January 21, 2022

The Complete Guide To Building Energy Efficiency In Singapore


The usage of electricity in buildings consists of 16% of Singapore’s energy demand. Air conditioning is used extensively in buildings to cool them all year round.

One of the most important goals for ensuring the economy’s long-term viability is to integrate energy-saving measures. Singapore has embarked on such energy-efficient programmes. Future projects incorporate new ‘green’ measures such as rooftop gardens to absorb the heat from the building. Buildings that are undergoing renovation have incorporated new green features.

What is an Energy-Efficient Building?

Energy-efficient buildings are high-performing structures; they merely use alternative construction processes, materials, and other resources to create a more energy-efficient system. The architecture used is environmentally sustainable.

Energy-efficient buildings in Singapore are designed to provide a noteworthy reduction of the energy needed for cooling, independently of the energy and of the equipment that will be chosen to cool the building.

This reduces the need for air-conditioning due to more efficient equipment which keeps the buildings cooler for a longer period.

Importance of Energy-Efficient buildings

Buildings are a long term investment

When targeted toward energy-efficient buildings, infrastructure investments are less risky and generate better returns. Efficiency savings free up money for other investments, stretching scarce resources.

Affordable method of combating climate change

In addition to reducing infrastructure costs, building efficiency also delivers the best return on investment when it comes to lowering climate-changing emissions. Building efficiency upgrades frequently have low or no variable costs. They deliver a return on investment in the form of energy cost reductions within six months to a year.

Features of an Energy-Efficient Building


Architecture is a large consideration in the construction of a building.

By considering the orientation of the building as well as the shape of the building, preferably compact to reduce the surfaces in contact with the exterior, one can take better advantage of the direction of the sunlight and place windows accordingly.

The openings of the building are given an appropriate orientation. In the long run, less air-conditioning would be needed due to the strategic positioning of windows on the buildings.

Appropriate techniques are applied to the external envelope and its openings to protect the building from solar heat; passive solar systems collect solar radiation, acting as “free” heating and lighting systems; the building is also protected from the sun, primarily by shading but also by the appropriate treatment of the building envelope. This is done through the usage of reflective colours and surfaces.

Installed LED Lighting

Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional light bulbs. LEDs also have the advantage of not containing mercury, which is prevalent in older lightbulbs.

By being significantly more energy-efficient than incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lighting, LED lighting offers a significant financial advantage. LEDs are more expensive than other types of lightbulbs. LEDs are a viable option because they live longer and hence they will save money in the long run in terms of maintenance and disposal.

It is over 80% more energy-efficient than traditional lighting bulbs and fluorescent light sources.

Installation of Photovoltaic Cells

Solar cells can be erected on the rooftops of buildings in Singapore to take advantage of the year-round sunshine.

PV cells absorb sunlight’s energy, causing electrical charges to form within the cells and electricity to flow. Due to a shortage of land area for the installation of wind turbines and a dearth of geothermal sources to power the urban buildings, Singapore has turned to this sort of renewable energy.

PVs can be elegantly integrated into structures. Building Integrated PV is the name given to this new trend.

Purchasement of energy-efficient appliances

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.

HVAC Systems

To ensure that the maximum amount of cooled air reaches all required regions of the building, every HVAC system equipment must be skillfully fitted. The equipment should be maintained and repaired regularly once it has been installed.

HVAC systems must be equipped with programmable thermostats and controls to maximize the efficiency of energy-efficient HVAC units. These systems allow temperatures to be automated, allowing them to adjust based on the time of day and relieving the HVAC system of some of the work.

Because outdated HVAC systems use more energy, they should be replaced.

How is an Energy-Efficient Building recognized?

In Singapore, there are multiple programmes and funding for more energy-efficient buildings. The most prominent one concerning energy efficiency is the Super Low Energy Programme (SLE Programme).

Super Low Energy Programme

The SLE program is the next phase in the green building initiative in Singapore. Best-in-class energy efficiency, onsite and offsite renewable energy, as well as other sophisticated energy management systems, are all features of SLE buildings.

  • Zero Energy Building

A super low energy (SLE) building with all its energy consumption, including plug load, supplied from renewable energy sources.

  • Positive Energy Building

A super low energy (SLE) building with 115% of all energy consumption, including plug load, supplied from onsite renewable energy sources.


Singapore is progressing in its efforts to convert existing buildings to more sustainable structures and to construct future structures with energy-efficient features in mind. Singapore is making progress toward becoming a more sustainable nation as a result of these initiatives, as part of the Green Plan. These buildings will become positive investments in the long run due to the minimal maintenance needed.

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