GM 2021: The all-in-one energy performance label for buildings
Buildings account for approximately 20% of Singapore’s carbon emissions. The government has demonstrated its commitment to reducing this number with several iterations of the “Green Building Masterplan” since the early 2000s. These schemes were designed to gradually reduce buildings’ energy consumption and introduce sustainable practices. However, until now, the certifications scheme was separate for new and existing developments and for residential and non-residential buildings. On top of that, the evaluation generally focused more on efficiency or offsetting rather than conserving energy in the first place.
When it comes to air-conditioning, which represents a large portion of energy consumption in most buildings in Singapore’s hot and humid climate, this meant that the unit of measurement was kW/RT (refrigerant ton) of the chiller unit rather than kWh/m2/year.
In early 2019, a task force to reinvent the Green Mark certification scheme was formed under the new Singapore Green Building Masterplan (SGBMP) which was unveiled in early 2021. The purpose of the task force was to:
- Review the scope of the current Green Mark scheme
- Streamline the GreenMark certification process
This is how GreenMark 2021 was established, in line with the broader Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an all-in-one Green Mark label for buildings – for new, as well as for existing buildings – for residential and non-residential. Here are its key characteristics:
- Higher the performance standards for all
- Streamlined criteria and assessment methodology
- More flexibility – with 3 different paths for compliance
Energy performance as the main criteria
Under the new scheme, energy performance plays a key role as a deciding factor for the level of certification. It was previously bundled together with the other sustainability initiatives (such as greening rooftops etc.). Called “Energy Efficiency”, this category includes three pathways to optimize your energy and become certified, two of which actually include reducing energy waste, and are thus closer to the definition of energy conservation – but more on that later.
Next to the main “efficiency” section, there are five additional categories that constitute the “Sustainability section”. Each sustainable action is assigned a point value and buildings can earn badges (min 10 points out of 15) recognizing their efforts in each category. The categories are as follows:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Whole of Life Carbon
Under the new scheme, efficiency requirements to achieve available certifications have been raised by 5% for each category as compared to fixed standards from 2005. On top of that, an additional recognition, in the form of SLE = Super Low Energy, has been introduced for buildings beyond their Green Mark target ratings (min 60% compared to 2005).
- GM GOLD (> 40%) – for existing GreenMark buildings only (applying for recertification or those who haven’t done any major chiller retrofit actions)
- GM GOLD PLUS (> 50 %)
- GM PLATINUM (> 55%)
To allow facility/energy managers to choose the relevant criteria for assessment, 3 pathways have been introduced to assess eligibility:
- Energy Use Intensity (EUI) pathway based on Energy Consumption
Total Building annual energy consumption over the gross floor area of the building (kWh/m2/yr). Based on:
- Energy modelling (Design)
- Energy Calculation and measured data (Retrofit)
- Measurement – For buildings that have already been awarded a Green Mark certification
- Fixed metrics pathway
A prescriptive pathway where projects must demonstrate high levels of performance in each of the key building energy systems, such as chiller plant efficiency kW/RT
All aspects must be met individually and any shortfall in performance can be made up with the use of onsite renewables, subject to the building typology multiplication factor.
- Performance-based energy modelling
Demonstrated energy savings following the Green Mark Energy Modelling guideline which looks at holistic energy performance against a reference compliant with the Energy Modelling Guideline
Depending on the type of building, only certain pathways can be used, as presented in the table below:
The GreenMark 2021 is currently accepting applications in a pilot stage and will be officially launched in September which will mark the end of applications for certification under the previous criteria. A transition period will be granted till the end of 2022 when all buildings are expected to move under the GM 2021 assessment. Future plans include automating the submission process by connecting buildings’ “smart portals” with BCA’s certification system for example.
If you’re looking to get your building certified, BeeBryte can help you reach an optimal performance and hit the targets set out by GM 2021. We provide HVAC optimization services based on expertise and patented technology. Acting specifically on the newly valorized EUI pathway, our solution automatically modifies setpoints to achieve the most efficient operation and generate energy savings! It integrates seamlessly on top of existing systems and causes no disruptions. The service comes at no cost to our clients as we share the generated savings.
More specifically, we can help you achieve improvements across the following categories:
- Energy efficiency – up to 40% savings from the current HVAC consumption levels while choosing the pathway best suited to your building’s needs
- Maintainability – prolonged equipment lifecycle thanks to optimal settings and improved maintenance response due to automatic alerts and anomaly detection
- Did you know that…
- Intelligence – our technology is based on cutting-edge machine learning algorithms that automate building energy management and continuously calculate the optimal strategies to improve performance
All our optimization services include a customizable data visualization dashboard, and our performance is calculated against internationally recognized baseline standards.
Sounds good? Get in touch to find out more! Our team of experts is always at your disposal.
 BCA also launched the Super Low Energy (SLE) Building programme in 2018 to encourage firms to go beyond the existing Green Mark Platinum standards and push the envelope of environmental sustainability in Singapore.