Green project at business parks to keep energy costs down

Forest canopies keep temperatures in our nature reserves cooler, so could a similar concept have the same effect in our business parks?

Singapore’s leading industrial landlord intends to find out, and if it works, industrial clusters here are set to turn a shade of green.

The Green Roof Trellis concept by JTC Corporation aims to lower temperatures in these parks by 2-3°C – which would reduce energy consumption and, hence, electricity bills.

“Climber plants will grow from planter boxes along roof edges of buildings, to a wire mesh structure supported by cables from columns across the rooftops of two buildings,” explained JTC senior planner Mr Yio Yang Huat, who came up with the idea. “Over time, plants will grow to cover the entire mesh and provide shade.”

This trellis will provide better coverage than conventional awnings or eaves, he added. Besides less power needed for air-conditioning, the benefits include improved air and aesthetics, and a more pedestrian-friendly industrial park.

JTC will pilot the project at its Clean Tech Park in mid-2010. If successful, “there are plans to extend the concept to all buildings,” said JTC director of engineering planning Koh Chwee, adding that it will work with the National Parks Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Ms Valerie Teo, chief executive of car retailer Pinnacle Motors which is located in industrial parks in Sin Ming and Ubi, said: “Everyone is going in the green direction, so if this saves business cost and reduced carbon emission, it’s a win-win. But if it’s going to cost tenants, I’m not so sure.”

The project’s cost is still being worked out, said Mr Koh.

Standard Chartered, a tenant of JTC’s Changi Business Park, told MediaCorp the green project will transform the operating landscape for firms.

“Having a green building will become a way of doing business and companies will need to look into efficient and sustainable buildings in their portfolio,” it said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 29 Oct 2009

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