Housing over 400 employees across the bank's Consumer Banking Group, the building "is a significant milestone in the bank’s journey towards achieving net zero operational carbon by the end of 2022."
DBS has officially opened its refurbished DBS Newton Green, cited as Singapore’s first net zero building by a bank.
Announcing the opening on Monday (18 July 2022), the bank noted in a release that this new building contributes to the national push to green 80% of Singapore’s buildings (by Gross Floor Area) by 2030 under the Singapore Green Building Masterplan, and "is a significant milestone in the bank’s journey towards achieving net zero operational carbon by the end of 2022."
The 30-year-old building, located at 135 Bukit Timah Road in Singapore, was retrofitted to extend its lifespan, avoiding squandering the embodied carbon in the existing structure or generating additional embodied carbon with a new structure. According to the World Green Building Council, embodied carbon 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, it was added.
Among the key features of the building, over 50% of the perimeter façade is covered with living plants, serving a dual purpose of lowering the internal building temperature by reducing urban heat gain and providing refuge for native butterfly and bird species. As shared by the bank, the plants were selected in collaboration with the Nature Society of Singapore, to provide suitable refuge for native butterfly and bird species such as the magpie robin, bulbul, and flowerpecker.
DBS Newton Green houses over 400 employees from various functions across the bank’s Consumer Banking Group.
Take a video tour of DBS Newton Green.
Speaking at the launch of the building, Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Development, said: "We need to retrofit many more of our older buildings to improve their sustainability standards. This is more challenging than designing a new green building from scratch. The original development may not have been designed with sustainability in mind, making retrofitting more complex and potentially costly.
"I congratulate DBS and its partners on transforming this building into Singapore’s first net zero building by a bank. Such teamwork between the private, public, and people sectors is critical, as we strive to grow a more sustainable City in Nature."
Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS, added: "While the sustainability challenges before us are manifold, DBS has prioritised climate action due to the sheer urgency of the issue and how it interrelates with other environmental and social concerns. We have been empowering our clients to reduce their carbon footprint, to the tune of S$39.4bn in sustainable financing transactions committed cumulatively, but it is equally important to lead by example and embed sustainability into our business practices and operations.
"Anchored by this belief, the choice to retrofit DBS Newton Green into a net zero building rather than to redevelop something from ground-up was an easy and obvious one."
DBS Newton Green has been certified by BCA as a Green Mark Platinum Zero Energy development in further affirmation of the building’s net zero credentials. It was also awarded the Singapore Good Design Mark 2022 for Sustainable Design by the Design Business Chamber of Singapore in recognition of the building’s exceptional design quality.
Image & video / Provided by DBS