Green office options aplenty in Singapore

By Michelle Tee,
director of research & consultancy,
JLL Singapore
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
View of the CBD and Marina Bay from Frasers Tower (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - With close to 80% of the 69.7 million sq ft of islandwide office space tracked by JLL already certified green as of 3Q2021, Singapore’s real estate office sector is well-placed to ride the environment, sustainability and governance (ESG) wave that is hitting the boardroom agenda of corporations all over the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major wake-up call regarding the importance of ESG matters. As markets normalise and people return to the office, demand for greener, more sustainable spaces and healthy working environments has been amplified and they are now of paramount concern.
In a recent JLL survey of 478 occupiers in Asia Pacific, we found that, when occupiers lease real estate, sustainability is the next most important consideration after location and rent. Seven in 10 occupiers surveyed are willing to pay up to a 10% premium in rent to lease green-certified buildings.

Where can green offices be found in Singapore?

The high proportion of green office buildings in Singapore can be attributed, in part, to the government’s amendment of the Building Control Act in 2008. The amendment mandates that all new and existing buildings that undergo major retrofits starting from April 15, 2008, must obtain a Green Mark certification, awarded by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA).
Frasers Tower (left) and 79 Robinson Road are some of the buildings that have obtained BCA Green Mark Platinum certification (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The majority of Singapore’s Green Mark-certified office buildings are located in the CBD and CBD Fringe sub-markets, but they are also available, although in fewer numbers, in the Orchard and Decentralised sub-markets.

How green are Singapore’s offices?

A substantial 57% of the BCA Green Mark-certified buildings have obtained the top-tier Green Mark rating of Platinum. They include buildings such as 79 Robinson Road, Afro-Asia, Asia Square Towers 1 and 2, Guoco Tower, Frasers Tower, Marina Bay Financial Centre Towers 1 to 3, and Marina One located in the CBD.
In the CBD Fringe, there are Bugis Junction Towers and Lazada One; Ngee Ann City and The Heeren are in Orchard; and Paya Lebar Quarter and The Metropolis can be found 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.
Of the certified buildings, 21% have been awarded the GoldPlus certification, 17% Gold, and the remaining 5% have received the basic Green Mark certification.
Guoco Tower at Tanjong Pagar is another Grade-A office tower with BCA Green Mark Platinum certification (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

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 10 years. In conjunction with this, the BCA has refreshed its Green Mark scheme. Under the Green Mark 2021 scheme, which took effect from Nov 1, 2021, new and existing buildings undergoing retrofitting must now meet higher standards in energy performance to be certified green. They must also place greater emphasis on 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 Bay Tower is reportedly also the first commercial development in Singapore to utilise renewable energy to power all of its operations, including its tenant spaces. It does this through the purchase of renewable energy certificates from Keppel Electric and the installation of on-site solar photovoltaic panels. 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 for it. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
Hence, we can expect more office buildings in Singapore to appeal to the increasingly sophisticated, environmentally conscious occupiers, globally.
Michelle Tee is director of research and Consultancy, JLL Singapore (Credit: JLL)
Check out the latest listings near Frasers Tower, Guoco Tower, 79 Robinson, Keppel Bay Tower

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