In Singapore's densely built-up urban environment, with limited land and few natural resources, greening buildings is vital to sustainability and one of the most effective ways for a city to reduce its carbon footprint. As recently as the 1990s, countries in tropical and subtropical regions had few existing guidelines. What did exist originated primarily in the U.S. and Europe and didn't necessarily apply to Singapore's very different climate.
By the mid 2000s, the Building and Construction Authority began developing our own green-building rating tool designed specifically for tropical conditions: the Green Mark. The introduction of the Green Mark and the attendant certification was a bold initiative to move Singapore's building and construction industry toward environmentally-friendly buildings by providing a standard benchmark and guideline for the industry to follow when constructing new buildings or retrofitting existing buildings. It assesses buildings for their energy and water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor environment quality and other green features and innovations.