Luxury Goes Green: Incorporating Eco Features In Real Estate
Lifestyle & Living, Market Watch
It is finally the weekend after a hard week of work and home beckons. Step into a lush oasis away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Recline and unwind in the lavish interior of your living room illuminated by natural lighting. Or retreat to a balcony with a built-in green garden that calms your mind as you enjoy the cool, fresh breeze and catch the panoramic sunset view of the city.
Welcome to the world of eco-luxury, where natural and sustainable features are integrated into high-end apartments. Besides enjoying their homes, residents will also be heartened that they are contributing to a greener country: Singapore’s goal is for 80 per cent of buildings to be environmentally friendly by 2030.
Several recent developments have come to integrate environmental consciousness and embody eco-luxury trends. The plus point: these apartments provide appealing options for the eco-conscious buyer without compromising on functionality.
A personal Garden of Eden in your balcony
Along the prime district of Draycott Road in the Orchard area, 22-storey EDEN stands out with a vertical sea of green: lined along its edges are cantilevered seashell-like garden balconies with layered waves of tropical plants.
EDEN apartments each comes fitted with a personal garden balcony featuring 20 to 30 species of plants to filter pollutants and block sunlight, providing fresh air and reducing heat gain.
Designed by award-winning British designer Thomas Heatherwick, it has clinched the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) highest Green Mark accolade – the Platinum award – which is rare for a residential property. The BCA Green Mark scheme evaluates how environmentally sustainable a building is.
Heatherwick is a keen believer in harmonising nature and development. “Instead of fighting nature, there is a need for balance and to reconnect with it,” he said. And he intends to do this by bringing Singapore’s garden landscape into the home.
Besides utilising greenery, an ingenious floorplan design promotes eco-friendly living by thinking out of the box. This means no more traditional, cookie-cutter box-like floor plans. Instead, enter the home and you are greeted by a 270-degree-wide, central space that enhances airflow and brings in more natural light, essentially reducing electrical consumption in the household.
Driving home sustainability with charging points for electric cars
8 Saint Thomas, developed by Bukit Sembawang Estates, has the best of both worlds. It is located at the coveted, serene neighbourhood of River Valley, just minutes away from the lively shopping district of Orchard Road. What is unique is the way it marries luxe living and high-tech eco-elements.
Its developer is zooming in on the future of automobiles. Anticipating the shift towards renewable energy, 8 Saint Thomas is equipped with charging points for electric cars. No detail is spared in the drive towards greener living.
This freehold development comprises two 35 storey-high twin towers with a futuristic glass facade draped with lush, vertical greening. But this does not mean that more water is needed to maintain these plants. Advanced rainwater harvesting systems have been installed to irrigate the garden landscapes, reducing water usage. Fallen leaves from the gardens are collected and composted as fertilisers, eliminating the need to use harmful chemicals.
Redefining building design in the CBD
Who would have thought that right in the middle of the Central Business District (CBD) lies a “paddy field” and waterfall? Marina One Residences has seeded the idea for a more environmentally friendly CBD with its radical design. The development by M+S challenges the conventional building design in the CBD, providing a solution to the area’s urban heat island effect while offering a respite for city dwellers.
Comprising two 34-storey home residences and two 30-storey workplace offices, it is a mixed-use development of the future. At its centre is a “green heart” biodiversity area that resembles the paddy field terraces on the highlands of Southeast Asia. In this “green heart” is a garden of over 350 types of trees and plants, and a 13-metre-high waterfall.
The inspiration behind this is the concept of “supergreen” coined by its designer Christoph Ingenhoven. It embraces the use of sustainable and recyclable materials while ensuring the health and well-being of inhabitants.
A key element is energy-saving ventilation units in Marina One that facilitate airflow, while artistic brown slats, extending slightly beyond the buildings, shield off direct sunlight. These features, together with the greenery, create a unique microclimate that feels 20 per cent cooler.
This futuristic development, where many live, work and play, has won several accolades such as the BCA Green Mark Platinum Rating and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum award.
Global warming and its imminent impacts on society mean savvier consumers are turning to sustainable options. It is no surprise that luxury homes are being tailored for the tastes of such eco-conscious buyers. Indeed, green has become the new black.