New sustainable lighting initiative to halve Singapore’s lighting energy use, and new green building schemes launched [Press Release]
The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) is firing up the country’s drive towards more sustainable buildings with a trio of partnerships and two new green certification schemes. These were announced by Singapore’s Minister for the Environment & Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Council’s 4th anniversary dinner on Thursday (12 Sept 2013).
Chief among the new initiatives is an MOU (memorandum-of-understanding) signing between the SGBC, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), and the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at the University of California, Davis in the US, aimed at developing sustainable lighting solutions and establishing a Lighting Technology Centre in Singapore over a two year period.
With the first and second Green Building Master Plans focused on energy efficient space cooling (e.g. chiller systems), which takes up about 60 percent of a building’s energy consumption, sustainable lighting is the next big step in propelling Singapore’s building industry towards greater environmental sustainability.
Lighting accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of a building’s energy use, but this can be cut in half with sustainable lighting solutions.
SGBC will also be signing an MOU with KNX South East Asia as well as an agreement with TÜV SÜD PSB to help more companies in the building and construction industry get their products and services green certified. These agreements will help building owners make more sustainable choices by increasing the range of available green building products and services.
The council is also launching two new green services certification schemes, one for the energy performance contracting industry and another for quantity surveying consultants, to complement the SGBC’s green building product development and to support the BCA’s drive towards a more sustainable built environment.
Said SGBC President, Mr Ng Eng Kiong, of the slew of new initiatives, “The partnerships that we have sealed tonight and the newly launched certification schemes will benefit the industry and our membership community. From the founding of SGBC in 2009 where we started off with 129 members, our membership has now grown to over 400 companies from all segments of the building and construction industry. We have also certified 415 green products since we started SGBC four years ago. The green building movement in Singapore is growing from strength to strength, and the challenge now is to ensure the industry remains engaged in the green building agenda so that we remain focused on delivering a truly green product at the end of the day, where building users will benefit from the better use of resources, improved efficiencies and a healthier environment.”
MOU between SGBC, BCA and CLTC to develop sustainable lighting solutions
The MOU between SGBC, BCA and CLTC will see the three sustainable champions bringing together lighting designers, manufacturers and research institutions to:
- Promote awareness of the importance of good lighting design and best practices through joint workshops, training seminars and the publication of educational material
- Establish a demonstration and training centre to showcase lighting technologies and promote best practice design solutions through industry engagement
- Establish field demonstrations to test and verify performance, energy savings and user acceptance of new technologies and best practice lighting design solutions
In Singapore, buildings consume about 31 percent of the country’s electricity. This percentage jumps to 49 percent, or almost half of the country’s electricity consumption, if all households throughout the island state are also included.
So to examine new ways to reduce energy consumption, SGBC took part in a BCA-led study trip to the CLTC at the University of California, Davis last November (2012). During the trip, the Council found that the CLTC’s progressive approach to the development of lighting solutions was making a significant impact in the US, and could yield similar results in Singapore.
Some of the CLTC’s achievements in the US include:
- The development of good lighting design guidelines
- The development of effective strategies to enhance daylighting design for buildings as well as to encourage the adoption of lighting management systems and good lighting practices to lower energy demands
- The development and test-bedding of new technologies
- Lighting education
(See here for videos on CLTC: http://cltc.ucdavis.edu/publication-type/video)
The CLTC’s mission is to advance energy-efficient lighting and best practices for sustainable buildings in support of zero-net energy goals. This effort is principally directed at carbon issues related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As this is a global issue, the lighting center also seeks to partner and collaborate with forward-thinking institutions, universities and government agencies to achieve this objective.
Through its study of the CLTC, the SGBC found that there are several sustainable lighting solutions that can be used to further reduce energy consumption. These include daylight harvesting and the use of better indoor lighting systems.
Daylight harvesting, for example, uses daylight to offset the amount of electrical lighting needed to illuminate an indoor space. Another way to significantly reduce energy consumption is replacing other types of lighting with LED lamps.
LEDs can help save up to at least 40 to 60 percent of energy as compared to conventional incandescent and Compact Florescence Lamp.
Commenting on the partnership, CLTC’s Professor Michael Siminovitch said, “California is deeply committed to greenhouse gas reduction goals and we seek to partner with leaders in the Pacific Rim to address this. Singapore has been an acknowledged leader in the energy efficiency arena and we believe that a close collaboration and partnership will be mutually beneficial in addressing our carbon reduction goals and helping us to develop solutions and best practices. We believe this close collaboration will help build new ideas for best practices for efficient lighting. Reducing our carbon footprint requires new thinking and bold ideas and the lighting center believes that this collaboration with Singapore will bring together different perspectives and ideas that are absolutely fundamental to helping bridge and overcome barriers to sustainable lighting design.”
MOU between SGBC and KNX South East Asia to promote awareness and importance of product and system certification
SGBC and KNX South East Asia have also signed a two-year MOU to collaborate on ways to promote the development of green buildings in Singapore and the region.
This will include promoting awareness of the importance of product and system certification through joint training programmes, seminars and educational materials.
Agreement between SGBC and TÜV SÜD PSB
A five-year agreement between SGBC and TÜV SÜD PSB has also been established for the certification of Green Building Products in relation to the Singapore Green Building Product labelling scheme.
This means that TÜV SÜD PSB will now be the assessment body providing all the assessment services and issuance of certificates for the Singapore Green Building Product labelling scheme, while SGBC will focus on the development of certification standards for green building products.
The agreement will see the SGBC benefiting from TÜV SÜD PSB’s 40 years of experience as a certification body, with its tests reports and certificates recognised internationally.
Launch of Green Services Certification Scheme for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Quantity Surveying (QS) Firms
Separately, the SGBC is also launching two new green services certification schemes – one for energy performance contracting and another for quantity surveying consultants.
The schemes aim to establish a set of evaluation criteria for the certification of green services by firms in the two industries so as to enhance the professionalism and standing of such companies in the region.
To qualify for certification, applicants must meet a set of criteria which include having a good track record in green projects. The new schemes come with several benefits for building owners and the building industry as a whole.
For example, the green services certification scheme for EPC firms will help building owners save on their utility bills as the EPC firms guarantee the operating performance and payback for the installation of energy efficient projects. With the scheme, building owners will also be able to better identify which EPC firms are more reliable and credible through their net worth and track record.
The scheme for QS firms, on the other hand, will allow building owners to select QS firms that are more proactive in providing green-design inputs to achieve cost benefits.
The SGBC aims to have 80 percent of EPC firms currently in practice and 30 percent of QS firms (who are registered with the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers) certified within the next year.
The first of its kind in Singapore, SGBC’s green services certification scheme was launched last October to promote best green building practices by recognising building consultants who are committed to supporting the green building movement.
Commenting on the scheme, Dr Balakrishnan said, “SGBC’s certification scheme for green building-related products and services also plays a key role in driving the green building movement in Singapore. Complementing BCA’s Green Mark rating, the scheme helps to drive demand for greener products.”
The first phase of the scheme focused on architectural firms, mechanical & electrical (M &E) consultants and environmental sustainability design (ESD) consultants, and is now being rolled out to other segments of the building industry.
SGBC’s President, Mr Ng Eng Kiong added, “SGBC’s green services certification scheme will commit building consultants and practitioners to develop their in-house capabilities and competencies, adopt green corporate practices, and deliver sustainable designs and services. As SGBC is a trusted brand, certified firms can expect greater recognition and new business opportunities.
The first phase of the scheme focused on architectural firms, mechanical & electrical (M &E) consultants and environmental sustainability design (ESD) consultants. The second phase, starting with energy performance contractors and quality surveying consultants, is now being rolled out to other segments of the building industry.