AGB Survey : Singapore as Asia’s next green building hub

A recent online poll on our platform highlights our audience’s general outlook on the next Green Building Hub in Asia. The result revealed that more than half (58%) of the respondents have claimed Singapore to become (or as many assume, ‘remain’) the star of the industry in the upcoming future, followed by India (28%) and China (20%).

As part of AsiaGreenBuildings’ user-generated content initiative, the survey was held with correspondents consisting of architects, engineers, consultants, developers, NPOs, as well as building material providers across the globe.

Each market showcases different levels of performance and growth rate, and some supporting insights are elaborated below.

Singapore : Asia’s next Green Building Hub


The city-state ambitiously aims at 80% of green buildings out of the total buildings in Singapore by 2030.At present, almost 30% of their total buildings are already certified green and will be expecting the highest green building growth in commercial and office space further down the line.

John Keung, the CEO  of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA),  explains that in a short span of 8 years, the number of green buildings in Singapore had multiplied by 100 from only 17 in 2005 to almost 1,700 in 2013 through the BCA Green Mark certification program and other various initiatives.

To date, 104 builders have been recognized under BCA’s Green and Gracious Builder Scheme. BCA further aims to certify 400 builders by 2016.

In 2010, consulting firm Solidiance had rated Singapore as the first in Asia for its green building policy. On top of that, a research by McGraw Hill Construction in early 2013 had found that out of 62 countries worldwide, Singapore was most heavily involved in the development of green buildings.

Singapore’s prowess in green building  has also shown consistently over time with a number of outstanding projects. Through their milestones, Singapore has had strong branding power under the “sustainability” label. BCA’s Green Mark certification tool is now being applied across the Asian region and even said to be competing directly with LEED by the USGBC.

India: Third best in the world (on LEED)

In der Metropolregion Kolkata, einem regionalen Zentrum der Finanzdienstleistungs- und IT-Branche, leben 15,6 Millionen Menschen. Damit ist die Hauptstadt von Westbengalen die viertgrößte Stadt im Index. Trotz der boomenden Wirtschaft beträgt das Pro-Kopf-BIP nur schätzungsweise 1.400 US-Dollar, das niedrigste der 22 untersuchten Städte. Kolkata erzielt zwar ein unterdurchschnittliches Gesamtergebnis, doch beim Wasserverbrauch ist die Stadt so sparsam wie kaum eine andere im Index. Zudem kann Kolkata mit seinen niedrigen CO2-Emissionen pro Kopf und mit geringen Schwefeldioxidkonzentrationen punkten. Kolkata’s metropolitan area is home to 15.6 million people, making it the fourth-most-populous city in the Index. The capital of West Bengal is a regional hub for financial services and IT. Despite its growing economy, GDP per capita is the lowest among the 22 cities in the Index, at an estimated US$1,400. Although its overall ranking is below average, it still has one of the lowest per capita water consumption rates. In addition, it has relatively low levels of CO2 emissions per person and low concentrations of sulfur dioxide.

This year, the USGBC ranks India as the third of the Top 10 countries for LEED on their annual ranking in terms of gross square meters and the number of LEED projects to date. At present, India has 1,883 LEED-certified registered projects, just below Canada with 4,814 and China with 2,022 projects.

The development of green buildings in India had started with only one building with 20,000 sq ft in 2001. Today, there are nearly  3,247 green buildings covering 3.11 billion sq ft spanning across the country.

India is expected to have over than 1,000 projects to be registered annually. With their current growth rate of 30% year on year, by the end of 2017, the country is to be going over 4 to 5 Billion sq ft of green building footprint. Furthermore, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) aspires to facilitate another ten billion sq ft of green building footprint by 2022.

China: Up and coming?


China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) aims to mitigate overall energy use by 16% per unit of GDP and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17% per unit of GDP by 2015.

Buildings account for approximately 25% of total energy consumption in China, and more attention has been put to spur adoption of green building adoption as part of their initiatives. Beijing alone plans to build 35 million square meters of green buildings by 2015.

The first Gold LEED certification ever awarded to a building in China was dated back in 2005, and roughly six years later, by the end of 2011, approximately 800 construction projects had been registered for LEED, whilst almost 200 had already been LEED certified.

China  has also developed the Three Star system as its local green building certification measure – which unfortunately has fewer projects to date, but with equally strong growth, rising from 10 projects certified in 2008, to 83 in 2010.

With consistent enforcement by the government and increasing level of engagement by the industry players in China, the country is expected to better compete within the Asian region to thrive in green building and sustainability sectors. ( – SA)

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