CapitaLand has marked yet another milestone in its multi-award winning history. At the recent Building and Construction Authority Singapore Awards 2013 (BCA Awards), it bagged the largest number of Universal Design Mark Awards for any real estate developer. Eight of its properties including homes, office buildings and shopping malls received the Universal Design Mark, a voluntary initiative launched in October 2012 to encourage the adoption of a user-centric philosophy in building design, operations and maintenance. The Group was also conferred the Quality Champion (Gold) for the inaugural BCA Quality Excellence Award in recognition of its efforts to provide quality homes.
“CapitaLand is committed to operational efficiency as well as sustainable development and management. Our stakeholders interact with our homes, office buildings, shopping malls, serviced residences and mixed developments daily. Therefore, it is important for us to have a user-centric approach when we design, build and operate our properties,” said Mr Lim Ming Yan President and CEO, CapitaLand Limited.
“We have set the minimum requirement of Universal Design Mark Gold for our new projects in Singapore. New buildings and existing buildings undergoing major renovation in Singapore also have to achieve a minimum Green Mark Gold Plus rating,” added Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer, CapitaLand Limited.
At the same awards, CapitaLand was accorded another 11 Green Mark Awards, bringing the total number of such accolades for its eco developments in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam to 75 (including 12 provisional awards).
Universal Design (UD) refers to buildings, products and environments that incorporate features that make them universally accessible, taking into account the young and old, and those of different physical abilities. The eight CapitaLand properties that garnered the Universal Design Mark Award are malls JCube, and Westgate; mixed development, Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences; office building, CapitaGreen; and residential properties d’Leedon, The Interlace, Sky Habitat and The Nassim.
Connectedness and accessibility are key features of UD. The soon-to-be-opened Westgate, for example, is the only development that has direct connections both to Jurong East MRT and the bus interchange. Neighbouring, ultra-hip mall, JCube, is seamlessly connected to the rest of Jurong Gateway, Singapore’s up-and-coming largest regional hub.
Family-friendly features are another hallmark of UD. At Westgate, which also received the Green Mark Award, a Family Zone on Level 4 with a one-of-a-kind 12,000 square feet open-air playground fosters family and community bonding. To accommodate families, CapitaGreen has rental of strollers and grab bars at relevant places for the elderly, amongst its many family-friendly features.
Accommodating the young and the elderly, Bedok Residences has a clubhouse that has child-friendly facilities like children’s toilets and a diaper station. d’Leedon and The Nassim have eye viewers that are lower for children and the wheel-chair bound; while d’Leedon is also equipped with call buttons in the rooms so the elderly can ask for assistance if necessary.
Going ramps; and wider parking lots, lifts and passageways for the handicapped, JCube and Bedok Mall are guide-dog friendly. At CapitaGreen, the concierge counter is lower to accommodate those in wheelchairs and comes with a Hearing Induction Loop System to enable sound to be better picked up by hearing aids. For the visually impaired, there are English Braille and tactile indicators at the start and ends of stairs to the Underground Pedestrian Network.
The 11 Green Mark Awards CapitaLand swept included those for new and re-certified projects as well as four provisional ones for its overseas projects. The properties singled out for the honour are Westgate, Capital Tower, Marine Parade Condominium Development, Mixed Development at 15 Cairnhill Road (residential component), Bukit Panjang Plaza, and Sembawang Shopping Centre in Singapore; Riverside Ville, Foshan, CapitaMall Xindichen, Xi’an, and CapitaMall Fucheng Phase 2, Mianyang in China; Ascott Jakarta in Indonesia; and East Coast Mall, Kuantan in Malaysia.
One of the ways CapitaLand’s developments conserve energy is by reducing heat absorption. Westgate employs shading devices and glazed glass on its façade while the Mixed Development at 15 Cairnhill Road has high performance glass with low thermal conductivity. Riverside Ville also uses light colours on its façade; and south-facing units to cool the buildings. Marine Parade Condominium Development also has a green wall that deflects heat, and promotes circulation of “clean air” that aids ventilation.
CapitaLand also taps into technology to help save energy. Motion sensors for lights and energy-saving air-conditioning and lift systems in several of its properties; and at CapitaMall Fucheng, East Coast Mall, Kuantan and Capital Tower, high-efficiency chiller plants help save energy.
New sources of water always help reduce water consumption. Capital Tower uses NEWater for its cooling towers and water features which make up 34 per cent of its total water consumption. For its ingenuity, it won the Water Efficient Building Certification awarded by the Public Utility Board in Singapore in 2007. Like Sembawang Shopping Centre, Westgate harvests rain water to irrigate all the landscaped areas. Along with its energy-saving measures, it is able to achieve about 30 per cent savings in both energy and water consumption.
Green building practices often mean using green materials. Marine Parade Condominium Development uses sustainable building material. CapitaMall Xindicheng has environmentally-friendly products such as its flooring, tiles and doors. At the Mixed Development at 15 Cairnhill Road, eco-friendly adhesives, products from recycled content such are used.
Improving air quality is another aspect of green building practices. At CapitaMall Fucheng and Bukit Panjang Plaza, intelligent car park systems contribute to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. The car parks at Mixed Development at 15 Cairnhill Road and Capital Tower have carbon monoxide control sensors. In fact, its improvement in air quality, among other improvements, led to Capital Tower being accorded the Green Mark Platinum Award this year.
CapitaLand is also interested in encouraging its stakeholders to think and be green. Westgate maximises its green performance with the Green Lease, an agreement under which tenants are required to comply green practices. Marine Parade Condominium Development gives out a user’s guide to its operators. Capital Tower shares Green Mark Office Interior and Green tips with tenants and ensure certified Singapore Green Building Products are being used.
CapitaLand’s commitment to a sustainable future has received international recognition as well. It was recently ranked eighth in the Environmental Tracking Asia-Pacific 300 Carbon Ranking by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO). CapitaLand was also conferred the 2013 Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking Leader Award, the only Singapore real estate developer to have achieved top 10 in the carbon ranking in Asia Pacific. CapitaLand’s commitment to delivering quality homes and sustainable properties is definitely a commitment worth recognising.