DBS sets the pace for Singapore’s corporate sustainability efforts with plans for nation’s first net zero building by a bank
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Singapore – Building on its commitment to achieve net zero operational carbon emissions by 2022, DBS has announced plans to transform an existing four-storey office building located at 135 Bukit Timah Road into Singapore’s first net zero development by a bank.

When completed, the building, located a stone’s throw from the Newton MRT station, will join the rarefied but growing ranks of zero energy buildings in the world – as there are currently only over 500 net zero commercial buildings globally, according to estimates by the World Green Building Council. This is in line with Singapore’s national agenda to green 80% of its buildings by Gross Floor Area by 2030 under the Singapore Green Building Masterplan, which is part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030[1].

DBS will invest over SGD 5 million to retrofit the office block, with a portion of the cost covered by a grant awarded by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) under the national Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) Programme[2], attesting to the extensive integration of innovative sustainable technologies throughout the building.

DBS plans to incorporate a slew of net zero technologies and design features to ensure that its Newton development produces as much energy as it consumes. When completed, the retrofitted building’s net energy consumption is projected to be brought down from about 845,000 kWh annually, equivalent to the energy consumed by about 200 four-room HDB homes in Singapore for an entire year, to zero. This will be achieved through a reduction in energy consumption by over 580,000 kWh annually, with the balance energy requirements generated via an on-site solar panel array.

The design of the Newton project was developed together with architecture house KAIA Architects, mechanical and electrical engineering firm CCA & Partners, and sustainability consultancy GreenA Consultants – all homegrown firms actively involved in Singapore’s net zero space.

[1]The Singapore Green Building Masterplan is an action plan that sets out Singapore’s environmental sustainability ambitions for the Built Environment. It is part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

 [2]Administered by BCA, the GBIC Programme aims to accelerate the development and adoption of promising building energy efficient technologies and solutions in the Built Environment.