NTU gets top marks for green efforts

NTU gets top marks for green efforts
The green slope in NTU's School of Art, Design and Media building is one of the university's eight projects with the Green Mark Platinum status.

SINGAPORE - The signature green slope that is the roof of Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) School of Art, Design and Media building is not just a favourite hangout spot for students, but also an eco-friendly icon.

For such green features, like this grassy roof that helps regulate temperature, the building is one of 18 in the university to be certified by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) as environmentally sustainable.

Yesterday, NTU clinched another award for its campus-wide effort to go green - it was one of two winners of the Green Mark Champion Award, Singapore's top accolade for sustainable building design. The other winner was Keppel Land, which has a total of 32 Green Mark certified buildings, including the Keppel Bay Tower and Ocean Financial Centre.

The BCA Green Mark, rolled out in 2005, provides a system to evaluate a building's environmental impact and recognise its performance in areas including energy and water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.

Currently, there are about 2,000 BCA Green Mark building projects in Singapore.

The Green Mark Champion Award was launched in 2008 to recognise developers or building owners with at least 10 projects that have a Green Mark award. Of the 10, at least three must be Platinum, the highest possible award for an individual building, and three GoldPlus.

Eight organisations, including this year's winners, have received the award since it was launched.

Of its 18 projects, NTU has three Gold and GoldPlus-certified projects, and eight - including the green roof - that have Platinum status.

Its upcoming Learning Hub, slated to be ready later this year, is already one of those. It will use an air cooling system which is more efficient than traditional air-conditioning as it will not need fans for air distribution. Instead, it relies on convection theory - air is cooled, which makes it denser and causes it to settle to the floor. When this happens, warmer air rises up to take its place. This stimulates a convection current to cool indoor space continuously.

Keppel Land was also lauded for its efforts to green not just the hardware of its buildings, but the mindset of its stakeholders as well. Guides are also distributed to tenants to encourage the use of energy-efficient lighting and fittings in the office space.

Said BCA chief executive John Keung: "Going green provides a cost-effective win-win solution for businesses as it allows them to ... (cut) down on energy consumption... and create a healthier and better quality working environment for the employees."


This article was published on April 30 in The Straits Times.

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