World's first green library opens its doors in Singapore

The world’s first green library for children opened its doors on Friday in Singapore at its Central Public Library.

Conceptualised and built with environmental sustainability in mind, the library – called “My Tree House” – is the first in the world to be built on environmental principles from design and infrastructure to the use of sustainable material.

It was awarded the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award in May, an established rating system that rates environmental design and performance.

Eco-friendly building materials such as energy-efficient LED lighting, refurbished bookshelves and sustainable carpets were used. The visually-arresting centrepiece in the library is a treehouse whose canopy is made from more than 3,000 recycled plastic bottles collected from the public.

This special library, by the National Library Board (NLB) and Singapore-listed developer City Developments Limited (CDL), was opened by Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Yaacob said the green library was a “wonderful achievement” and that the government wants to encourage as many buildings as possible to achieve energy-efficient targets.

He noted that there are about 45,000 books in this library, a third of which are green-themed covering on animals, plants, nature, water, weather, environment, recycling, and climate change.

“A lot of thought has been put into the development of this library to create this enjoyable and educational environment, from infrastructure, book collection, to programmes and activities. I hope our parents and our teachers can bring the children and students here to the library to check out the treasure in our store,” he said.

Mr Kwek Leng Joo, managing director of CDL, said the library was a result of a “common vision and passion”.

“We tapped on each other’s strengths and expertise to create a completely green and innovative library conducive to ignite in young minds, a love for nature,” he said.

Children at My Tree House can learn about the environment through a multi-sensory experience, which includes a ‘knowledge tree’ which is a shadow play wall, to learn about the environment and energy conservation.

A line-up of green themed programmes has been planned for the library by NLB in partnership with other public agencies such as the National Climate Change Secretariat, National Environment Agency and National Parks Board.

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