A record number of 24 builders will receive the BCA Green and Gracious Builder Award this year. Out of the 24 winners, 18 join the ranks for the first time and six were re-certified to higher ratings under the Green and Gracious Builders scheme. Five of the top seven winners – Hexacon Construction Pte Ltd, Ho Lee Construction Pte Ltd, Samsung C&T Corporation, Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd and Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd – were previously awarded ‘Merit’ and ‘Excellent’ ratings and have now successfully met the higher criteria during re-certification to clinch the ‘Star’ rating. Lend Lease Pharmaceutical Asia Pte Ltd and Lend Lease Singapore Pte Ltd are the other two in the top tier.
Ho Lee Construction Pte Ltd is one of the builders specialising in public housing projects to have clinched the ‘Star’ award. On site, they have put in place a strategic Earth Control Measure Plan from the start of the project to reduce soil erosion from exposed earth surfaces. Their exemplary efforts had led them to be selected as one of PUB’s Earth Control Measures model sites. In their day-to-day activities, Ho Lee also ensures that used water is treated and recycled for non-potable consumption such as flushing of toilets, washing of vehicle wheels and watering plants. In addition to taking measures to mitigate the environmental impact, they have plants around the project sites to enhance the surroundings and to create a more pleasant environment for their workers.
Another ‘Star’ award winner, Sembawang Engineers and Constructors, has also adopted good earth control measures by using coir logs, which are made of interwoven coconut fibres and biodegradable netting, at the bottom of slopes to prevent erosion. The logs provide temporary physical protection to a site before vegetation has been established. At one of their project sites which was previously a dumping ground, they took the initiative to sort through the unwanted items and retrieved materials that could be reused and recycled. Another initiative that they embarked on was to go paperless and instead, they used electronic gadgets such as the iPad for inspection, incident reporting and for the submission of photographic evidences. They have also been actively engaging neighbouring stakeholders to gather feedback on their projects during the construction stage.
Among the ten ‘Excellent’ award winners is Takenaka Corporation, who made use of technologically advanced equipment on site to improve their construction processes. One of the challenges that they faced in the development of the National Art Gallery, a conservation building, was the need to retain its external walls while demolishing parts of its interior within a confined space. They made use of equipment such as a ‘robotic stair climber’, mechanical crusher and wire saw to tear down the internal staircases, beams and walls. These helped in expediting the process to minimise disturbance to neighbouring developments and also reduce noise, dust and vibration.
While most of the winners of the GGBA are bigger builders, Woodwater Integrated, a small and medium enterprise proves that smaller builders also have a big role to play in mitigating the environmental impact of construction work. Among their initiatives were the use of lightweight blocks for the construction of the site office, which could be demolished and recycled as infill for external pavement and drains. The site office is also built in north-south orientation with lower ceiling, insulated roofs and tinted windows. All these helped to reduce heat transmission and the cooling load of the site office.
The Green and Gracious Builder Award was introduced in 2009 as part of BCA’s efforts in promoting sustainability, environmental protection and considerate practices during the construction phase of a development. The award recognises progressive builders that have taken initiatives to address environmental and public concerns that may arise from construction works. To date, 46 builders are certified under the BCA Green and Gracious Builder Scheme. Each certification will last for three years. Certified builders will be required to undergo annual surveillance audit and a renewal audit before its expiry to ensure that the high standard of environmentally friendly and gracious practices is maintained.
The winners will receive their awards during the BCA Awards ceremony at the Resorts World Sentosa on 24 May 2012. His Excellency President Tony Tan Keng Yam will grace the event as Guest of Honour.