THOUGHTFUL DESIGN

Keppel Bay Tower: Singapore’s First Green Mark Platinum (Zero Energy) Commercial Building

Keppel Land is committed to developing and managing low-carbon buildings and has set a target to reduce its carbon emission intensity by 40% below 2010’s level by 2030. Testament to the company’s efforts, Keppel Bay Tower, located in the world-class Keppel Bay waterfront precinct, was certified by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) as a Green Mark Platinum (Zero Energy) building in 2020. It is the first commercial building in Singapore to achieve this accolade.

Here’s a closer look at some of Keppel Bay Tower’s innovative green features and initiatives:

Smart and Innovative Solutions

As part of Keppel Land’s efforts to transform Keppel Bay Tower into Singapore’s first Green Mark Platinum (Zero Energy) commercial building, in 2018, Keppel Land leveraged a grant from BCA to testbed five new and emerging energy-efficient technologies at Keppel Bay Tower, which would reduce the building’s energy consumption significantly and improve its energy efficiency by 20%, as compared to other BCA Green Mark Platinum buildings.

It was the first time that any of these technologies were implemented in a development in Singapore. By February 2020, Keppel Land had achieved a reduction of 22.3% in annualised energy consumption of the building, exceeding its initial target of 20%.

Some of these new and innovative technologies are:

1.      Intelligent building control system

Keppel Bay Tower’s energy consumption is controlled by a smart building control system. The system employs a high-precision physics-based simulation engine based on available data for energy optimisation to improve data analytics and control. With improved data analytics and better control, the building’s total energy consumption has been reduced by over 5%.

2.      Smart lighting system

The smart lighting system utilises occupancy sensors which allow seamless transition in lighting levels according to building occupancy. Photo-sensors dim perimeter lightings when there is sufficient daylight near the window area. This fully autonomous system, implemented across seven floors in Keppel Bay Tower, is over 10% more energy-efficient than best-in-class LED lightings.

3.      High efficiency air distribution system

Keppel Bay Tower features air handling unit fans which are about 45% more energy-efficient than other best-in-class technologies. The fans also run at a lower noise level than regular systems, resulting in a more pleasant environment for building occupants. This system, initially test-bedded on one floor in Keppel Bay Tower, will be implemented throughout the entire building.

4.      Cooling tower water management system

The cooling tower water management technology helps to remove and prevent the build-up of solids and sediments in the building’s cooling tower system. It also removes dissolved oxygen from the water, thus slowing down the rate of corrosion. The system also disinfects the water in the cooling towers to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria, thus eliminating the need for chemical treatment. The implementation of the technology improves the system’s heat transfer efficiency and has resulted in a more than 5% reduction in air-conditioning energy usage.

5.      Integrated sensor system to optimise fresh air intake

This system utilises integrated sensors to optimise the building’s intake of fresh air according to indoor activities. The system, with machine-learning capability, is test-bedded on one floor in Keppel Bay Tower and has resulted in over 10% reduction in air-conditioning energy usage, better thermal comfort and a more pleasant indoor environment for building occupants.

Renewable Energy

In addition, an assembly of photovoltaic (PV) panels spanning over 400m2 will be installed on the roof of the 18-storey Keppel Bay Tower, as well as its six-storey podium block. The installation of the PV panel system will generate an energy yield of about 100,000 kWh per annum.

Upon completion of these initiatives, Keppel Bay Tower’s annualised energy consumption, or energy use index (EUI), will be less than 115 kWh/m2 per year, a reduction of over 30% from its 2017 Green Mark Platinum level and almost 50% less compared to typical office buildings in Singapore[1]. This translates to energy savings of over 2.2 million kWh a year from its 2017 baseline, which is equivalent to the amount of energy required to power more than 400 homes[2] in Singapore for one year. This also translates to cost savings of approximately S$400,000 annually. The remaining energy use will be offset through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through Keppel Land’s electricity retailer, Keppel Electric, which are generated from PV panels installed at Keppel Offshore & Marine’s yards in Singapore.

Earlier in January 2020, Keppel Bay Tower became the first commercial development in Singapore to utilise renewable energy to power all its operations, including the offices of tenants in the building. The purchase of RECs, together with the installation of onsite PV panels at Keppel Bay Tower, will result in a reduction of over 2,400 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

Engaging stakeholders

Throughout this journey, Keppel Land collaborated with different stakeholders, including business partners and tenants. For example, the company collaborated with Envision, a global leading smart energy management company and tenant in Keppel Bay Tower, to introduce a smart building control system to further improve the energy efficiency of the building. It also partnered Signify Singapore[3] to roll out a scheme for Keppel Bay Tower’s tenants to replace their existing office lamps with energy-efficient LED lighting with no upfront capital investment required. This initiative helps tenants enjoy about 30% savings on their utility bills and reduces the total building energy consumption by about 5%.

Green Leases

As a sustainable landlord, Keppel Land encourages its tenants to adopt green practices. In 2019, Keppel Land achieved 100% participation from all its office tenants at Keppel Bay Tower in signing green leases, which is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to work with its tenants to provide energy-efficient, resource-efficient and healthier interior spaces for building occupants. The green leases have incorporated the requirements of the BCA-HPB Green Mark (for Healthier Workplaces) Certified standard, which focuses on the health and well-being of building occupants in green offices.

 

[1] Average EUI of large office buildings (>15,000m2 GFA) in 2018 was 219 kWh/m2 per year. Source: BCA Building Energy Benchmarking Report (Statistics and Figures) 2019.

[2] Based on average energy consumption of a five-room Housing and Development Board flat, which is 418 kWh/month. Source: SP Services.

[3] Formerly known as Philips Lighting.

Published on December 2020