What are Some Incentives for Singapore Building Owners to Go Green?

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Singapore is committed to developing a sustainable city and is already known as the ‘City in a Garden.’ The Building and Construction Authority or BCA have created a master plan to accelerate Singapore’s aim to become a global leader in green buildings. This master plan includes incentives for smaller individuals and players to encourage greater adoption for energy efficiency and green initiatives.

Why Use of Incentives in Fostering Green Buildings Crucial?

The affordability of green construction is a significant challenge for a number of developers and building owners. Government incentives help drive green construction by making them more affordable. Incentives for green buildings are in the form of tax reduction, rebate systems, subsidies, low-cost loans, concession, cash incentives and more. Such incentives also encourage private sectors to join the development of green buildings by increasing demands and reducing their building costs. These incentives help reduce investment risks for developers and improve investment priority.

Incentive Schemes by Singaporean Government for Green Building Owners

The Singapore government has introduced many incentive schemes to encourage architects and developers to invest in green buildings. Some of them include –

  • Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing or BREEF Scheme

According to this scheme, the participating financial institution pays the building owners the cost of the energy retrofits using an energy performance contract. It usually covers the cost of the equipment, their installation and the professional fees. The maximum loan limit is $4 million of 90% of the total cost, whichever is lower.

  • Green Buildings Innovation Cluster or GBIC & Building Energy Efficient Demonstrations or GBIC Demo Scheme

This scheme offers green building developers and owners who use new energy-saving innovations that are not widely used in their existing or upcoming buildings. The funding covers up to 70% of the total cost or $3 million per project, whichever is lower.

  • Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme or SGIS

The SGIS scheme allows building owners to create more greenery and a lush environment through intensive landscaping on the building. It covers 50% of the installation costs of rooftop and vertical greenery up to a certain limit.

  • Built Environment Accelerate to Market Programme or BEAMP

The BEAMP scheme was a collaboration of JTC, BCA and Enterprise Singapore to attract investors and companies to find innovative processes to help solve their real estate industry challenges. The programme grants up to 70% of the project cost for local SMEs and about 50% for all non-SMEs.

  • Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High Rise or LUSH

This program sponsored by URA encourages developers and building owners to provide designated communal green spaces at the ground and upper levels of the buildings like roof gardens or sky terraces. URA can also decide to grant additional exemptions for some selected spaces.


Building efficiency is crucial to Singapore’s sustainable growth and helps it achieve its 2030 Green Plan. While some developers can self-finance green building plans and enjoy savings right away, others need government incentives to help them move towards adopting more energy efficiency programs for their buildings. Singapore government can play a key role in motivating more green buildings but also promote post-construction monitoring that those buildings are locking the energy savings in the long term. If you are looking to go green and looking for ways to potentially save on building costs, get in touch with us at ADX Architects.

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