Developing green buildings is a relatively new industry in Asia. Awareness of the importance of green buildings is growing, but not yet widespread. Setting up a Green Mark standard, which has already proved to be successful in Singapore, could increase this awareness and boost the development of green buildings in other parts of Asia. Yongheng Deng, Professor of Finance and Real Estate and Director of the Institute of Real Estate Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS), talks about Singapore’s Green Mark program, why it works and why he believes the Chinese government should also propose such a program.
“The Singapore government introduced the Green Mark program in 2005. It mandated that 80% of the buildings in Singapore should be Green Mark certified by 2030. The general assumption is that consumers are not willing to pay extra for a green building. However, NUS research shows that Green Mark buildings actually enjoy a 4% Green Mark premium, which means home buyers in Singapore are willing to pay extra for green buildings.” Yongheng Deng explains that it is this Green Mark certification that makes consumers want to pay more. “China does not have such a program. Some smart developers are already building green and using that in advertising, but research shows that consumers there are not yet willing to pay more for a green building. This suggests that the Chinese government should propose an initiative to set up a Green Mark standard like the Singapore government did.”