Green office options aplenty in Singapore
Singapore’s office market is well positioned to ride on the ESG wave.
As of 3Q21, close to 80% of the 69.7 million square feet of island-wide office space tracked by JLL is certified green. This green space positions Singapore's office market well to ride the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) wave that is hitting the boardroom agenda of corporations globally.
Where can green offices be found?
The high proportion of green office buildings in Singapore can be partly attributed to the Building Control Act amendment in 2008. It mandates all new and existing buildings that undergo major retrofits starting from 15 April 2008 to obtain a Green Mark certification, awarded by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore.
The majority of Green Mark-certified office buildings are located in the CBD and CBD Fringe sub-markets. But they are also available, although fewer in number, in the Orchard and Decentralised sub-markets.
Figure 1: Major clusters of Green Mark-certified office buildings
Source: MapIT, BCA, JLL Research
How green are Singapore’s offices?
Over half of the BCA Green Mark-certified buildings have obtained the top-tier Green Mark rating of Platinum. In the CBD, these buildings include 79 Robinson Road, Afro-Asia, Asia Square Tower 1 and 2, Guoco Tower, Frasers Tower and Marina One. In the CBD Fringe, they include Bugis Junction Towers and Lazada One. Ngee Ann City and The Heeren are in Orchard, while PLQ and The Metropolis are in the Decentralised sub-market. Based on BCA standards, a Green Mark Platinum-certified building could potentially achieve 30% more energy savings compared to a non-Green Mark building.
Figure 2: Estimated breakdown of Green Mark office buildings island-wide
Source: BCA, JLL Research
Singapore’s appeal to green-conscious occupiers will continue to grow
The Singapore Green Plan 2030 has set lofty goals for the country's sustainability movement to change the way people live-work-play over the next ten years. Moreover, the BCA refreshed its standards under the Green Mark 2021 scheme, effective from 1 November 2021. Now new and existing buildings undergoing retrofitting must meet higher standards in energy performance to be certified as green. They must also emphasise other sustainability outcomes, including designing for maintainability, reducing embodied carbon across the building’s life cycle and creating a healthier environment for building occupants.
In addition, the intense competition for tenants often sees landlords going the extra mile in their green offerings to carve out a competitive edge for their buildings.
For example, Keppel Land recently retrofitted Keppel Bay Tower into Singapore’s first Green Mark Platinum (Zero Energy) commercial building. It boasts an energy-efficient chiller plant and air distribution system, smart LED lighting solutions and an intelligent-building control system. Keppel Land also extended some of these energy-efficient technologies to its latest Keppel Towers redevelopment project and was awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy certification.
Hence, we can expect more office buildings in Singapore to appeal to the increasingly sophisticated and environmentally conscious occupiers globally.