CDL and SEAS launch Singapore sustainability academy

First major 3P ground-up initiative to promote sustainability among the industry and community

First-of-its-kind facility by a private property developer and a non-profit organisation expected to be completed in March 2017

First in Singapore to have its construction materials, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) verified by the Nature’s BarcodeTM system as coming from responsible sources

The 4,300 sq ft zero-energy building will feature solar technology with some 3,230 sq ft of photovoltaic panels

City Developments Limited (CDL) and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) announced the launch of the Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA) (新加坡可持续发展学院) today, the first major People, Public and Private (3P) ground-up initiative in support of the national goals to tackle climate change articulated in the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint and recently-released Climate Action Plan. This is also the first time a local private property developer and a non-profit organisation have teamed up to create a major training and networking facility on sustainability. The SSA aims to promote a low-carbon economy, resource efficiency, and sustainable practices among businesses and the community, in particular, youths. Located at the roof terrace of CDL’s City Square Mall, Singapore’s first eco-mall, the SSA will consolidate all of SEAS’ operations for Asia and serve as the platform from which the organisation will implement its plans under its existing mission. The Academy is expected to be completed in March 2017.

Supported by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Environment Agency, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Building and Construction Authority, this timely initiative is aligned with Singapore’s efforts to address climate change. Ahead of the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015, Singapore has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 36 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030. It is also working towards stabilising its emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. The Climate Action Plan released on 10 July details actions that the country will take to become more carbon-efficient and climate-resilient.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, graced the launch event held at Tower Club in Republic Plaza. She said, “There is tremendous potential for the private sector to play a major role in our journey towards mitigating and adapting to the devastating effects of climate change. The Singapore Sustainability Academy by CDL and SEAS is an excellent 3P ground-up initiative in the push forward to become a more sustainable Singapore.”

Mr Grant Kelley, CDL Chief Executive Officer said, “CDL has always firmly believed in sustainability which creates value for our business, investors, customers, and the community. Sustainability is strategically integrated into CDL’s business and operations – from design, construction, procurement, and maintenance to building user engagement. As part of our commitment to sustainability for over two decades now, CDL has also continued to promote eco-friendly practices and green solutions among stakeholders. The SSA will provide a platform to further engage more stakeholders for greater impact in building a sustainable future. We look forward to sharing CDL’s best practices with the industry and community at the SSA.”

Mr Edwin Khew, SEAS Chairman said, “Over the last 10 years SEAS has reached out to the sustainable energy industry as well as businesses that adopt our member technologies, solutions and services to meet the goals of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint. Harnessing the expertise and extensive network of both CDL and SEAS, a collaboration in the form of an academy will serve as an effective platform to expand this outreach via education and an experiential laboratory, to all industrial sectors and the community at large to work towards this common goal. We will also reach out to all our other stakeholders in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility to promote best practices, sustainability and awareness.”

Advancing sustainability for a more carbon-efficient and climate-resilient future

The SSA will focus on the key areas of advocacy, building capacity and collaboration, education and training, information and resource as well as user engagement.

SEAS, operating from the new SSA, will continue to work with local industry and business as well as key initiatives with the Asian Development Bank and International Enterprise Singapore, to provide policy makers in the region with insights and share experiences on policy, technology and project financing in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy access. It will invite senior policy and decision makers to share on these subjects and explore other crucial sustainability topics pertaining to the banking, power, building and infrastructure sectors.

To build capacity and collaboration among businesses and supply chains, practitioners and youths, academics and the industry, as well as solution providers and adopters, the SSA will harness the collective knowledge and expertise of thought- and industry-leaders through multiple training and engagement initiatives.

The SSA will also look into offering a suite of education and mentorship programmes for students from tertiary educational institutions, focussing on energy efficiency, solar power, climate change, and sustainability. It will further forge partnerships with relevant educational institutions to provide high quality and practical education to build knowledge capacity, foster understanding and promote adoption of sustainability.

SEAS training programmes equip the industry professionals with capabilities in the area of energy efficiency as well as renewable energy technologies, financing and best practices. SEAS has trained over 7,000 participants to date and has been cited by Frost & Sullivan as a case study for successful implementation of training services for sustainability.

First-of-its-kind sustainable building in Singapore

The 4,300 square feet (sq ft) academy comprises classrooms, a veranda, an office, and an exhibition gallery. Jointly designed by CDL and ONG&ONG Pte Limited, and built by Woh Hup (Private) Limited, the SSA will be the first in Singapore to have its construction materials, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) verified by the Nature’s BarcodeTM system as coming from responsible sources. This entails scientific tests like DNA analysis, to reduce the risk that the wood comes from illegal logging.

CLT is a sustainable material harvested from sustainably managed forests and fabricated by binding layers of timber perpendicular to each other with structural adhesive whereas Glulam’s layers of timber are cut in the same grain and then joined together. Both CLT and Glulam are light yet structurally robust making them a lightweight alternative to steel or concrete. They also provide a high level of thermal performance, which will reduce cooling costs. The use of CLT and Glulam encourages advance planning and coordination, as part of the Design for Manufacturing and Assembly process. Pre-fabricating the timber components off-site improves efficacy in assembly, and keeps on-site pollution to a minimum. This also results in a cleaner and safer worksite. For the SSA, the use of CLT is expected to increase productivity by more than 30% and save around 130 man days.

A zero-energy building, the SSA will feature solar technology with 3,230 sq ft of photovoltaic panels and monitors to track real-time energy generation and consumption. The made-in-Singapore solar panels which are designed and built by REC are expected to generate an annual energy yield of over 60,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). This is more than the SSA’s estimated annual energy consumption of about 50,000 kWh. There will also be an automation control and energy monitoring system that adapts lighting and air-conditioning to situations, providing maximum energy savings while maintaining full comfort.

The SSA is CDL’s third major 3P initiative. In 2013, the CDL Green Gallery @ Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum was opened, becoming Singapore’s first purposefully built zero energy Green Gallery. The Green Gallery, a partnership between CDL and National Parks Board, is a community space for the public to learn about the environment and the heritage of Singapore’s gardens. My Tree House, the world’s first green library for kids, created by CDL and National Library Board also opened in 2013. Located within Singapore’s Central Public Library, My Tree House has an eco-centric collection, as well as interactive green features and programmes, to encourage children to learn about and care for the environment.

CDL, together with SEAS, has galvanised 11 like-minded partners, who are leaders in their own fields of expertise, to jointly develop the SSA.

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