9 developments win for keeping it green

SINGAPORE - A roomful of worms is usually cause for alarm for a hotel. But for the Siloso Beach Resort, it proved a winner.

The eco-hotel was one of nine developments recognised by the National Parks Board (NParks) on Monday for their use of nature in their buildings.

The Siloso resort was not just carefully built around existing trees, some of which shoot through the rooms, at extra cost.

The hotel also has, in a small room, one million Malaysian blue worms to turn 50kg of food waste a day into compost.

Said the hotel's managing director Kelvin Ng Yu Teck: "We didn't cut down any trees, so it was challenging when we first started. But nature comes first, and we must respect that."

The Interlace condominium in Alexandra Road was also given the inaugural Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (Leaf) certificate for its extensive sky terraces and roof gardens, along with a 40m-diameter lotus pond, while keeping mature trees, despite having to build from the ground up.

Pangshan Grove at Bukit Panjang, a Housing Board development, got the certificate for a 200m man-made stream which doubles as a drainage system, reducing erosion in the estate's hilly terrain.

The Leaf certificate, which was presented to the winners by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan at a ceremony at HortPark, is to recognise the role built-up environments have to play in keeping Singapore green.

Said NParks CEO Poon Hong Yuen: "For us to achieve a vision 'a city in a garden', it's not just having public parks and spaces. The whole of Singapore needs to be greened up and friendly to nature."

Developers can leverage the certificate to help market their projects, given that more Singaporeans are becoming more environmentally conscious, he added.

"There's been increasing interest from buyers and building users. Developers might not do it if the market doesn't demand it," Mr Poon said.

The other winners were Corals at Keppel Bay, HDB's Senja Parc View, executive condominium The Rainforest, 158 Cecil Street office building, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Newton Suites.


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