Published August 24, 2006

Go green, S'pore developers urged
Grace Fu also lauds aesthetic achievements of real estate industry


'A CITY that is purely functional is like food without flavour, keeping us alive without its pleasures', said Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu.

Carribean at Keppel Bay: The condominium was a top winner of the recent FIABCI Prix d'Excellence

Ms Fu was speaking at a celebratory dinner for winners of the recent FIABCI Prix d'Excellence, an international award which recognises outstanding work in the real estate industry.

This year saw developments from Singapore sweep the top three prizes in both the residential and the public sector categories, with Keppel Group's Caribbean at Keppel Bay winning top spot for the residential sector and the Housing and Development Board doing the same in the public sector with Marine Terrace Breeze.

Quoting 19th century artist and writer John Ruskin, Ms Fu went on to say: 'When we build, let us think that we build forever . . . Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for.'

Apart from the 'aesthetic' achievements by the local real estate industry, Ms Fu also lauded the efforts of those who were pushing the boundaries of environmentally sustainable buildings. To this end, she said the Building and Construction Authority has already initiated the Green Mark accreditation to promote the use of 'green technologies and designs'.

The Green Mark is now specifically being promoted to developers at Marina Bay and already, she says City Developments Ltd's (CDL) The Sail @ Marina Bay has come under the scheme.

BCA is actively promoting the scheme to the Business & Financial Centre (BFC), Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer projects and it is understood that this could involve a state-of-the-art central district cooling system.

A check with CDL revealed that it has conducted computer simulation studies on environmental sun path, taking into consideration the solar and wind tunnels, and designing the development to maximise these natural elements.

A CDL spokesman added: 'The development has also incorporated green features which will benefit the residents. For instance, the energy efficient light fittings incorporated in common areas to reduce future maintenance, solar powered system for heated pool and even a Green Wall for podium car park to reduce heat transmission.'

Architect Vincent Koo of DCA Architects, the architects of record for the BFC, said that it is looking at providing energy savings of up to 20 per cent by providing sun-shading devices for the facade and using high performance external glazing. Developers also have a role to play. Mr Koo said such energy-saving strategies will increase construction costs for a development.