Singapore – Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd (“Mapletree”), a leading Asia-focused real estate development, investment and capital management company has won the Green Mark Platinum award under the “Office Interior” category, bringing its total Green Mark accolades to seven to date.
Introduced in 2009 by the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA), the Green Mark for Office Interior Award is an initiative to promote and recognise environmentally friendly practices and features for office interiors. Office tenants of buildings are measured against stringent standards of energy efficiency, water efficiency, sustainable management and operation, indoor environment quality and other green features that make a difference.
Affirming Mapletree’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices, Mapletree’s Group Chief for Corporate Services, Mr Ho Seng Chee said: “We are privileged to be headquartered in Singapore where we can tap on the BCA’s green programmes to develop new environmentally friendly buildings and improve existing ones. This year, we took the opportunity of our corporate headquarters’ relocation to Mapletree Business City to apply our green practices and philosophy to our own office interiors. This is carried through not only in our selection of office fit-out materials and furniture, but also in our corporate policies on matters such as waste recycling and energy usage.”
Mapletree scored on several winning factors which could increase resource efficiency by 15% by saving 95,000kWh of energy per year, which is equivalent to an average annual energy consumption of 30 three-room HDB flats and reducing water consumption by 903 m3 of water per year. Some of these winning factors include more efficient air-conditioning and lighting systems, water efficient fittings, use of office designs and materials that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, use of technology and equipment to reduce resource wastage, as well as the adoption of best practices to reduce energy and water consumption and maintenance of a good indoor environment.
Mapletree’s MNC Tenants on the same green bandwagon
Joining Mapletree in its Green Mark achievement this year are global giants American Express (Amex), Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Unilever Asia Private Limited (Unilever), whose winning offices are all located at Mapletree Business City (MBC), a Green Mark signature development by Mapletree. The three tenants have also been certified Green Mark alongside Mapletree under the “Office Interior” category.
Amex which has received Green Mark GoldPlus, employs a flexible open office design with provision of shared desk solutions to reduce real estate footprint, energy efficient air-conditioning, lighting systems and IT equipment as well as an extensive reuse of reconditioned furniture and the incorporation of new environmentally friendly products. Mr Paul Britton, VP Global Real Estate of Amex said: “American Empress' vision is to become the world's most respected service brand. As part of this vision, we are dedicated to protecting the environment by helping to conserve natural resources, reducing carbon emissions and building a focus on sustainability into our everyday operations.”
Platinum winners Unilever and HSBC attributed their wins to the incorporation of environmentally sustainable features which could reduce environmental impact, and at the same time increase work productivity and support new ways of working through eco-friendly workspaces.
“HSBC has a long standing commitment to protecting the environment and believes it is fundamental to a thriving society and sound economy – upon which business depends. Our choice to locate at Mapletree Business City, a Green Mark Platinum rated building, is perfectly aligned to this commitment. We are delighted to house over 2,000 people here in a conducive, highly efficient and productive work environment,” said Anthony Smith, Head of Corporate Real Estate, HSBC Singapore.
HSBC takes advantage of its open plan office to maximise the use of natural daylight and uses Managed Print Services and centralised resource hubs to minimize excessive use of resources. It also adopts an extensive use of sustainable material selection under the Singapore Green Labeling Scheme (SGLS).
Besides individual lighting systems and the use of water-saving faucets and fittings which are Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) rated, Unilever has installed an Online Building Management System which monitors the office’s monthly consumption of electricity, water and gas as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts. To further green the office interior, it has also erected two green walls and potted plants to provide relaxing indoor green spaces for its employees.
“This major achievement demonstrates Unilever’s commitment to develop new ways of doing business that will allow us to double the size of our company while reducing our environmental impact. Moving forward, we believe that every small daily action taken by each employee can add up to a big difference in creating a more eco-friendly office environment to sustain the Green Mark Platinum award,” said Mr Mark Smith, Senior Vice President, Finance – Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe.
Design of base structure key to green achievements
The design of MBC’s base structure is one key factor that gave the foursome the edge in bagging the coveted Green Mark award for their office interiors. “The development’s environmentally friendly design is instrumental in the greening of the office interiors. Empirical data suggests that the provision of efficient building features such as water fittings, cooling system and lighting efficiency of the building has an impact on the individual offices, and supports the tenants in achieving their targets compared to one without such a base,” said Yong Ping Quen, Director of Building System and Diagnostics Pte Ltd
Certified Green Mark Platinum in 2009, MBC features energy-efficient infrastructure systems which could save a total of about 12 million KWH of energy and cut carbon emissions by some 6,300 metric tons annually, and incorporates water conservation measures which could reduce water consumption by approximately 94,000 m3, equivalent to 47 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.
Mapletree also wins BCA’s Universal Design Award
Apart from making its mark as an environmentally friendly business facility, MBC - a modern business hub with grade A-specification business space fittings further boasts a user-friendly architecture. Following its Green Mark Platinum certification in 2009, MBC has been awarded the Universal Design Silver Award this year. This annual accolade recognises building owners and architects who create a seamlessly connected and friendly built environment that caters to the varying needs of people with different physical abilities. The judging criteria of this award include connectivity, accessibility, user friendliness, safety, integrated design, operations and maintenance as well as a bonus component for innovation and enhancement.
As a winner under the “Commercial/Mixed Use/ Industrial Buildings” category, MBC has pushed the boundaries in its well planned design of a modern business space. It was conceived as a “work and play” environment with provisions of facilities such as a childcare centre, multi-purpose hall and meeting facilities, a gymnasium with heated pool and amenities like food and beverage outlets, a convenience store, a clinic as well as a laundromat.
Purposefully designed with wide public spaces, an eco-pond and lush greenery, the development gave thoughtful considerations to user-friendliness of the premises with the inclusion of planter boxes with seats, sheltered public spaces and nursing rooms. To enhance the overall ambience of the development, eight pieces of artwork by local and international artists were also integrated into the business landscape to give it an aesthetic thrust, beautifying even the car park and giving a distinct identity to each lobby space. The landscaped air wells and artworks also serve as landmarks for way finding in the car park. Furthermore, the business hub is well connected to the public parks in the vicinity and offers covered link ways to various public transport nodes such as bus stops and the upcoming Labrador Park MRT station.
“With Mapletree Business City, we have largely harnessed the trends of businesses today whose more sophisticated workforce is increasingly paying greater attention to details that would make their business space an excellent work location. They now look for business space decked with eco and user friendly features, recreational facilities and amenities, good accessibility and an effective property manager that has the capacity to respond to their changing needs,” said Mr James Ng, Director of Asset Management, Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd.
The Universal Design Silver Award for MBC marks the second Universal Design Award that Mapletree has received to date, the first being the Universal Design Silver Award for VivoCity in 2009. On the awards trail, Mapletree has also recently won the BCA Green Mark Platinum award for HarbourFront Centre and Green Mark Gold award for the Alexandra Retail Centre.
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