Green Buildings – Incentives and Opportunities in Singapore

Singapore’s buildings are responsible for more than 30 % of the total energy consumed by the country. It has been estimated to increase in the future due to increasing population. Air-conditioning systems consume between 40 and 50 % of the total energy consumption of buildings. In order to improve efficiencies of the building stock and mitigate their respective climate change impact, the Singapore government embarked on the green building movement by launching the BCA (Building and Construction Authority) Green Mark scheme in 2005.

The BCA Green Mark scheme serves as a benchmark for evaluating environmental sustainability in buildings. It also formed the backbone for Singapore’s first Green Building Masterplan developed in 2006 to encourage, enable and engage industry stakeholders to adopt new green buildings. The second Green Building Masterplan was launched in 2009 with a focus on converting at least 80% of the buildings in Singapore to green by 2030. With more than 25% of buildings already ‘greened’, we began an ambitious plan to accelerate the green building agenda. Since the launch of the BCA Green Mark scheme in 2005, the number of green buildings in Singapore has grown exponentially, from 17 in 2005 to more than 2,100 in 2014. This translates to about 62 million square metres of gross floor area (GFA), equivalent to 25% of the total built-up areas in Singapore.

BCA has been driving sustainable development in the built environment through initiatives such as Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability (PSTLES), grooming a green-collar workforce, and sharing our experiences internationally. An R&D roadmap on building energy efficiency in Singapore has been developed through a multi-agency effort led by BCA. This roadmap charts a viable pathway towards wide-scale deployment of energy efficient building solutions by leveraging on technology and addressing barriers to implementation. Based on this roadmap, the National Research Foundation, through the Energy Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) Executive Committee (ExCo), will be allocating S$52 million in establishing an integrated Building Energy Efficiency RD&D Hub. Also known as the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC), the hub will underline the robust link between research and translation to policy.

The Government also has introduced various incentive schemes to improve energy efficiency:

1. Green Buildings Innovation Cluster-Building Energy Efficient Demonstrations Scheme (GBIC-Demo)

  • S$20 million scheme to spearhead the test-bedding of new energy-efficient technologies in fully operational buildings.
  • Technologies to be test-bedded should achieve 20 percent to 40 percent improvement over the current best-in-class technologies. They could come from successfully completed research and development (R&D) projects or proven technology – either local or overseas – that has not been widely implemented in Singapore

2. S$50 million green mark incentive scheme for existing buildings and premises (GMIS-EBP):

  • Incentivises existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) tenants and building owners, or building owners with at least 30% of its tenants who are SMEs to adopt energy efficiency
  • Co-funds up to 50% of the retrofitting cost for energy improvements, or up to S$3 million for building owners and up to S$20,000 for tenants

3. Building retrofit energy efficiency financing (BREEF) scheme:

  • To aid building owners in overcoming upfront costs of energy efficiency retrofits and in adopting Green Mark standards for existing buildings
  • Increased risk share of 60% for any loan default with participating financial institutions

4. Green Mark Gross Floor Area (GM GFA) incentive scheme:

  • Encourages private sector to work towards achieving higher-tier Green Mark ratings
  • Applicable to all new and existing private developments that undergo substantial energy efficiency enhancements

5. Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)

  • GREET aims to encourage owners and operators of new and existing industrial facilities to invest in energy efficient equipment or technologies.
  • The scheme is co-administered by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

6. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe):

  • EASe is a co-funding scheme administered by NEA to incentive companies in the manufacturing and building sectors to carry out detailed studies on their energy consumption and identify potential areas for energy efficiency improvement.


  1. Building and Construction Authority
  2. National Environmental Agency
  3. Energy Efficiency Programme Office
Sectors: Commercial Real Estate Services and Energy, Environment & Water
Countries: Singapore
Topics: Insights & Statistics and R&D
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