Converted DBS building in Newton is fully powered by solar energy, façade plants house birds and butterflies – Mothership.SG

Next time you head to the Newton Food Center for a delicious meal, keep your eyes peeled for what looks like a giant bamboo treehouse.

DBS Newton Green is Singapore’s first bank building that produces as much energy as it consumes.

The 30-year-old building was certified net-zero by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) after undergoing renovations in the past year.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said DBS has decided to transform the building to “set an example and incorporate sustainability into its business practices and operations” rather than redeveloping it. rice field.

Construction emits a significant amount of carbon dioxide, so retrofitting an existing building is a more sustainable move than demolishing and redeveloping the entire structure.

The World Green Building Council estimates that construction accounts for up to 40% of Singapore’s carbon footprint due to Singapore’s high rate of urban renewal and short building life.

How did DBS do it?

To achieve net zero emissions, DBS has adopted a reduction first approach.

The bank used new technology to creatively minimize energy consumption and then maximize renewable energy production to generate the rest of the energy it needed.

70% less energy consumption

Before renovations began in 2021, DBS Newton Green was consuming approximately 845,000 kWh each year.

This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 200 four-room HDB houses in Singapore.

Today, the renovated building reduces energy consumption by 70%.

This was largely achieved through the use of smart lights and air conditioning that automatically turn off when the space is vacant.

The office also reduced air conditioning by converting 10% of the floor space to naturally ventilated spaces.

The four-story building has a bamboo slatted façade that shades the building while promoting natural ventilation.

The carbon footprint of using bamboo, a natural material, is lower than steel or concrete.

The building, which houses more than 400 employees, is designed with natural light. reduce the amount of energy required for lighting.

Runs on renewable energy only

DBS Newton Green now consumes only 30% of what it used to be, about 265,000 kWh per year.

of net zero building Runs exclusively on renewable energy. Over 1,000 square meters of his solar panels, placed on the roof, collect energy from the sun.

Innovative design features such as newly created overhangs have been incorporated to create more space for the solar panels and optimized using AI to improve efficiency and performance.

We redesigned the building to make more space for solar panels, all optimized using AI to improve efficiency and performance.

DBS also worked with Singapore-based company Alpha Biofuels to replace diesel in backup generators with biodiesel made from used cooking oil.

A safe haven for native wildlife

Over time, living plants grow to cover more than half of the exterior surface of the building, helping to cool the building as well as providing shelter for native bird and butterfly species.

When DBS was designing the building’s bamboo façade, they worked closely with Nature Society Singapore (NSS) to select the plants to be grown on the façade.

Living façades include plants that can accommodate butterfly larvae such as birdwings and provide roosting places for local birds.

Ecologist and NSS president Shawn Lum said the intention was to bring meaningful biodiversity value to the building.

“From our first conversation with DBS, the goal of the redesigned façade was clear: Can the building go beyond net-zero carbon and become a biodiversity paradise?

The nearby Istana grounds are an urban natural oasis, home to nationally threatened species such as birdwings, Oriental magpie robins and Oriental pied hornbills. ”

Utilization of local eco-innovation

The DBS Newton Green compound driveway is also paved using a sustainable material known as ‘NEWBitumen’.

NEW bitumen is made from recycled plastic waste and reprocessed asphalt waste and produced by local companies Magoriuma social enterprise supported by DBS Foundation.

DBS offers eco-friendly options to its employees, offering a variety of plant-based snacks made from crops grown in regenerative agriculture.

These snacks are manufactured by WhatIFfoodanother local social enterprise supported by the DBS Foundation.

Net zero CO2 in operations by the end of 2022

Part of the cost of the DBS Newton Green renovation was covered by a green grant awarded by the BCA.

The renovation will contribute to the government’s plans to make 80% of its buildings green by 2030 as part of Singapore’s Green Building Masterplan. Singapore Green Plan.

The renovated building is also part of DBS’ pledge to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide in operations by the end of 2022.

“We see DBS Newton Green as a beacon for what the office of tomorrow should be. , we can scale it up to other organizations looking to green their footprint,” said Gupta.

Top image by DBS and Wikimedia Commons.

The writer of this DBS-sponsored article would be in the office more often if it was as cool as this one. Converted DBS building in Newton is fully powered by solar energy, façade plants house birds and butterflies – Mothership.SG

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