Kyoto Protocol And International Construction Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

A study by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Building and Construction Initiative (SBCI) have shown that the building and construction industry worldwide is responsible for a third of total energy use and in most parts of the world, the greatest contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) (UNEP-SBCI, 2009). One would therefore think that the efforts resulting from the Kyoto protocol which sets binding targets to reduce GHG emissions would focus on the Building and Construction industry, and this is an opinion which may be true. The effect of the protocol have seen a paradigm shift in the industry towards a ‘Sustainable Development’ movement, being more conscious to the ...view middle of the document...

However, it is also important to mention that most construction plants still rely on carbon fuel.

The increase in awareness on sustainable development has also prompted the Singapore government to put in place both regulations and incentives. The Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) launched the Green Mark Scheme in 2005 to encourage the construction of environment-friendly buildings. The objective of this scheme is to promote environmental awareness to industry personnel starting from project conceptualisation to during construction and even after completion (BCA, 2015). New building projects and retrofitting projects are required to achieve minimum Green Mark Standards under the Building Control (Environmental Sustainability) Regulations (BCA, 2015). Projects in downtown areas such as Marina Bay and in the financial district are required to meet even higher standards. These regulations are complemented by various incentive schemes to assist owners to finance the higher costs of green construction.

The construction industry in Singapore, in its commitment towards a more sustainable industry also focuses its efforts on construction materials. Under the BCA Sustainable Construction Masterplan, the BCA sets targets with regards to construction materials such as reducing the local industry’s dependence on imported materials, recycling and using recycled materials along with reducing the dependence on concrete and efficiently using natural materials (BCA, 2013). For example, many new projects are encouraged to use steel as the primary structural material instead of the traditional concrete. Steel is a highly recyclable material whereby almost half of its production comes from scrap material while waste from concrete building demolition is unsuitable for building structures (BCA, 2013). Besides, the use of steel in construction provides further benefits over concrete construction, such as speed of construction, manpower savings, factory-fabricated quality and has higher strength-weight ratio (Steel Vs Concrete, 2010). The BCA also provides guidance for the use of recycled materials for construction such as treating construction and demolition waste where the aggregates produced may be used for non-structural work such as pavements and partition walls. Other recycled materials are also considered such as steel slag, a by-product of rebar production used for resurfacing of roads, copper slag from the production copper and incineration bottom ash from waste incineration plants, both for use in non-structural components such as road kerbs (BCA 2013). Recycling and efficient use of material does not only reduce dependence on natural resources but also a very important waste management approach especially in Singapore’s context where there is limited landfill capacity due to its small area.

Singapore being a small city-state, may have its efforts considered negligible on a global scale especially on its efforts to reduce GHG...

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