Singapore mall gives special eco treatment

Built with environment in mind, City Square Mall offers hybrid car owners dedicated parking lots with charging stations and waterless urinals for male shoppers.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

SINGAPORE--Dubbed the country's first shopping mall designed specifically to be eco-friendly, City Square Mall wants its strong focus on green practices to help "educate and influence" the local community about environmental conservation.

Occupying an area spanning 700,000 square feet in central Singapore, including an "urban park" that stretches 49,000 square feet, the shopping mall features various environment-friendly implementations including a rainwater collection system for non-potable uses such as irrigation and cleaning, as well as the use of waterless urinals that are projected to save 3,000 cubic meters (m3) of water per year.

The building is managed by real estate developer City Developments Limited (CDL), which said the eco-friendly designs will help reduce 5,700 tons of carbon dioxide per year and cut total energy consumption by some 39 percent, compared with building designs using standard industry measures. Its water efficiency implementations are also expected to provide savings of S$48,000 (US$33,986) per year.

In an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia, Allen Ang, CDL's assistant general manager and head of commercial projects division, explains how the various green implementations are integrated into the maintenance and management of the mall, where data is collected and analyzed to identify ways to further improve the building's energy efficiencies.

Q: During the designing phase, what were the key focus areas you looked at that eventually led to the Green Mark Platinum award?
Ang: We designed the mall with environmental sustainability in mind, and to be the prototype of an eco-friendly and community-friendly shopping mall with a comprehensive range of innovative energy and water efficient features. Some of the things we looked at include harnessing the use of natural light for the atriums of both the podium and tower block, and adopting a high-efficiency air-conditioning plant system.


Dedicated lots with charging stations for hybrid cars.

The mall's design features many of Singapore's "firsts". It is the first shopping mall project to be integrated with an urban park, and the first commercial project to boast a pneumatic waste collection system for an odor-free and pest-free environment--built with separate chutes to encourage recycling of food and dry waste.

It is also the first shopping mall to have motion sensors fitted into the basement carpark, to control lighting level for vehicles, among others.

We want City Square Mall to help educate and influence the community about the importance of environmental conservation.

Can you highlight some key green building technologies that are unique to the mall?
Some eco features that are unique to City Square Mall include:

a) The installation of a twin-chute pneumatic refuse collection and disposal system to facilitate recycling, because it separates general and recyclable waste.

b) The 5-in-1 green roof at our outdoor park, City Green, is designed with environment-friendly features that include:

  • growing plants on the roof to reduce temperature;
  • solar panels to power the cool-breeze system for the mall's Fountain Square;
  • tinted glass canopy with fritting to reduce solar heat transmission, while allowing natural sunlight to the Fountain Square;
  • rainwater harvesting system to store rainwater for non-potable use, such as irrigation and cleaning; and
  • roof was designed to promote cross ventilation, providing better thermal comfort at the Fountain Square.

c) Driveway motion sensors, which control the lighting levels, are installed at the basement carpark to assist in energy conservation. This translates to an estimated reduction of 26 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

d) The mall has an electric car-ready carpark with charging stations and dedicated lots for hybrid cars.

e) The male restrooms have waterless urinals that translate to an estimated savings of 3,000 m3 of water annually.

f) The mall has screens around the mall showing real-time display of the indoor environmental performance.


Waterless urinal

What was the role of technology in deploying some of the eco-friendly measures?
The innovations deployed in City Square Mall were the first of its kind, with the aim to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, improve waste management and cleanliness of the mall, and increase efficiency of the mall's processes through automation.

How has this implementation helped in the maintenance and management of the mall's daily operations and upkeep?
With the integration of such "green" features through automation, it has enhanced the various aspects of mall maintenance and management. For instance, through our Building Management System and pre-determined parameters, we are able to analyze energy data. This data can then be used to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

Furthermore, we are able to make use of this data to determine and implement procedures to reduce the amount of energy consumed for each M&E (mechanical and electrical) service.

Likewise, indoor environmental conditions can be improved and better controlled to meet optimal conditions.

The management system is a powerful tool that enables us to keep track and monitor overall building performance, as well as look into areas of energy conservation and enhancements of the environmental aspects.

Therefore, the "software" will play a greater role than the eco-friendly "hardware" features in creating the platform for sustainability.

What are some new green technologies the mall is exploring for future deployments?
We are looking at a few add-on technologies for future deployments. These include using IT and new sources of renewable energy recovered from the various existing operations within the mall.

For example, we are studying the feasibility of providing a Web-based energy monitoring and tracking system for the mall. We are also looking at recycling used cooking oil from all F&B (food and beverage) tenants for conversion into good-performance biodiesels, to replace pollutive diesel generators for our construction projects.

Editorial standards