Strata goes green in Singapore

When it comes to property, green is the new black. Take a look at some cutting-edge strata developments which are reducing costs by going green.

The goal of managing strata for a large complex is of course for the residents to be comfortable, safe and have ease of living. Beyond this, it makes sense to consider the environmental impact of the structure and look to implement eco-friendly solutions for both sustainability and running cost reduction.

Recently, Inside Strata magazine published a fascinating piece on Singapore’s progressive strata sector, examining how this country’s ‘vertical cities’ can positively impact the cityscape.

As shared in the magazine, Singapore’s limited land means sky-high residential towers have been built to accommodate the population. What this country found, however, was the addition of bitumen, concrete and glass to the already crowded landscape served to magnify the warm climate and high humidity. Large structures and their proximity to each other meant dense areas could be five degrees warmer than nearby open spaces.

Singapore’s green strata solutions

Instead of letting people swelter or forcing them to rely on expensive air-conditioning, many of Singapore’s residential and commercial strata communities have begun to emphasise green space as a way to naturally cool the environment.

Current laws in Singapore support this, decreeing developers must replace lost greenery from a site during the development process. This can be achieved through landscaping within a building as well as around it.

As reported in Inside Strata, “features such as urban farms, solar panels and communal gardens” contribute towards the landscape replacement requirements of new structures.

New Singapore apartment blocks are seeing green as they compete to be the most liveable and the most eco-friendly. One example, The Topiary, is configured and oriented to promote natural ventilation and light, reducing the dependence on air conditioning. The area surrounding the complex’s open-air swimming pool is lush and green, despite being several floors up.

Other progressive Singapore strata blocks include rainwater harvesting systems, dedicated bicycle stands, green ‘sky terrace’ walkways and children’s play areas. New window glazing technology reflects heat from glass surfaces to further reduce energy bills.

The world’s largest vertical garden is in Singapore, encompassing a structure known as the CDL Tree House. Measuring over 24,000 square feet, this garden adds greenery, provides natural insulation and lowers the energy needed to cool indoor spaces. The vertical garden on this quartet of 24 storey buildings naturally filters pollutants from the air and is expected to save the building around thousands in reduced energy costs. The CDL Tree House also features a sloped design to harvest the maximum amount of rainwater, which is then channeled to a self-sustaining irrigation system.

Another recently completed structure in Singapore is Eco Sanctuary, a similarly green-focused residential complex. Eco Sanctuary houses butterflies of various indigenous species within an ecosystem of shrubbery and flowering plants. Hexagonal shapes on its exterior provide shade from the sun and each unit is still designed to maximise natural lighting and ventilation. The building also features rainwater harvesting and automated irrigation.

These innovative structures are leading the charge in a new way of living and are highly sought after by investors.

Greening your strata

Australia is slowly catching up to Singapore’s way of thinking, particularly as our population grows and high-density living increases.

It is not only new strata developments which are seeking the green stamp of approval. Existing buildings can be retrofitted and optimised to reduce environmental impact.

Planting more greenery and retrofitting eco-friendly and energy reducing features can make a difference to the look and impact of your building. In addition, there are now window and exterior coatings which simultaneously keep buildings clean and purify the air around them.

For existing premises, options such as composting, creating shared gardens and seeking water and waste reduction solutions can serve to reduce costs while reducing the environmental impact of your premises.

By creating a more sustainable strata property, you are also creating a more desirable place to live, improving value and attracting quality tenants.