January 21, 2022

A Guide To Building Energy Efficiency Requirements


Electricity use in buildings accounts for 16 percent of Singapore’s total energy demand. Air conditioning is widely utilized in buildings to keep them cool all year.

Integrating energy-saving techniques is one of the most critical priorities for preserving the economy’s long-term viability. Such energy-saving initiatives have been implemented in Singapore. Future constructions will include new “green” features such as green roofs to capture the building’s heat. Green features have been added to buildings that are being renovated.

With this in mind, Singapore has increased the requirements for energy-efficient buildings from its previous baseline requirements.

Definition of an Energy-Efficient Building

Alternative construction procedures, materials, and other resources are used to create a more energy-efficient system in energy-efficient buildings. The building’s design is environmentally friendly.

In Singapore, energy-efficient buildings are designed to provide a significant reduction in the energy required for cooling, regardless of the energy source or equipment used to cool the structure.

Due to more effective equipment that keeps the buildings colder for a longer duration, the demand for air conditioning is minimized.

Singapore’s Green Masterplan

The Green Plan is a national effort by Singapore to convert to more sustainable methods of living. There are 5 key programmes which make up the Green Plan:

  • City in Nature
  • Energy Reset
  • Green Economy
  • Resilient Future
  • Sustainable Living


In terms of green targets for energy-efficient buildings, there are some key markers Singapore aims to achieve by 2030:

  • Increase solar energy deployment by a factor of five to at least 2 GWp, which can meet around 3% of Singapore’s projected electricity consumption in 2030 and power more than 350,000 families annually (1.5 GWp by 2025, which can meet around 2 percent of our 2025 projected electricity demand and generate enough electricity to power more than 260,000 households a year)
  • Beyond 2025, 200 MW of energy storage devices will be implemented, capable of powering more than 16,000 residences each day.
  • Best-in-class generation technology that achieves heat-rate/emissions targets while lowering carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Imports of clean electricity to diversify the electricity supply.
  • By 2030, Singapore will have greened 80 percent of its buildings (based on gross floor area).
  • From 2030, 80 percent of new buildings (by Gross Floor Area) will be SLE buildings.
  • By 2030, best-in-class green buildings will have increased their energy efficiency by 80% (compared to 2005 levels).


Singapore is committed to sustainable development and is on track on achieving its targets by 2030.

BCA Green Mark Scheme (2005)

Since 2005, Singapore has basic standards when it comes to energy-efficient buildings and thus, established the Green Mark Scheme. The higher the Green Mark score, the more energy-efficient the building is.

These are some basic criteria:

  • Climatic responsive design
  • Building energy performance
  • Resources stewardship
  • Smart and healthy building
  • Advance green efforts


The minimum Green Mark score is 50 points for both residential and non-residential buildings. If a building is a mixed use (that is, if it is for both residential and non-residential purposes), the Green Mark score will be based on the compliance with both residential and non-residential building criteria. The Green Mark scores for the respective building categories should meet at least 50 points.

The Green Mark score is automatically computed on the Building and Construction Authority’s official webpage. Depending on the score, the building may qualify for different awards. The building must keep a minimum score of at least 50 points to obtain the Green Mark certification.

Benefits of the Green Mark Scheme

  • Differentiation of buildings in the real estate market that is meaningful
  • Positive impact on company image, leasing, and building resale value
  • Energy, water, and material resource utilization are all being reduced.
  • Reduces the risk for environmental damage.
  • Indoor environmental quality improvement for enhanced health and well-being
  • Creates a clearer path for continuous improvements in energy-efficiency.

Code for Environmental Sustainability of Buildings (2008)

It is a green building rating system that assesses a structure’s environmental effect and efficiency. It provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating the entire environmental performance of new and existing buildings in order to promote sustainable design, as well as best practices in building construction and operations.

The provisions of this Code shall apply to:

  • All new building works which involve a gross floor area of 2,000 m2 or more;
  • Additions or extensions to existing buildings which involve increasing the gross floor area of the existing buildings by 2,000 m2 or more;
  • Building works which involve major retrofitting to existing buildings with gross floor area of 2,000 m2 or more.


For energy-efficient buildings, the standard code to follow is SS 530 (Code of Practice for Energy Efficiency Standard for Building Services and Equipment)

Energy Efficient Appliances in Energy-Efficient Buildings

Asides from the building’s infrastructure, energy efficiency in buildings can be increased through purchasement of energy efficient appliances. These appliances have their own scheme to determine how much energy is saved during the use of the appliance.

In Singapore, there is a system in place to regulate appliance energy efficiency. The Energy Label must be affixed to the units sold in Singapore by registered suppliers of regulated goods. Only once the National Environment Agency (NEA) has given these appliances with a Certificate of Registration can the Energy Label be applied.

The greater the number of ticks on a piece of certified equipment, the more energy-efficient it is. These appliances may indeed be expensive to purchase, but they can help to improve energy efficiency in the long run by consuming less electricity.


Singapore is making headway in its attempts to convert existing buildings to more sustainable constructions and to create new buildings with energy-efficient features in mind. As a result of these activities, Singapore is making progress toward becoming a more sustainable nation as part of the Green Plan. Due to the low maintenance requirements, these structures will prove to be profitable in the long run.

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