Sustainable Development and Green Buildings in Singapore's Real Estate Market

Sustainable Development and Green Buildings in Singapore's Real Estate Market

Commitment to Sustainable Practices

Singapore's stature as a global hub for sustainable real estate and the built environment is well-acknowledged. The city-state's dedication to environmental sustainability is evident in its approach to urban planning and the adoption of cutting-edge technology. This commitment ensures that Singapore consistently leads in developing structures that are not only environmentally friendly but also resilient to changing climate conditions.

Adapting to Global Environmental Trends

To maintain its position as a leader in this field, Singapore continuously revises and updates its regulations and policies. These changes are in direct response to evolving global environmental concerns and the rapid advancement of technology. By staying responsive to these global shifts, Singapore positions itself at the forefront of sustainable real estate development, setting standards for others to follow in creating a greener and more sustainable urban landscape.

Exploring the Singapore Green Plan 2030: A New Era in Urban Sustainability

A Vision for Sustainable Urban Development

Singapore, often visualized for its modern skyscrapers intermingled with lush green spaces, is embarking on an ambitious journey with the Singapore Green Plan 2030. This plan symbolizes a harmonious blend of urban sophistication and ecological responsibility, set to reach new heights. Notable developments like the Clementi Ave 1 Condo are prime examples of this transformation, embodying the blend of modern living and environmental mindfulness. It provides a comprehensive overview of how this initiative aims to transform the nation into a sustainable future leader, especially in the realm of commercial real estate.

Unpacking the Singapore Green Plan 2030

The Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a multifaceted, government-led initiative, charting a course for the nation’s sustainable development over the next decade. This roadmap is designed to establish Singapore as a global economic hub that excels in environmental stewardship. It revolves around five pivotal pillars: City in Nature, Sustainable Living, Energy Reset, Green Economy, and Resilient Future. Each pillar encompasses ambitious goals and concrete targets, reinforcing Singapore's commitment to sustainable growth.

Purpose and Goals of the Green Plan

The core objective of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is to meet Singapore's aspiration for net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan also addresses the urgent challenges posed by climate change and aims to foster a green, liveable, and sustainable environment for generations to come. By aligning with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the Green Plan not only sets high standards for Singapore but also contributes to worldwide sustainability efforts.

Key Targets Across the Five Pillars

The Singapore Green Plan 2030's ambitious targets are distributed across its five foundational pillars:

  • City in Nature: This includes initiatives to increase urban greenery, plant more trees, and establish additional nature parks. A significant goal is to ensure that every household is within a ten-minute walk from a park.
  • Sustainable Living: Efforts here focus on reducing waste sent to landfills, lowering household water consumption, increasing public transport usage, expanding cycling path networks, and reducing carbon emissions in schools.
  • Energy Reset: The plan aims to boost the use of solar energy and energy storage systems, decrease energy consumption in commercial buildings and HDB towns, and encourage a widespread transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Green Economy: This pillar involves supporting industries offering sustainable solutions, promoting Singapore as a center for green finance and services, and investing in research and technologies that drive sustainability.
  • Resilient Future: Strategies are being developed to protect against rising sea levels and to increase local food production, aiming to meet a significant portion of the nation's nutritional needs.

Enhancing Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate through the Singapore Green Plan 2030

Green Building Design and Construction: A Core Strategy

In the context of the 'Energy Reset' and 'Green Economy' pillars of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the commercial real estate sector plays a vital role. The government's push for green buildings has led to a focus on sustainable construction practices and retrofitting older structures with energy-saving technologies. The design and construction of commercial properties, guided by standards such as the Singapore Green Mark scheme or international green building standards, play a crucial role in ensuring sustainability. The use of eco-friendly materials in construction significantly mitigates environmental impacts.

Prioritizing Energy Efficiency and Management

Over 20% of Singapore's emissions are attributed to buildings, underscoring the importance of how commercial properties are managed. To reduce this footprint, the sector is turning to energy-efficient solutions. The integration of energy-saving lighting and HVAC systems, along with the adoption of building analytics software like CIM's PEAK Platform, helps in understanding and optimizing energy usage patterns. This not only reduces emissions but also aligns with national energy conservation goals.

Fostering Green Practices through Leasing and Tenant Engagement

Green leasing agreements are becoming instrumental in promoting environmental responsibility in commercial spaces. Including sustainability clauses in these agreements encourages tenants to follow green practices. Additionally, educating tenants and providing incentives for sustainable behaviors foster a culture of environmental consciousness in commercial buildings.

Collaboration with National Sustainability Initiatives

Active participation in the Singapore Green Building Masterplan and its associated initiatives is critical for the commercial real estate sector. Engagement in programs like the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC), the Green Mark Scheme, and the Super Low Energy program aligns commercial real estate activities with national sustainability targets. This collaboration is essential for meeting the broader goals set by the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and for the transformation of the commercial real estate sector into a more sustainable and environmentally friendly industry.

Advancing Sustainability through the Singapore Green Building Master Plan

The Singapore Green Building Master Plan (SGBMP) is a cornerstone of the city-state's commitment to environmental sustainability in the built environment. Initiated by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and integrated into the Green Plan 2030, the Masterplan has evolved through various iterations, each more ambitious than the last. Its goal is to make green building practices standard in Singapore, thereby significantly reducing the nation's carbon footprint. To achieve this, the Masterplan sets energy efficiency standards, promotes best practices, and encourages the adoption of green technologies, aiming to transform both new and existing buildings into models of sustainability.

Targets of the Singapore Green Building Master Plan

  1. The current focus of the SGBMP is the “80-80-80 in 2030” initiative, comprising three key targets:
  2. Green 80% of Singapore’s buildings by 2030.
  3. Ensure that 80% of new buildings (by gross floor area) are Super Low Energy buildings from 2030.
  4. Achieve an 80% improvement in energy efficiency (compared to 2005 levels) in best-in-class green buildings by 2030.

The Role of Building Analytics in Sustainability Efforts

To realize the ambitious goals of the Green Plan 2030 and the SGBMP, building managers require advanced tools like CIM's PEAK. This sophisticated building analytics software platform is instrumental in transitioning buildings into Super Low Energy (SLE) structures through several functionalities:

  • Monitoring Equipment Performance: PEAK integrates with building management systems and energy meters, allowing for continuous monitoring of equipment and systems performance. It helps property owners identify underperforming equipment, detect anomalies, and optimize energy usage, providing a basis for implementing energy-saving measures.
  • Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics: The platform automatically detects faults, abnormal energy consumption, or system inefficiencies, alerting property owners in real-time to address these issues promptly and improve the building’s overall energy performance.
  • Optimizing Building Systems: PEAK analyses energy data to identify opportunities for optimizing systems such as HVAC, lighting, and occupancy scheduling. By understanding energy consumption patterns, occupancy levels, and environmental conditions, property owners can implement strategies to reduce energy usage and emissions.


Platforms like PEAK offer actionable insights, predictive analytics, and seamless integration with building systems, empowering managers to make informed decisions that align with environmental responsibilities. As Singapore strides towards its sustainable future, tools like these are essential in transforming the commercial real estate landscape. This transformation ensures that buildings are not only functional and profitable but also contribute positively to the environment, resonating with Singapore's broader sustainability objectives.

11 Jan 2024
Singapore Expats