Greener high-rise buildings under LUSH 2.0

To further promote greenery in Singapore’s urban landscape, the Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) initiative has been expanded to cover more development types and geographical areas than its original scheme, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday.

Termed LUSH 2.0, the enhanced programme includes additional incentives and regulations to encourage developers and building owners to adopt more green features.

One of the enhancements requires a larger number of buildings to replenish greenery displaced during their development.

Bonus gross floor area (GFA) over and above Master Plan gross plot ratio limits for rooftop outdoor refreshment areas will now be extended to new developments and redevelopment proposals.

The URA will also be more flexible in considering covered areas of communal ground gardens and wider communal planter boxes for GFA exemption.

“The provision of greenery in Singapore has always been important in our planning — not just because it beautifies our city, but because we see the value of greenery in improving our quality of life. This is an effort that involves many partner agencies, as well as developers and building owners, working together to create a lush environment for people to enjoy,” said URA chief executive Ng Lang.

More than 40ha of green spaces have been added within Singapore’s urban areas since the introduction of LUSH in 2009. That is equivalent to 130 primary school fields, the authority said.

“The green message is spreading … We are pleased with what LUSH has accomplished and have decided to do more through additional incentives and regulations. Our aim is to make Singapore a great garden and a great home,” Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan wrote in a blog post yesterday prior to the URA’s announcement.

Developers welcomed the government’s push for more skyrise greenery.

Mr Tan Seng Chai, CapitaLand’s group chief corporate officer and chairman of the company’s sustainability steering committee, said: “Skyrise greenery not only enhances the environment by bringing building users closer to nature, but also reduces urban heat gain, which potentially translates to energy savings.”

City Developments (CDL) said besides environmental benefits, buildings with green features are also better-received by users.

“Besides the carbon and energy usage reduction that can be achieved by doing this, developments with green spaces are also fast gaining popularity as they offer added lifestyle enjoyment for users,” a CDL spokesperson said.

“The enhancements under the LUSH 2.0 programme will no doubt keep Singapore at the forefront in creating gardens in the sky, and is a step in the right direction to enhance our ‘Garden in a City’ reputation.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Jun 2014

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