DBS has opened its refurbished DBS Newton Green, Singapore’s first net-zero building by a bank, marking a significant milestone in the bank’s journey towards achieving net-zero operational carbon by the end of 2022.
By retrofitting the 30-year-old building located at 135 Bukit Timah Road, the bank has extended the lifespan of the building and avoided squandering the embodied carbon in the existing structure or generating additional embodied carbon with a new structure.
Embodied carbon, according to the World Green Building Council, accounts for 11% of global carbon emissions, and is estimated to constitute up to 40% of Singapore’s carbon emissions due to shorter building lifespans as a result of urban renewal.
The bank began retrofitting the building in the middle of 2021 and has invested over S$5 million (US$3.57 million) in the process. It is certified by BCA as a Green Mark Platinum Zero Energy development and was awarded the Singapore Good Design Mark 2022 for Sustainable Design by the Design Business Chamber of Singapore.
Before retrofitting works began, the old building consumed about 845,000 kilowatt-hours each year, equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 200 four-room Housing and Development Board homes in Singapore. To achieve net-zero outcomes for the building, the bank deployed new technologies and creative design strategies to reduce energy consumption as much as possible, while maximizing the building’s capacity to generate its own renewable energy.
The building, which houses over 400 employees from various functions across the bank’s consumer banking group, was designed in collaboration with architecture house KAIA Architects, mechanical and electrical engineering firm CCA & Partners, and sustainability consultancy GreenA Consultants – all homegrown firms actively involved in Singapore’s net-zero space.
“We see DBS Newton Green as a beacon for what the office of tomorrow should be,” says Piyush Gupta, DBS CEO. “It is a living testbed for innovative sustainable technologies that can be scaled up not only to the rest of our offices, but also other organisations looking to green their footprint. This will contribute positively to Singapore’s ambition to become a leading regional hub for developing sustainability solutions as a new engine for economic growth.”