Singapore’s ‘green’ urbanisation leaders receive awards

Outstanding sustainability practitioners in the building industry were recognised by the Building and Construction Authority and the Singapore Green Building Council

kwek receives award
Permanent Secretary Choi Shing Kwok of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources presents the Green Visionary Award to CDL's deputy chairman Kwek Leng Joo. Image: BCA

To mark 10 years of Singapore’s green building efforts, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) on Wednesday singled out 14 outstanding individuals who have made buildings and communities in Singapore greener and more liveable.

The two organisations hold the BCA-SGBC Green Building Individual Awards annually, but will be held bi-annually from this year onwards. This year, organisers have introduced two new categories: the Green Visionary Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

These are given to individuals who have led the industry in creating a more sustainable built environment, organisers said in a statement.

Er Lee Chuan Seng, emeritus chairman of engineering consultancy firm Beca Asia Holdings Pte Ltd and Kwek Leng Joo, deputy chairman of property developer City Developments Limited (CDL) both received the Green Visionary Award.  

The diverse group of winners are a strong testament of the need for collaborative efforts to address environmental issues and it is timely for us to recognise the pioneering efforts of leaders of our industry.

Chia Ngiang Hong, president of the SGBC

As head of Beca Asia, Lee drove the engineering of BCA’s flagship Zero Energy Building, the first building in Southeast Asia with an annual net zero energy consumption.

He served as member of BCA’s board since April 2003 until March 2010 and has become its deputy chairman in 2011 to 2013. As founding president of SGBC, Lee also led the industry group into becoming a full member of the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

Organisers also commended Kwek’s leadership in CDL’s ‘Conserve as it Constructs’ approach to development projects in Singapore since 1995.

CDL’s resource conservation initiatives enabled the Singapore-listed firm to rank among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World since 2010. CDL currently has over 80 Green Mark certified buildings and office interiors. Kwek is also a member of the National Climate Change Network and president of the Global Compact Network Singapore.

“Sustainability has indeed become a buzz word in the global arena. In Singapore, sustainable development is also a national priority as we have limited land and lack natural resources,” Kwek told Eco-Business.

“Beyond brick and mortar, the building sector must continually seek green innovations and sustainable engineering solutions,” he said.

Two other notable awards were given: Dr Kenneth Yeang, principal at T.R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd, received the Green Architect Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering designs embedding ecology in architecture, while Lee Eng Lock, vice chairman of Measurement & Verification Pte Ltd, earned the Green Innovator Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution in energy-efficient design of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) in Singapore.

Yeang is known for his sustainable architecture initiatives since the 1970s and has designed more than 200 projects, including several award-winning buildings. His green building certified projects include the National Library and Solaris building in Singapore.

Lee invented an accurate measurement and verification standards for Singapore buildings’s air conditioning plants, which subsequently became the minimum standard of the Green Mark version 4 criteria of Singapore’s green building ratings system. He has also won the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s Champion of Energy Efficiency in Building Award in 2012.

Since the awards started in 2011, BCA and SGBC have honoured a total of 42 green building advocates. The new winners were hailed on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the International Green Building Conference, part of the annual Singapore Green Building Week.

Chia Ngiang Hong, president of the SGBC, said in a statement that it takes a lot of passion and dedication to green the built environment - something all the winners have shown with their accomplishments in pursuing sustainable building practices.

“The diverse group of winners are a strong testament of the need for collaborative efforts to address environmental issues and it is timely for us to recognise the pioneering efforts of leaders of our industry,” he added.

Here is the full list of award winners. 

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to reflect changes in the holding of the BCA-SGBC Green Building Individual Awards from annual to bi-annual.

Eco-Business is producing a special e-newsletter featuring stories on the proceedings at IGBC 2015, kindly supported by City Developments Ltd and the Building and Construction Authority. Sign up to receive the newsletter here.

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