JTC secures first Platinum Award for new parks, and clinches three BCA Green Mark awards in all

JTC Corporation’s CleanTech Park is the first development in Singapore to achieve the BCA-NParks Green Mark Platinum award.  Accomplishing an unprecedented rating for New Parks, the Green Core at CleanTech Park is lauded for design that ensures long-term sustainable balance of the development’s commercial needs and the site’s natural biodiversity.

  • Marking another milestone for JTC is its first District level Green Mark Award for Mediapolis which has earned a GoldPlus status.  Mediapolis, Singapore’s pioneer digital media hub, is the first multi-developer district to be awarded with the BCA Green Mark status.  In addition, CleanTech Park’s first iconic green building, CleanTech One clinched a Platinum for Non-Residential New Buildings.
  • CleanTech Park’s Green Core area acts as a recreation space cum pedestrian network to the rest of the park, preserving and propagating the wildlife habitat of the site, while CleanTech One, the first multi-tenanted building in CleanTech Park will provide laboratory and office space to support cleantech R&D.  At Mediapolis, JTC achieves consistent adoption of green standards by instituting eco-friendly initiatives in its masterplanning and in the urban design guidelines to the developers.  With multiple developers involved in this project, a collaborative effort is crucial to ensure that green building standards are adhered over the various development plots and infrastructure within the district.
  • The BCA Green Mark Award, conferred by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), is awarded to exemplary green projects that promote sustainability in the built environment.    It is a scheme that assesses the environmental impact and performance of buildings, promoting the development of more environmentally-friendly buildings.
  • Mr Tan Tian Chong, BCA’s Director of Technology Development said, “JTC has demonstrated tremendous green building leadership in taking an overall sustainability approach in developing the masterplan for their projects. We are indeed thrilled to confer the first BCA-NParks Green Mark New Parks Platinum award to CleanTech Park’s Green Core and hope that this will set a new benchmark for future parks to be developed in Singapore. We look forward to seeing this highly sustainable project by JTC, that integrates environmental principles right from Day One, develop into a reality.”
  • This new win adds to four other BCA Green Mark certified developments for JTC and the corporation is currently setting its sights on attaining a “Green Mark Award for District” for the first phase of CleanTech Park.  Mr Manohar Khiatani, CEO of JTC shared, “Achieving these Green Mark rankings is a testament to JTC’s growing commitment to environmental sustainability.  Given the global trend towards sustainable growth, JTC is stepping up its efforts to address environmental challenges but in a practical and cost effective manner.”
  • The masterplan for the 50 hectare CleanTech Park at Nanyang Avenue was unveiled in February 2010.  Envisioned to be the choice location for forward-looking companies that have embraced environmental sustainability, CleanTech Park will also serve as a ‘living laboratory’ where system-level clean technology solutions can be tested and implemented before scaling up for the region and beyond.  Upon its completion in 2030, CleanTech Park will be an epicenter for research, innovation and commercialisation in clean technology, helping to cement Singapore’s position as a global clean energy hub.  CleanTech One, launched in October 2010 is targeted for completion end of 2011.
  • Announced in December 2008, the masterplan for Mediapolis included state-of-the-art facilities, movie studios, digital production and broadcast facilities, research labs, games and animation studios.  While playing a key role to boost the development of media technologies and industry, Mediapolis also incorporates several green features and infrastructure in the masterplan and encourages developers to be environmentally responsible and sustainable.
  • More information about the CleanTech Park’s Green Core, CleanTech One, Mediapolis and the BCA Green Mark Award can be found in Appendices A to D.

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Appendix A - CleanTech Park Green Core

The Green Core is dubbed to be the lungs and heart of CleanTech Park, a place of respite for the human inhabitants of the business park and the natural wildlife that make up the unique ecology of the site.

Situated at the centre of CleanTech Park, the central Green Core diverges itself into four ‘green wildlife corridors’ that intersperse with building parcels. This unique form of the Green Core allows for building clusters to have a dual frontage concept, where buildings can adopt both an urban and a nature front.

Approximately 5 ha in size, the area is looking to boast the largest concentration of trees to be conserved.  It is also designated to preserve the rich biodiversity of rare fauna such as the native Sunda Pangolin.  Efforts will also be placed on a butterfly garden to ensure that the harlequin butterflies in the area will continue to make the place their home.  With facilities such as lookout decks, pavilion boardwalks and stepping stones, the Green Core aims to bring the community closer to nature, rousing them of the fundamental tenets of their vocation in this industry.

Key Design Features of the Green Core

Underlying the holistic approach of the central Green Core is the priority of nature preservation and biodiversity enhancement.  The design of this area embraces the notion to understand, respect and nurture the unique natural characteristics of the site in all its different functions and layers.

(A) Freshwater Wetland Forest

A Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) was conducted with a host of surveys and studies investigating the topographic, geological, hydrological, botanical, as well as zoological conditions of the site.  These studies have shown the potential to develop a freshwater wetland forest in the lower and swampy grounds of the valley.  This eco-habitat will be one of the rarest in tropical Asia, providing both conservation and educational value to Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Softscape planting strategies are undertaken to nurture this into a primary forest with greater biodiversity, a wider palette of species and different levels of tree canopies and vegetation.  Some initiatives include re-introducing tree species that previously existed in the freshwater swamps but are currently extinct or endangered in Singapore; introducing a plant palette that includes fruit and nectar-producing plants to attract these wildlife back into the park when the development is completed.

(B) Hydrology Plan

An estate level hydrology scheme will be implemented within the Green Core for rainwater harvesting.  It makes use of the natural undulations of the site to channel stormwater into the low-lying areas for storage and reuse.  As stormwater cascades into a network of swales and pond, it passes over pollutant traps.  The water is directed towards areas built with layers of filter media such as sand and gravel.  Above these areas, plants act to help absorb and remove pollutants before the water is filtered through the gravel below.  This results in cleaner water output that can be used for toilet flushing and irrigation.  Assuming a total of about 4,000 park users per month, this system expects potable water savings of up to 12,600 litres per month.  If this serves to be successful, it can be exported as a highly cost effective way of cleansing rainwater.  This can be especially valuable for rural areas and in countries that do not enjoy the means to invest in high-tech, capital intensive recovery and desalination plants.

(C) Green Replacement

The Green Core has been planned to hold significantly larger amount of greenery than a typical urban park landscape.  Besides replacing more than 100% of the trees to be felled, the number of new species of trees anticipated to be planted in the Green Core far exceeds the requirement set by the Green Mark for New Parks Guideline by BCA and NParks.

Appendix B - About CleanTech One

CleanTech One is the first building to be developed in CleanTech Park.   Resting on a 1.5 ha plot area, this six storey multi-tenanted building comprises two towers occupying 37,500 sqm in gross floor area.  When completed end 2011, CleanTech One will be home to companies that are looking to boost their research activities and to reap positive benefits through cross-fertilisation of ideas and strategic alliances.

CleanTech One will be the physical gateway into the business park and is a practical demonstration of sustainability applied to everyday life.  In designing the development, JTC adopted a pragmatic approach to demonstrate that environmental sustainability can be achieved without high costs.

Key Design Principals of CleanTech One

Design Strategy

The notion ‘Achieve More with Less’ captures the fundamental essence of the design for CleanTech One – more productivity with less energy, more energy with less carbon, more economic growth with less impact.

Design Philosophy

Holistic, eco-sustainable approach that balances environmental, economic and social aspects.

Design Concept

CleanTech One is conceptualised as a living capsule, a building that is compact and intense; both as an exciting place for R&D as well as an object that communicates the need for clean technology consciousness.  CleanTech One is characterised by a ‘living atrium’ that brings natural light and visual connections to the space within which interaction, networking and exchanges of ideas take place.

Key Design Features of CleanTech One

A combination of novel features help to create a truly sustainable environment for cleantech companies to grow. CleanTech One seeks to achieve this by minimising energy and water consumption, while utilising renewable energy sources as much as possible.

(A) Energy Efficiency

CleanTech One leverages on passive building design principles to reduce its energy load.  Apart from minimising the East-West façade through careful orientation of the building, perimeter corridors are also adopted for CleanTech One which will not only provide access to workspaces and also act as an effective sun shade for the building. As such the building has managed to achieve a low ETTV (Envelope Thermal Transfer Value) of 31.38 W/m2.The corridors and atrium are designed to be naturally ventilated and wind walls will be used to channel prevailing wind through the two tower blocks to improve air circulation.

Sky trellises will be constructed between adjacent buildings and covered by plants.  By shading open spaces between buildings, heat gained by the buildings can be further reduced, thereby enhancing the ‘walkability’ within open spaces in the area.

Other green features include rooftop and vertical gardens, and LED lightings. In all, CleanTech One is able to achieve 50% energy savings through the adoption of green building designs as well as cutting-edge green technologies.

(B) Utilising Renewable Energy

CleanTech One will house a 1MW fuel cell testbed which will run on hydrogen power.  The hydrogen will be generated through a thermo plasma reforming process which includes the use of horticulture waste for the regeneration of the zinc catalyst. The fuel cell plant is expected to generate renewable energy to power up to 38% of the building’s estimated energy load.  There will also be a 238 kW peak solar system installed to harvest solar power. These will be in the form of monocrystalline and building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

(C) Water Efficiency

Rainwater collected from rooftops, along with greywater collected from wash basins and the condensate from air-conditioning systems will be stored in water treatment tank where it is treated for impurities and micro-organisms. The water will be re-used for non-potable usage like irrigation and flushing of toilets. This provides 38% savings of the total building estimated non-potable water consumption.

(D) Environmental Protection

Roads, sewers and drains will be constructed using recycled building and civil work materials such as eco-concrete.  Soil excavated during construction will also be retained for reuse for planting purposes.

Other eco construction practices were also adapted from the Green & Gracious Builder Guide from BCA, for example, rain water harvesting, non-chemical usage for silty-water treatment, classification of waste for easy recycling and energy, water and waste-reduction monitoring during construction.

(E) Waste Management

CleanTech One will be installed with a biodigester system to handle all the food waste generated by the building occupants.  With the biodigester, food waste can be quickly decomposed, removing odour and leaving water and carbon dioxide as end products.  This helps to create a zero-food waste environment.

(F)  Building Management

There will be data collection and analysis of building performance through the Integrated Environmental and Property Asset Management System (IEPAMS), in addition to the common Building Monitoring System (BMS). With a mini weather station located at the roof and display monitor at the living atrium, the IEPAMS is able to transform the building performance data into user-friendly and easy-to-understand information for the building users.

(G) Indoor Environment

Low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint, high frequency ballasts, nano air purifiers, along with carbon dioxide, relative humidity, temperature and VOC sensors will be used at offices to ensure good indoor environment quality.

Appendix C - Mediapolis

Mediapolis is envisioned to be a self-contained and vibrant digital media ecosystem that is set to help elevate Singapore into a Trusted Global Media Hub.  Occupying a 19-ha plot of land at one-north, it would comprise incubators, R&D activities, content development, digital production, broadcasting, industry-responsive education, intellectual property and digital rights management.

When completed in 2020, Mediapolis will include state-of-the-art facilities, movie studios, digital production and broadcast facilities, research labs, games and animation studios, office, service apartments and hotels.  Mediapolis will also play a key role to boost R&D efforts in digital media technologies to capture the increasing demand for innovative applications, services and devices.

Key Green Features of Mediapolis

JTC Corporation, in collaboration with CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, developed a green master plan for Mediapolis incorporating green features and infrastructure. The master plan provides a blueprint for the planning and building development while placing Mediapolis above others in terms of environmental responsibility and sustainability.

A) Holistic Master-Planning and Urban Design Guidelines

During the master-planning stages of Mediapolis, many passive design and district level green features were incorporated. This included the provision of buffer parks and a 2.2 ha public park to ensure good access and interconnectivity of green spaces; good access to nearest bus stops within a 500m walking distance; the adoption of native plant strategies; as well as shade from tree canopies in public areas and streets.

This laid the foundation and set the benchmark for the Urban Design Guidelines (UDG) that are given to developers of Mediapolis. The UDG serves to ensure that developers comply with environmentally-friendly initiatives in their architectural designs, such as the provision of underground carparks to reduce carpark footprint; covered walkways in order to provide shade; as well as sky gardens and terraces to ensure extensive greenery.

On top of that, all tenant-occupied developments in Mediapolis are to achieve at least a BCA Green Mark Gold Building certification. This will ensure that high building standards are adhered to throughout the district.

B) Developers Green Handbook

All developers in Mediapolis will be issued a Developers Green Handbook which will set guidelines on energy efficiency; water efficiency; waste-management and environmental protection on a building level. For example, in terms of water efficiency, developers will be strongly encouraged to utilise “Excellent” Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) Ratings fittings and to consider the use of alternative water sources such as NEWater or rainwater (e.g. for landscape irritation). In terms of environmental protection, developers will be strongly encouraged to adopt environmentally friendly construction practices, such as through the use of Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCA) and Green Cements.

C) Other District-Level Green Features

LED or energy-saving lighting will be implemented on a district level, together with meters or sub-meters for the monitoring and management of energy consumption. Mediapolis aims to achieve approximately 30% energy savings through such energy efficient measures. Bio-retention swales – landscape features designed to treat and regulate the flow of surface runoff – will also be provided to manage runoff from the impervious areas in Mediapolis. A corresponding maintenance plan recommended by PUB will be provided in order to ensure proper treatment and optimal use of the bio-swales. In addition, sustainable road materials will be utilised in the construction of general infrastructure in Mediapolis, including RCA and other products that are certified under the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme (SGLS).

Appendix D - About the BCA Green Mark

The BCA Green Mark scheme was launched in 2005 as a key strategic programme to raise the awareness of sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings. It evaluates buildings for their environmental impact and performance. The benefits of Green Mark buildings include cost savings from efficient use of key resources such as energy and water, leading to lower operation and maintenance costs. Other less tangible benefits include enhanced occupant productivity and health due to good indoor environmental quality.

The assessment criteria cover the following key areas:-

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • Environmental Protection
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Other Green Features and Innovation

About the BCA-NParks Green Mark for New Parks Award

BCA-NParks Green Mark for New Parks is an extension of the BCA Green Mark scheme, and is a joint initiative by BCA and the National Parks Board (NParks). It aims to inspire and promote sustainable park design as well as to identify best practices in park design, construction, management and maintenance planning. The BCA-NParks Green Mark for New Parks scheme is specifically developed for civic landscape areas examining social and economic sustainability with strong emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Under the assessment framework, parks are evaluated based on seven criteria:

  • Material Resource
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Greenery and Urban Ecology
  • Design for Ease of Maintenance and Accessibility
  • Parks Development and Construction Management
  • Other Green Initiatives



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