The Green Mark Incentive Scheme (GMIS)
is a program developed by the Building Construction Authority of Singapore
(BCA) to encourage the adoption of sustainable building practices in Singapore. The program aims to incentivize building owners to implement sustainability strategies and measures in their properties, ultimately reducing the carbon footprint of Singapore's built environment. In this article, we will provide an overview of the GMIS, its objectives, and the benefits it offers to building owners who participate in the program. We will also discuss the application process and address some common questions about the Green Mark Scheme.
What is the Green Mark Scheme?
The Green Mark Scheme is a voluntary certification program developed by the Building Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) to promote sustainable building practices and reduce the environmental impact of buildings in Singapore. The program evaluates the sustainability performance of buildings and awards ratings based on the use of sustainable materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and other criteria. The Green Mark certification is awarded at different levels based on the rating achieved, with higher levels indicating more sustainable buildings.
The BCA sets sustainability standards, strategies, and measures that are used to evaluate buildings for the Green Mark certification. These standards cover various aspects of building design, construction, and operations, including energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and sustainable materials. The BCA regularly updates these standards to reflect advances in technology and sustainable building practices, ensuring that the Green Mark Scheme remains relevant and effective.
Incentives for Green Buildings in Singapore
Singapore offers various incentives to encourage the adoption of sustainable building practices, including tax incentives, funding support, and the Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings 2.0 (GMIS).
The GMIS is a key component of Singapore's efforts to incentivize building owners to retrofit their properties with energy-efficient features and other sustainability measures. Under the GMIS, building owners who upgrade their buildings to achieve higher Green Mark ratings are eligible for cash incentives. The scheme offers up to SGD 15 million in incentives each year, and a total of SGD 63 million has been allocated for the scheme through 2023.
In addition to the GMIS, the Singapore government offers various grants and funding support to encourage the adoption of sustainable building practices. These programs include the Green Building Retrofit Fund and the Public Sector Sustainability Plan. Building owners can also tap into funding support from banks and other financial institutions to finance their sustainability initiatives.
These incentives demonstrate the Singapore government's commitment to sustainability and its recognition of the importance of promoting sustainable building practices. They also provide building owners with financial support to invest in sustainability measures that can lead to long-term cost savings and environmental benefits.
How Building Owners Can Tap Into the Green Mark Incentive Scheme
Building owners can tap into the Green Mark Icentive Scheme (GMIS) by applying for Green Mark certification
and upgrading their buildings to achieve higher ratings. One option for building owners is to participate in the Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme
, which offers cash incentives based on the increase in Green Mark rating achieved after the retrofit.
Participating in the GMIS offers various benefits for building owners, including the potential for long-term cost savings and increased property values. Sustainable features, such as super low energy or zero energy cooling systems and automation systems and sensors, can lead to lower utility bills and reduced operating costs. In addition, buildings with Green Mark certification are more attractive to tenants and investors who are looking for environmentally friendly properties.
While there may be upfront costs associated with retrofitting a building to meet Green Mark standards, the long-term savings and benefits can outweigh the initial investment. Building owners can also tap into government grants and funding support to help finance their sustainability initiatives.
There are many successful examples of green building projects in Singapore that have participated in the GMIS, including the BCA Academy
, which achieved the highest Green Mark Platinum rating, and the National Library Board Building
, which achieved the Green Mark Platinum rating for existing buildings. These projects demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of implementing sustainable building practices in Singapore's tropical climate.
How to Apply for the Green Mark Certification
To apply for Green Mark certification, building owners must submit an application to the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA)
. The application should include information about the building's sustainability strategies and measures, including energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor environmental quality. The application will be evaluated based on the Green Mark rating system, which is calculated based on a point system across various categories such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, and environmental protection.
Architects and M&E (mechanical and electrical) engineers play important roles in the Green Mark certification process. They are responsible for designing and implementing sustainable features and ensuring that they meet the Green Mark standards. They also work with the building owner to identify opportunities for energy and water conservation and other sustainability measures.
The Green Mark rating system is calculated based on a point system, with higher ratings indicating greater levels of sustainability. The points are allocated across various categories such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, and environmental protection. The final rating is based on the total number of points earned, and buildings can be rated from Certified, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Applying for Green Mark certification requires a commitment to sustainable building practices and a willingness to invest in sustainability measures. However, the benefits of achieving higher Green Mark ratings can be substantial, including lower operating costs, increased property values, and a positive impact on the environment.
Downsides of Applying for Green Mark Certification
While there are many benefits to achieving Green Mark certification, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the main concerns is the upfront costs associated with implementing sustainability measures. Depending on the level of certification sought, building owners may need to invest in expensive upgrades such as super low energy or zero energy cooling systems, automation systems and sensors, or retrofitting of existing infrastructure assets.
Another potential downside is the ongoing costs associated with maintaining and monitoring the sustainability features. This may require hiring specialized staff or third-party consultants to monitor and optimize the building's energy and water usage. Additionally, achieving high Green Mark ratings may require regular upgrades or retrofits to maintain the certification, which can add to ongoing costs.
Finally, it's important to note that Green Mark certification may not be mandatory for your project. While many building owners are voluntarily pursuing certification to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, others may choose not to invest in the certification process due to the upfront costs or other priorities.
The Green Mark Incentive Scheme and Green Mark certification are important components of Singapore's efforts to promote sustainable building practices. Building owners who invest in sustainability measures can benefit from lower operating costs, increased property values, and a positive impact on the environment. While achieving certification requires a commitment to sustainability and an investment of resources, the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile endeavor for many building owners.
While it may not be mandatory to get your building certified for Green Mark, it is becoming increasingly common and may soon become a requirement for certain types of buildings or projects. It is already a requirement for new construction buildings of a certain size and scale. In time to come, being Green Mark certified may be an expectation and the preferred choice for potential tenants. Building owners who choose not to pursue certification may find themselves at a disadvantage in the marketplace.
If you have any questions about the Green Mark Scheme or how to apply for certification, don't hesitate to reach out to the Building Construction Authority of Singapore
or a qualified Singapore architect firm
, like ADX Architects for guidance. ADX Architects has successfully achieved Green Mark Gold Plus Award for their boutique commercial project Faci Asia Pacific Office.
With the right expertise and support, building owners can tap into the benefits of the Green Mark Incentive Scheme and make a positive impact on the environment and their bottom line.