Using Green Mark and Dual Assessments in Singapore

Hannah Davis
Faithful+Gould is seeing many clients seeking advice on the merits of Green Mark versus other assessment methods such as LEED. In Singapore and in the wider Asia Pacific region some clients seek dual certification.

The Green Mark initiative was launched in 2005 with assessment methods for new build projects. Since then it has expanded to include:

  • Existing buildings
  • Officer interiors
  • Landed houses
  • New and existing parks
  • Infrastructure
  • Districts
  • Existing schools
  • Restaurants
  • Overseas projects
  • Rapid Transport Systems

Green Mark Gathers Pace

As of Feb 2012, there are more than 1000 Green Mark building projects in Singapore. We’re also seeing increasing use of Green Mark for Overseas Projects. In May’s 2012 Building and Construction Authority Awards 2012, (PDF, 39.04 Kb), eight projects from Thailand, Malaysia and China were successfully awarded Green Mark for Overseas Projects.

Faithful+Gould is seeing many clients seeking advice on the merits of Green Mark versus other assessment methods such as LEED. In Singapore and in the wider Asia Pacific region some clients seek dual certification. This is especially of interest for international corporations aiming for a uniform accreditation across their portfolio. For instance, we recently completed an office fit out for Autodesk at Solaris which achieved both Green Mark and LEED Platinum accreditation.

Chinese companies are also showing more interest following the government’s energy efficiency aims outlined in their 12th Five Year Plan.

In China green certification demand is currently driven by inward investor companies, but Chinese companies are also showing more interest following the government’s energy efficiency aims outlined in their 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) PDF, 41.12 Kb). This is being addressed in part by LEED, Green Mark and China’s own 3-Star rating.

Decision Making: Green Mark, LEED or Both?

One size doesn’t fit all. We suggest that companies in the region consider the following:

  • LEED is more internationally recognized. For some clients with a US corporate base, this uniformity may be helpful. However this may not be the case if the client’s requirements are broader and do not specify the assessment method to be used.
  • Green Mark generally allows more credits for green corporate policy and procurement. This is good for clients who already have these policies in place at a corporate level as the credits are “quick wins”.
  • Some of the LEED credits must be documented using US standards, such as ASHRAE standards which may not be followed locally. Green Mark uses more locally applicable standards. Green Mark is taking this localisation further, developing specific Green Mark routes for major international markets such as China.
  • We have generally found BCA responds more quickly when helping us to apply the certification.  BCA also tends to take a practical approach allowing flexibility where reasonable. This is an important factor in any international rating system, as there are likely to be more queries when applying for certification outside of the assessment method’s originating country.
  • Green Mark involves on-site assessment and verification. This assures the client that the project has actually met the established standards and that the project team has fulfilled their scope and delivered to the required standard. With LEED, all assessment is undertaken remotely.
  • The use of a non-localised rating system may result in designers making materials or design choices that gain credits - even though these may not be the most site- or climate-appropriate choice available.

Faithful+Gould’s Asia Pacific sustainability teams have significant expertise and experience in supporting clients throughout the region with Green Mark and LEED accreditation. 

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