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CDL and SEAS officially open Singapore Sustainability Academy

  • First major People, Public and Private initiative in support of global and national sustainability goals articulated in Sustainable Singapore Blueprint and Climate Action Plan, and newly-launched Public Sector Sustainability Plan
  • First time a local private-sector property developer and non-profit organisation have teamed up to create a major training and networking facility on sustainability
  • A platform for the first Singapore network for women in sustainability, Women4Green
  • First-of-its-kind sustainable and zero energy building with construction materials certified as coming from responsible sources

Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for National Security officially opened the Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA) and was accompanied by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Deputy CEO (first from right), Mr Edwin Khew, SEAS Chairman (second from left), Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL Group General Manager (first from left) and Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer (first from right).

Singapore, 5 June 2017 – Earlier today, in conjunction with World Environment Day, the Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA) (新加坡可持续发展学院) was officially opened by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for National Security, together with Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. Jointly created by City Developments Limited (CDL) and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), the Academy is the first major People, Public and Private (3P) ground-up initiative in support of global and national goals to tackle climate change.

This is also the first time a local private-sector property developer and non-profit organisation have teamed up to create a major training and networking facility on sustainability. The SSA aims to promote a lowcarbon economy, resource efficiency, and sustainable practices among businesses and the community, in particular, youths. It will focus on advocacy, building capacity and collaboration, education and training, information and resource sharing as well as user engagement.

Globally, sustainability integration has gained strong momentum with the Paris Agreement and alignment of corporate agendas to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Singapore, the Government is leading the way with the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint; Climate Action Plan and the Green Building Masterplan which aims to green 80% of all buildings by 2030; pledge to reduce Greenhouse Gases emissions intensity by 36% by 2030; and the newly-launched Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 which outlines the public sector’s plans to improve resource conservation.

The SSA is supported by six government agencies — Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), National Environment Agency (NEA), National Parks Board (NParks), and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) – and 15 founding industry partners. It will be governed by an advisory board, chaired by Professor Tommy Koh, and a programme committee that will provide strategic direction and implement programmes to its mission.

At the official opening, it was also announced that the SSA will be a platform for the Women4Green initiative by CDL, the first Singapore network for women in sustainability. Women4Green brings together women executives in green industries who contribute to climate action, sustainable business, and social change. It will harness the collective knowledge and expertise of these female leaders to empower other women to incite meaningful change in areas such as green building, technology, energy, financing, consultancy and non-governmental organisations.

To raise awareness of climate issues and build a larger community for change, the SSA will also partner Eco-Business, a leading media company on sustainable development, to set up a Sustainability Studio. The studio will produce films on sustainability for various digital platforms.

Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said, “CDL firmly believes that sustainability creates immense value for businesses, stakeholders, the community and the environment. Sustainability is strategically integrated into CDL’s business and operations from developing green buildings and managing them in an energy-efficient and resource-efficient manner, to engaging and influencing stakeholders on sustainable development. The SSA and Women4Green initiatives will further advance CDL’s stakeholder engagement to achieve a greater impact in building a sustainable future.”

Mr Edwin Khew, SEAS Chairman, said, “SEAS as the voice of the sustainable energy industry in Singapore has been promoting sustainable technologies, project development as well as financing of clean energy projects locally and regionally. Our partnership with CDL for the SSA will provide a platform for not just the industry but also the youth and community to learn and collaborate on sustainable development, mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions and to fight and adapt to climate change and its effects.”

First-of-its-kind Sustainable Building in Singapore Featuring Innovations and Responsibly-Sourced Construction Materials

In line with its mission to promote sustainability among the industry and community, the SSA is the first in Singapore to have its construction materials, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) verified by the Nature’s BarcodeTM system as coming from responsible sources. This entails scientific tests like DNA analysis to minimise the risk that the wood comes from illegal logging. CLT is a sustainable material harvested from sustainably-managed forests and fabricated by binding layers of timber perpendicular to each other with structural adhesive whereas Glulam’s layers of timber are cut in the same grain and then joined together. They are light yet structurally robust making them a lightweight alternative to steel or concrete.

Both CLT and Glulam are game-changing technologies that support the concept of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly to significantly boost productivity. For the SSA, the use of CLT and Glulam increased productivity by more than 30% and saved around 130 man days. Pre-fabricating the timber components off-site improves efficacy in assembly. This also keeps on-site pollution to a minimum, resulting in a cleaner and safer worksite.

The zero-energy building features solar technology with about 3,200 square feet of photovoltaic panels extensively covering the 4,300 square-foot SSA which comprises classrooms, a veranda, an office, and an exhibition gallery. It also features a real-time tracker of energy generation and consumption. The made-in-Singapore solar panels are expected to generate an annual energy yield of over 60,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). This is more than the SSA’s estimated annual energy consumption of about 50,000 kWh. There will also be an automation control and energy monitoring system that adapts lighting and air-conditioning to situations, providing maximum energy savings while maintaining full comfort.

Towards Zero-Waste: Upcycling SSA’s Residual Building Materials

At the official opening of SSA, DPM Teo also met the winners of the 6th CDL Singapore Sculpture Awards, introduced by CDL since 2002 to nurture artistic talent amongst youths and local artists, foster greater appreciation for this art form and enrich Singapore’s cultural landscape through the commissioning of winning works for public display.

Centred on the theme of ‘Towards Zero-Waste!’, the submissions, which drew inspiration from the concept of a circular economy and Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero-waste nation by 2030, utilised the SSA’s residual building materials, including CLT, Glulam and timber decking. Through this theme, CDL hopes to shift mindsets and change behaviour from a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model to a more circular one, in which resources are circulated back into the economy and used for a prolonged period.

Selected from more than 300 entries, the winning work of the open category is the creation by Ms Toh Ah Lan, a full-time artist. The winner of the student category is Ms Joanne Lim Sok Hua, a Secondary 4 student from the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School. The winning sculpture from the open category will be displayed outside the SSA to remind and inspire all to conserve resources for a sustainable future.

DPM Teo, Minister Masagos, Mr Kwek (ninth from right) and Mr Khew (ninth from left), together with the key representatives from the six supporting government agencies and 15 founding industry partners.

At the green wall outside SSA, DPM Teo, Minister Masagos and Mr Kwek (first from right) placed the name plates, bearing the logos of National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and CDL. Both NCCS and MEWR are two of the six supporting government agencies of SSA.

The zero-energy SSA is an extensive partnership, involving six government agencies and 15 founding industry partners. The Academy has achieved the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. As a pioneer and champion in green building, City Developments Limited (CDL) initiated this yet another public and industry outreach platform to drive sustainability and green building adoption. Built by CDL with support of like-minded building partners, the Academy will be operated by the Sustainable Energy Association Singapore (SEAS) to conduct its training classes for energy professionals from the region.

The SSA is the first in Singapore to have its construction materials, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam), verified by the Nature’s BarcodeTM system as coming from responsible sources. The use of CLT for the Academy has increased productivity by some 30%, and saved around 130 man days. The project has received its TOP in March.

Located at the roof terrace of City Square Mall, the SSA is a zero energy building that features solar technology with 3,230 square feet of photovoltaic panels and monitors to track real-time energy generation and consumption.