The green and healthy building movement changed how facility managers assess their facilities. What used to be a focus on efficiency and performance has shifted to prioritizing health and sustainability. This trend is being propelled by green and wellness building rating systems such as the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark.
The BCA Green Mark is a certification program that was developed to accelerate the green building agenda in Singapore by creating buildings that are healthful, energy-efficient and ecologically beneficial. Introduced in January 2005, it offers a comprehensive framework for evaluating the total environmental performance of new and existing facilities to encourage sustainability initiatives, industry standards in construction, and building management. It is a mandatory certification for new buildings, as well as for existing buildings undergoing significant renovations.
Achieving Green Mark
An initial audit inspection is required to qualify for the certification, followed by regular assessments every other year to ensure that the building continues to meet the Green Mark requirements. Environmental-friendly features that go above and beyond industry standards earn points. During evaluations, particular goals are identified for design elements. The more you meet these goals, the more likely you are to own an environmentally-friendly building. A building’s overall score determines its Green Mark rank – from Certified, Gold, Gold Plus to Platinum.
An important aspect of the Green Mark certification is building performance in terms of indoor environment quality which assures occupants of healthy and comfortable environments. Indoor air quality standards, thermal comfort standards, ventilation rates, along with light and acoustic standards are all factors that need to be measured and monitored during the Green Mark process.
Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces (GM HW:2018)
BCA introduced its Green Mark for Healthy Workplaces (GM HW: 2018) program to enhance energy efficiency and overall health of buildings and workspaces.
The importance of a healthy workplace is a fact, and GM HW:2018 outlines guidelines, rules, and programs that address occupant needs. The value proposition of green interiors is reinforced when health and well-being are included.
Prerequisites for obtaining the Green Mark Award for BCA-HPB Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces (GM HW:2018) include the following Green Related and Health-Related requirements:
- Sustainable Design and Management
- Energy and Resource Management
- Office Environment
- Workplace Health and Well-Being
- Advanced Green and Health Efforts
Green Mark: 2021 (GM:2021)
To drive sustainability standards and the digital transformation of buildings in line with the Singapore Green Building Masterplan (80% green buildings, 80% new developments which are super low energy and 80% energy efficiency improvement over 2005 levels), the Green Mark:2021 scheme was created. Similar to GM HW:2018, it recognizes buildings that perform better than mandated regulations. The GM:2021 program, however, specifies more rigorous performance standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.
The key requirements of GM:2021 are classified under the following categories:
- Energy Efficiency
- Health and Wellbeing
- Whole of Life Carbon
How uHoo Supports Your Green Mark Journey
A BCA-HPB Green Mark badge for your building can have a positive impact on the property value of your building. uHoo Aura can serve as a crucial link in assisting and supporting your sustainability goals as you pursue the Green Mark certification.
uHoo Aura is an indoor air quality monitor that provides accurate data you can use for documentation and communication during a Green Mark certification audit. Building and facility managers can obtain reliable information that demonstrates the effectiveness of the methods used to improve the indoor air quality in the building.
Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces (GM HW:2018)
Green Mark: 2021 (GM:2021)
Air Quality and Comfort (GM HW:2018 & GM:2021)
Air quality and comfort are factors that relate to occupants’ health and wellbeing. Workspaces and policies must be designed to optimize the happiness and well-being of the majority of occupants. It must include indoor pollutant pollution control methods and air treatment technologies to protect occupant health and safety. Each regularly used area of the facility should contain a measurement device that is connected to the centralized system. Display boards showing temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration are also required on each floor to raise awareness among tenants, building occupants, and visitors about the air quality in the office.
With uHoo Aura, you are assured that you will have access to real-time data to ensure the best-in-class indoor environmental quality monitoring, promoting the health of your tenants. Building managers and owners use it to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. In addition to temperature, relative humidity, CO2 monitoring, various sizes of particles (PM10, PM4, PM2.5, PM1), formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and air pressure, uHoo Aura also measures light, sound, and air pressure.
Additionally, it provides a unified view of all the devices in different locations through an easy-to-use dashboard. Data can be displayed on screens and displays in real-time using a dashboard or mobile app to assess the air quality in a building. By adjusting the air vents and operating the HVAC system you can easily control the temperature in your office. With uHoo Aura the temperature can be automatically adjusted, which ensures comfortable and healthy indoor air quality.
Spatial Quality (GM HW:2018 & GM:2021)
Lighting levels within projects also need to be monitored to ensure they meet the specifications for illuminance. It is necessary to match indoor lighting designs with human circadian rhythms to enhance comfort and productivity. Green Mark prescribes a minimum degree of acoustic comfort for occupant health and well-being. Projects should also have the ability to measure interior sound in accordance with the acceptable ambient sound levels (40 dBA-50 dBA).
Utilizing uHoo Aura will assist you in monitoring and managing the lighting and acoustics inside your building. It ensures that all thresholds are met, especially when it comes to meeting acceptable lighting and ambient sound levels.
Innovative initiatives will be given points depending on their performance against particular health indicators. Evidence of benefits and their likelihood of being achieved will determine the points awarded. Additionally, they should verify how the intervention was implemented, including how it measured and monitored environmental performance, and if any lessons were learned.
uHoo provides precise information and actionable insights so that you can promptly manage the air that your workforce and office tenants breathe. With the help of this smart device, you can turn air quality data into meaningful information. You will then be able to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of your team – all drivers for business sustainability.
Working Hand-in-Hand To Create Sustainable Buildings and Workspaces
The number of green buildings in Singapore has increased exponentially, from 17 in 2005 when Green Mark was initially developed, to over 2500. The success of Green Mark certification demonstrates how governments can support the growth of green and healthy buildings with progressive guidelines and policies combined with incentives to ensure compliance. Increasing evidence indicates that green and healthy buildings are a higher-value, lower-risk asset than standard structures. Beyond energy efficiency and achieving savings on operational costs, green and healthy buildings attract and retain more occupants which ensures a more viable revenue stream. Moreover, they help create sustainable and resilient environments.
Is your building Green Mark certified? Discover uHoo Aura and explore ways to enhance the indoor air quality in your offices. Contact us now and let us support you through the process of acquiring and maintaining your Green Mark badge.