At least 6,500 buildings need retrofitting to reach green building target

The Singapore Green Building Council estimates that at least 6,500 buildings here need to be retrofitted over the next 20 years.

This will enable Singapore to reach its target of “greening” at least 80 per cent of its buildings by 2030.

Several green ideas are being exhibited at the third Build Eco Xpo, a three-day event that focuses on green practices in building, design and technology. The event is being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

One idea involves the use of titanium dioxide coating solution to treat panels of glass.

Titanium dioxide is a chemical commonly found in sunblock, paint and ink. When exposed to sunlight, it prevents water from staining, and allows dirt to be washed away easily by rain water.

It also helps to oxidise dirt, and that means buildings can keep themselves clean in sunlight.

Another green application showcased is plastic sheets which emit light. It is made possible with technology that allows light emitting materials to be printed directly on materials such as plastic and paper.

Dr Albert Lu, a senior scientist at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, said: “The target future applications would include aesthetic or ambient lighting, flexible signages, and in the longer term, even for general lighting, because this promises very good energy efficiency as well as minimum heat generation.”

While these ideas will help new buildings be greener, the Building and Construction Authority is also helping older buildings to be more energy efficient.

Singapore currently has 500 green buildings and this forms 8 per cent of the building stock.

So far, some 10 existing buildings are in the midst of retrofitting.

For them, the benefits go beyond saving the environment and being energy efficient.

The president of the Singapore Green Building Council, Lee Chuan Seng, said: “What we have found so far is that when you retrofit a building, some of the building owners are now reaping savings of half a million dollars, S$1 million a year.”

Most retrofitting processes typically involve improving the air-conditioning and lighting systems, lifts and the facade.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Sep 2010

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