planted to mitigate heat buildup in public spaces. These features reduce heat absorption, providing a cooler environment.

Sengkang Grand Residences

Sengkang Grand Residences offers an array of green features. The development achieved the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark GoldPLUS award for its energy-efficient design and water-efficient features. The orientation of the residential blocks provides good natural ventilation in units and common areas. The apartments also come with deep recessed balconies, providing shading to internal living spaces. The façade of Sengkang Grand Residences is based on a passive cool design architecture, and installed with good performance glazing to reduce solar heat gain. Water-efficient sanitary fittings are incorporated in all residential units, while water-efficient auto-irrigation systems will be used for major landscape areas.

Environmentally friendly and sustainable materials certified by the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme are extensively used in constructing Sengkang Grand Residences. To ensure healthy indoor air quality, low volatile organic compound paints for internal walls are used. To promote a healthy lifestyle for residents, bicycle parking lots and end-of-trip facilities will be available, encouraging the use of green transport.

lyf one-north Singapore

The newly opened lyf one-north Singapore is located in Singapore’s research and innovation business hub. The 324-unit coliving property, which achieved the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark GoldPLUS award in 2020, is fitted with green, energy-efficient and smart building features. These include an energy monitoring system, dual-technology motion sensors and light-emitting diode light fixtures which can achieve energy savings of over 30%. The energy monitoring system and motion sensors track and automatically optimise the level of energy consumption depending on the number of occupants in the apartment.

The property also features sun-shading fins as part of its unique window design to reduce façade solar heat gain. Greenery is integrated into its social spaces. The lush planting within the property’s plaza spaces allow natural shading, creating a thermally comfortable environment for outdoor activities.

To reduce energy consumption, the building is served by energy-efficient centralised hot water heat pump system and a variable refrigerant flow air-conditioning system. Water consumption is optimised by the use of water efficient rated fittings.

Work, Live and Play at Funan

The following is part of a series of articles showcasing the sustainability actions and buildings developed by CapitaLand. You can also learn more about their sustainability journey and 2030 Sustainability Master Plan.

Redeveloped and opened in June 2019, Funan comprises a six-storey retail component, two office blocks and coliving property lyf Funan Singapore. The Building and Construction Authority Green Mark GoldPLUS integrated development also received Universal Design Mark GoldPLUS, Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2021 Global Awards for Excellence and ULI 2020 Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence.

Located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic and Cultural District, Funan integrates technology and new innovations to minimise energy and water consumption. Design features include an energy-efficient façade that minimises solar heat transmission, as well as a seven-storey green wall irrigated by harvested rainwater. With its innovative water fittings and indigenous plants, Funan saves approximately 12.8 million litres of water per year.

Funan is the first retail mall in Singapore to use a next-generation refrigerant to minimise energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emission. It uses chillers with low global warming potential refrigerant which emits lower greenhouse gas emissions and helps achieve energy savings.

Within the development, the retail common areas and office lobbies as well as lyf Funan Singapore’s front of house are fully fitted with energy-efficient LED lights. These lights are controlled by an intelligent scene control system, which adjusts the luminosity of the LEDs according to the brightness of the environment. Funan also uses regenerative lifts, which can deliver up to 18% of energy savings compared to non-regenerative lifts.

As an open and inviting space for visitors to shop and engage in lifestyle activities, Funan offers plenty of green spaces, rest areas and interactive corners that encourage discovery and community experiences. To promote community health and well-being, Funan has the largest roof-top garden and urban farm in the city at 18,000 square feet and 5,000 square feet respectively. These spaces allow visitors to learn how vegetables are produced and harvested, while the organic produce is served up at Noka, Spa Esprit’s first Japanese restaurant, which is next to the urban farm.

To support the nation’s car-lite movement and to serve the office community in and around Funan who cycles to work, Funan has a dedicated Bicycle Hub of over 170 bicycle bays with end-of-trip amenities. Fast-charge stations for electric vehicles are also available at the mall.

Providing added convenience and enhanced experience for shoppers, Funan’s smart features include smart lighting and smart carparking such as reservation of lots. Access to office gantries and flexible leasing spaces uses smart facial recognition.

All levels are accessible via a handicap accessible lift. Accessible parking lots and family parking lots are close to the lift lobbies for easy reach by users. There are also braille indicators on staircase handrails and child-height handrails at certain areas of the development. The office blocks feature a naturally ventilated staircase which links all office levels, encouraging an active lifestyle at the workplace and less reliance on elevators.

Communal and collaborative habitats such as lyf Funan Singapore, coworking spaces and lounges, event and social spaces, and rooftop gardens encourage social interaction within a commercial development.

Funan is also recognised for its architectural and design excellence with the BCI Asia Interior Design Award in 2019. It was conferred the Mixed-use Architecture (Singapore) award at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2018-2019, and the Best Mixed-use Development Bronze award at the MIPIM Asia Awards 2019.

CapitaSpring: The Office of the Future

The following is part of a series of articles showcasing the sustainability actions and buildings developed by CapitaLand. You can also learn more about their sustainability journey and 2030 Sustainability Master Plan.

The upcoming 51-storey CapitaSpring is one of the tallest and greenest buildings in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, offering work, live and play spaces in a vertically connected environment. The integrated development has also been accorded BCA Green Mark Platinum and Universal Design Mark GoldPLUS.

While work norms are rapidly evolving due to the pandemic, CapitaSpring is already at the forefront of the future of work with its fully integrated core-flex solutions, tech-enabled frictionless user experience and community-centric programming. These forward-looking features of CapitaSpring have strengthened the development’s value proposition as a flexible, sustainable, and connected workplace ecosystem.

Core-flex workspace solutions

CapitaSpring offers fully integrated workspace solutions that include the full range of hot desks, meeting facilities, private offices, large enterprise suites and bare shell leases. Conventional office tenants that require flexible working arrangements will have those needs met, while small- to medium-sized companies currently in flexible spaces will have the option to lease conventional workspaces as they expand. The flexibility of coworking spaces by The Work Project also offers customers an attractive alternative to working from home.

Tech-integrated serviced residence

At Citadines Raffles Place Singapore located within CapitaSpring, guests who are members of Ascott’s loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards (ASR), can make use of the Discover ASR mobile app for a range of contactless services including customising their stay by sharing their pre-arrival and in-stay requests; performing self check-in and check-out, making contactless payments, managing and redeeming ASR points, and earning ASR points if they opt out of housekeeping service as part of Ascott’s sustainability efforts. ASR members can also use the mobile app to search for special deals and book their stay at about 200 participating properties in over 25 countries and more than 85 cities.

Building features and technologies to enhance workplace wellness

CapitaSpring deploys various building features to safeguard the health and safety of its occupants and the community. Facial recognition access, contactless destination control system and pre-registration for guests via CapitaStar@Work all serve to minimise contact. An ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system and high-efficiency filters equivalent to a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of 14, have been fitted on air handling units to improve indoor air quality. CapitaSpring has also rolled out a long-range wide area network backbone network to enable fuss-free deployment of Internet of Things sensors across the integrated development. Fully automated smart cleaning robots are integrated with the lift system, allowing the robots to enter, exit turnstiles and transit between floors.

The name “CapitaSpring” is inspired by the Green Oasis, a four-storey high botanical promenade between the Grade A office floors and the modern Citadines Raffles Place Singapore serviced apartment to be managed by CapitaLand’s lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott). Embodying a connection with nature for urban dwellers in the heart of Singapore’s downtown core, the Green Oasis is the central social space for placemaking and community activities as well as a city-defining architectural feature at a breathtaking 100 metres above ground.

Community events such as fitness sessions and lunchtime performances can be held at the City Room on Level 1, which blends into a 12,500 square feet public park. Occupants can also look forward to a café, amphitheatre, yoga alcove, jungle gym, ideation nests, work pods, meeting and activity spaces connected by a spiral stairway at the Green Oasis. CapitaSpring is also home to Singapore’s tallest urban farm and the world’s highest farm-to-plate restaurant and social bar on Level 51. In support of the sustainable transport vision in the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a cycling path, 165 bicycle lots and comprehensive end-of-trip facilities are included in the development.

Technologies to allow users to work anywhere within CapitaSpring

CapitaSpring is designed to allow users to work anywhere within. Equipped with the latest WiFi 6 technology across the entire development, and ample power points, users can plug-and-work at the City Room (Level 1), Green Oasis (Levels 17 to 20) and Sky Garden (Level 51).

In addition, tenants can easily book flexible amenities via the CapitaStar@Work app. These amenities extend beyond Levels 21, 39 and 40 to include the Amphitheatre and Yoga Alcove (Level 18), multi-purpose hall and meeting rooms (Level 20), and the Sky Cube (Level 51). Via the app, meeting hosts can also invite external partners to pre-register before their appointment at CapitaSpring. Pre-registered guests will receive a QR code via email which can be scanned at the turnstiles, allowing seamless and direct access to tenants’ offices. From entry to exit, tenants and guests enjoy frictionless access with facial recognition turnstiles integrated with destination-controlled lift systems.

Connecting with Nature at One Pearl Bank

The following is part of a series of articles showcasing the sustainability actions and buildings developed by CapitaLand. You can also learn more about their sustainability journey and 2030 Sustainability Master Plan.

With its biophilic design and wide range of lifestyle offerings, One Pearl Bank embodies the vision of CapitaLand’s future residential developments with flexible spaces for work, recreation, and relaxation. These elements are increasingly being appreciated as homeowners spend more time at home and look forward to these lifestyle features at their doorstep.

One Pearl Bank features the world’s first vertical sky allotment gardens in a residential development. With a total of 18 sky allotment gardens offering close to 200 plots, residents can grow their own herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The sky allotment gardens provide residents with the space to enjoy some tranquility after a day of working indoors and promote community bonding too. Visible from the city centre, the sky allotment gardens make a powerful visual statement on One Pearl Bank’s biophilic design that integrates nature to enrich residents’ quality of life.

Residents can head to the Sky Oculus on Level 39 to take in the panoramic views of the city along a scenic walking trail or work out at the indoor and outdoor gyms. They can also go for a stroll, do yoga or appreciate the outdoor spaces within the Sky Terraces on the 14th and 18th floors.

The residential development has extensive landscaping with a green plot ratio of 13, and is designed to achieve the National Parks Board’s Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework and Public Utilities Board’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme certification. Over 500 trees across 35 species and more than 135,000 shrubs, plants and flowers will be planted throughout One Pearl Bank, occupying over 60,000 square feet of space – equivalent to 75% of the total site area.

Designed to take full advantage of Pearl’s Hill’s sloped topography, the two towers of One Pearl Bank are lifted 21 metres from the ground to allow a visual continuous flow from the greenery of Pearl’s Hill City Park to the upcoming green connector to Fort Canning Park.

Residents can also enjoy daily interactions with nature, via a landscaped path connecting the development to the adjacent Pearl’s Hill City Park, near Outram MRT station. The seamless integration of One Pearl Bank with its green surroundings also includes sustainable features such as rain gardens, ponds and lush native tropical floral. Residents can also go for a short hike or workout at the park, slated to be rejuvenated into a playground and social space for the community as part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019.

One Pearl Bank is predominantly north-south facing, and incorporates design strategies including staggering blocks, void decks at ground and mid-floor sky terraces to promote airflow. One Pearl Bank achieved the Green Mark GoldPLUS award by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore for its energy-efficient design and water-efficient features. To reduce water consumption, automatic drip irrigation will be used and rainwater will be harvested for irrigation. To ensure healthy indoor air quality, low volatile organic compound paints for internal walls will be used.

Sustainability is at the core of everything CapitaLand does

CapitaLand places sustainability at the core of everything it does, integrating sustainability throughout the real estate life cycle from investment, to design, procurement, construction, operations and redevelopment or divestment. As a responsible real estate company, CapitaLand contributes to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where it operates, as it delivers long-term economic value to its stakeholders.

Ranked as one of the most sustainable corporations in the world and recognised as a global sustainability leader, CapitaLand is focused on achieving its ambitious targets set out in its 2030 Sustainability Master Plan. To future-proof its developments, CapitaLand integrates a low-carbon strategy into its real estate life cycle. This includes procuring building materials with lower embodied carbon and adopting more efficient building design and construction.

In addition to reducing energy and water consumption, CapitaLand also aims to increase the use of renewable energy in its properties. In 2020, power generated by solar panels at its properties in Singapore helped to meet the nation’s 2020 solar deployment target of 350 megawatt-peak. CapitaLand targets to achieve green certifications for its existing properties globally by 2030.

CapitaLand has been at the forefront of shaping the built environment, touching the lives of millions of people every day, across more than 250 cities in over 30 countries where it has presence. It remains committed to building quality, sustainable, safe, accessible, and vibrant real estate developments to enhance the lives of its shoppers, tenants, serviced residence and hotel guests, homeowners and members of the community.

To do so, CapitaLand has enhanced the design of its developments to incorporate considerations such as the well-being of its customers, the need for safe distancing, hygiene, and the ability for employees to work-from-home or work-from-anywhere within its properties. This includes having more flexible spaces, designs to manage the flow of human traffic to minimise physical contact, leveraging technologies for contactless services, as well as having green open spaces for respite.

Stepping up its commitment to sustainability through innovation, CapitaLand has launched the second edition of the CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge (CSXC) and is calling for proposals across the global to make buildings more climate-resilient, resource-efficient, healthier and safer. Through the challenge, CapitaLand aims to accelerate its progress to meet its 2030 Sustainability Master Plan targets, with decarbonisation and circularity as key pillars.

CapitaLand is offering up to S$500,000 for the top 10 projects to be piloted at its global network of properties. Innovators will be provided access to a range of real estate classes globally and typologies in varying climatic conditions to apply their solutions, allowing them to demonstrate conclusively how their systems will function under real-world conditions. Shortlisted teams will be mentored by leading industry experts to prepare them for their pitch to a distinguished panel of judges in June 2022. CSXC 2022 is open for submissions. Submit here before 11 March 2022.

Greening the Entire Value Chain

Climate change poses one of the biggest threats to the planet. Joining the fight against the climate crisis and reducing our carbon footprint on the environment through greening the entire value chain, from the design and construction of buildings to operations, is therefore high on Frasers Property’s agenda.

In early 2021, Frasers Property announced its five sustainability goals, which include achieving net-zero carbon (Scopes 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions) across the entire real estate value chain by 2050. Its sustainability agenda is aligned with its purpose-driven journey of “Inspiring experiences, creating places for good”.

The organisation tracks, reduces and offsets carbon emissions from owned or controlled sources (Scope 1), those generated indirectly as a result of our energy usage (Scope 2) as well as carbon emissions from its tenants, contractors, suppliers, and vendors (Scope 3). Frasers Property is one of the first few SGX-listed real estate companies to make a commitment towards all the three scopes of carbon emissions. By 2022, all of Frasers Property’s businesses will have completed the development of their net-zero carbon roadmaps and carbon reduction targets using a science-based approach.

Frasers Property does its part to minimise embodied carbon through responsible sourcing, choice of building materials and also offseting of energy consumption in common areas with renewable energy at its developments. The company also measures and reports on the embodied carbon footprint of their development projects in Singapore.

Green buildings contribute to many aspects of environmental sustainability, from being energy- and water-efficient to providing healthy environments for tenants and occupants. With over 200 buildings green-certified since 2005, Frasers Property is also setting a goal to certify 80% of all owned and asset-managed properties by 2024, and to have all new projects under development certified from 2021.

Below are some examples of Frasers Property’s green buildings and initiatives in Singapore.


Parc Greenwich has been awarded Green Mark GoldPLUS for New Residential Building by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA). This Executive Condominium (EC) will adopt green features such as solar photovoltaics to reduce energy consumption generated from communal areas as well as sustainable products such as laminates, tile adhesive, and floor screed that are certified by the Singapore Green Building Product (SGBP) certification scheme. It will have passive design features that encourage natural ventilation and reduce heat gain. These include designing all units to be in a North-South orientation with a combination of casement and top-hung bedroom windows as well as horizontal and vertical sun-shading façade elements.

Aligned with Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 to promote the take-up of electric vehicles, electric vehicle chargers will be installed at Parc Greenwich. Parc Greenwich is the first EC in Singapore to obtain a green loan, bringing Frasers Property Group’s green and sustainable financing to about S$6 billion so far.

Rivière will be equipped with electric vehicle chargers and bicycle parking infrastructure to encourage a carbon-lite lifestyle. Its two towers are oriented predominantly in the North and South direction to minimise direct solar heat gain. Facades are designed with deep overhanging balconies and curtain wall surfaces are articulated with finely detailed fins to provide a sun-shading effect. Its sustainability features have been recognised with the BCA Green Mark GoldPLUS Award for New Residential Buildings.


To construct Frasers Tower, a Grade A office development, Frasers Property used green cement, recycled concrete aggregates and washed copper slag, which have lower embodied carbon content compared to conventional materials.

Awarded the Green Mark Platinum award by the BCA and the Best Green Office Development at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, Frasers Tower’s environmentally-friendly features include energy-efficient and regenerative high-speed lifts and a high-performance double-glazed façade that greatly reduces solar heat gain. The lush greenery at its community zones and park further lowers surface temperature of the building and acts as a green lung. Rainwater is recycled to irrigate the building’s flora and run the water-cooling system. With a direct link to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, the property provides secured bicycle lots with end of trip facilities and electric vehicle recharging stations.


Frasers Property is working with SP Group and Temasek to bring distributed district cooling (DDC) to Tampines Central. The DDC will bring energy savings and reductions in carbon emissions to support Tampines’ green ambitions to transform into an Eco Town by 2025. The Century Square and Tampines 1 shopping malls will be part of this movement for a greener Singapore.

Tenants are regularly engaged to improve the sustainability of Frasers Property’s commercial and retail properties, encouraging them to fit leased spaces with sustainable materials that reduce environmental footprint from production to operations, e.g. energy-efficient light fittings.

Click here to read more about Frasers Property’s sustainability goals and strategies.

Sustainability Squared

Geberit is one of the pioneers when it comes to sustainability in the sanitary industry, ensuring a sustainable quality of life using innovative water management, extensive expertise and a consistent focus on sustainability – across all products, areas and processes.

The Best Choice for Green Buildings

Sustainable sanitary products usually impress thanks to low water consumption. However, it also helps when a company produces environmental product declarations, as these can be used to demonstrate ecological quality. On the one hand, this allows manufacturers to optimise their processes. On the other hand, the installation of such products is also considered by some labels (e. g. LEED). If there are comparable products from different manufacturers, then environmental product declarations can also help in choosing a product that is more environmentally friendly.

Meticulous from the Start till the End

Specially created product life cycle assessments are important decision-making tools for the development process and provide arguments for the use of resource-efficient products. Detailed life cycle assessments have already been prepared for a range of Geberit solutions.

Geberit AquaClean Sela Comfort

Geberit AquaClean Sela Shower Toilet with a white cover.

Saving Paper

Shower toilets from Geberit perform well in life cycle assessments and their consumption of toilet paper is comparable to conventional toilets. Compared to using toilet paper, the additional water used in a shower toilet has a smaller environmental impact.


Geberit’s patented WhirlSpray shower technology, which is a pulsating shower spray refined through dynamic aeration for pleasantly gentle and thorough cleaning with low water consumption.

Geberit AquaClean shower toilets consume less than 1 litre of water in each shower, but despite this small quantity, the WhirlSpray shower technology helps to achieve the very best clean.

The ceramic surfaces of the AquaClean Sela is protected with the KeraTect special glaze, which makes the WC pan virtually non-porous and extremely smooth. Therefore, flushes can be clean and thorough even with less water than conventional flushes.


The shower toilet’s complete solutions perform well in life cycle assessments, but thanks to intelligent control technology, that doesn’t mean we have to lower our sights when it comes to comfort.

Geberit AquaClean products allow users to save more energy by individually adjusting the product settings, thus reducing their environmental impact even further. In standby mode (economy mode), all AquaClean models consume less than 0.5 watts of energy in total. All AquaClean models are equipped with an economy mode and fulfil the European eco-design requirements (ErP directives).

The shower toilet is equipped with the innovative heating-on-demand technology which significantly reduces energy consumption.

Sigma Concealed Cisterns and Actuator Plates

The Sigma80 touchless actuator plate


The flushing cistern is the central element when it comes to water conservation. A model calculation shows that all Geberit dual-flush and flush-stop cisterns installed since 1998 saved over 3,120 million m of water in 2019 alone in comparison to traditional flushing systems.

Water conservation is the result of a balanced overall system. Reducing the flush volume in the cistern while at the same time ensuring that the WC pan is optimally flushed out is just as important as correctly dimensioning the drainage system.

The Sigma80 touchless actuator plate is an elegant addition to the bathroom and offers a dual flush system to sustainably reduce water consumption. Flush volumes can be reduced down to 2.7L to meet even the most stringent flush requirements.

Recycled Plastics and Reduced CO2 Emissions

The search for suitable, high-quality regranulate from external plastic waste is an integral part of Geberit’s procurement strategy. For the material Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a suitable alternative made of 100% recycled material, was found.

This alternative is based on high-quality plastic waste from the electronics industry (e.g. used computer cases). The manufacture of this regranulate consumes over 80% less energy compared to the manufacture of one tonne of new petrochemical-based plastic, while releasing around three tonnes less CO into the atmosphere. In 2019, some 850 tonnes of ABS regranulate were used for various components in exposed and concealed cisterns.

Sustainable Waterfront Living

For the built environment, climate change has brought to the fore the importance of sustainable design and eco-friendly building materials. What is equally important lies beyond a building’s life cycle stages of design and construction – as developers build green homes, how can they also help its residents lead more sustainable lifestyles?

One of the key priorities of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is to accelerate the country’s transition to a low-carbon built environment, by greening 80% of its buildings by 2030, having 80% of its new developments as Super Low Energy buildings from 2030, and an 80% improvement in energy efficiency in best-in-class green buildings over 2005 levels by 2030. In addition, the latest Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) Green Mark scheme has placed greater emphasis on energy efficiency, maintainability, embodied carbon as well as healthier indoor environment.

The upcoming residential development in the HarbourFront and Keppel Bay precincts, The Reef at King’s Dock, which is jointly developed by Mapletree Investments and Keppel Land, goes beyond reducing the environmental impact of the development process. It has been awarded the BCA Green Mark GoldPLUS Award in 2020 for its sustainable features which help to enhance the surrounding environment, including for the marine life at Marina Keppel Bay. Slated for completion in 2025, the Reef at King’s Dock also incorporates a myriad of smart and sustainable features throughout the development’s units and public spaces, to enable residents to adopt a greener lifestyle and nurture their love for nature.

Its highlight – Singapore’s first floating deck in a residential development – will house The Reef at King’s Dock’s very own underwater marine viewing area where residents will be able to view and better appreciate the marine ecology in King’s Dock, thus further promoting environmental awareness and conservation.

Building homes for a thriving ecosystem

The 180m floating deck in The Reef at King’s Dock (artist’s Impression)

The development’s surrounding natural environment is conserved and enhanced through the combined expertise of leading marine biologists and engineers.

While seeking to minimise the impact on the environment, The Reef at King’s Dock is designed with a resolute vision: a commitment to the protection of King’s Dock and the preservation of the thriving marine biodiversity within its waters.

This waterfront development’s 180m-long floating deck, located within the waters of King’s Dock, will house a marine viewing area which will serve as a connection to nature, inspiring residents to care for and appreciate the marine biodiversity found right at their doorstep.

The marine viewing area at the floating deck (artist’s impression)

The project team collaborated with marine biologists to design the submerged surface of the floating deck that will encourage the settlement of marine flora and fauna and enhance marine biodiversity at King’s Dock. The 180m-long floating deck acts as a novel habitat by providing a larger surface area for marine life to encrust onto and proliferate.

Tapping on the latest innovations in their fields, these pioneering experts have integrated their knowledge of the marine ecosystem and construction technologies to create sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.

In the floating deck’s design, the project team has taken into careful consideration the protection of King’s Dock’s existing structure, as well as the preservation of the marine life in its waters. For example, the floating deck’s main structure will be constructed offsite and then floated into King’s Dock during installation. 

Specially-treated concrete, which resembles natural rock and allows for marine life to build new habitats, was used in the construction of the floating deck.

The symbiotic efforts of marine biologists, marine engineers and architects have resulted in a floating deck that goes beyond an architectural marvel, as a catalyst for building awareness of marine biodiversity.

Thoughtfully designed with respect for the environment

The Reef at King’s Dock (artist’s impression)
Green roof at Club House (artist’s impression)

The development has a high green plot ratio and incorporates lush foliage at its numerous sky decks, green roofs and communal gardens. Verdant greenery wraps around and between the residential blocks, offering privacy to residents of The Reef at King’s Dock. Units are oriented for natural coolness, while the bespoke façade and balcony screens provide a good balance of sunlight and sun protection. The staggered blocks also allow for natural ventilation and maximise the scenic views.

View of landscaping and green roofs (artist’s impression)

The façades of the blocks are designed with integrated moveable external shades at the balcony areas, where residents have the option to control their views, privacy and ingress of natural light into their units. Glass used for windows and sliding doors are laminated glass with solar control that helps to reduce solar heat gain.

Image of external shading devices for apartments (artist’s impression)

Energy efficiency

Efficient energy performance throughout the development have been considered through: the provision of energy-efficient air conditioning system with 5-tick energy rating in all units; efficient lighting design with the use of LED lamps and provision of motion sensors for common areas; use of ductless jet fans with carbon monoxide (CO) sensors in the basement; and all lifts being equipped with regenerative features, VVFF (Variable Voltage and Variable Frequency) motor controller/driver and sleep function mode for maximum energy saving.

Water efficiency

Water efficiency is optimised through the selection of WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme) ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’ water fittings, washing machines and dryers. Sub-meters for all the major water use within the development are also provided for water consumption monitoring. Moreover, rainwater harvesting has also been provisioned to serve as alternative water source for the development, combined with water efficient auto-irrigation system for landscape.

Facilities for responsible waste management recycling and recycling

Residents are highly encouraged to manage their waste responsibly through the provision of separate recycling chutes at each floor, common recycling bins and compost bins within the premises.

Photo credits: HarbourFront Three Pte Ltd