3rd Asia Environment Lecture 2015

"Greening the Built Environment: Ramping Up Global Progress"
Speaker: Ms Christine Ervin, First President & CEO, U.S. Green Building Council

L to R: Associate Professor Tan Puay Yok, Department of Architecture, Co-Director, MSc (Env Mgt) [MEM] programme, School of Design & Environment; Ms Grace Cheok, Principal Manager, Green Mark Department, Building and Construction Authority; Associate Professor Savage Victor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences; Deputy Chair, MEM programme; Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large & Chair, APCEL & MEM Programme Advisory Committee; Ms Christine Ervin (Speaker, 3rd Asia Environment Lecture), Prof David Ervin, Dept of Economics, Portland State University; Associate Professor Lye Lin Heng, Chair, Programme Management Committee, MEM Programme & Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL); Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited; Professor George Ofori, Director, MEM programme; and Associate Professor Edward Webb, Director, Bachelor in Environmental Studies (BES), NUS.

The Third Asia Environment Lecture (AEL) was held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House, National University of Singapore (NUS) on Friday, 6 November 2015. The lecture is an annual event initiated by two NUS multi-disciplinary programmes on the environment (the Master of Science in Environmental Management (MEM) and the Bachelor in Environmental Studies (BES)), together with NUS Law's Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL). Each of these two programmes involves the collaboration of nine faculties and schools at NUS. They endorse the NUS view that effective management of the environment requires an integrated multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach.

This year’s lecture, the third in this series, focused on green buildings and is co-hosted by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and City Developments Ltd (CDL).

The speaker was Ms Christine Ervin, the first President and CEO of the influential US Green Building Council and former US Assistant Secretary of Energy, leading the nation's billion dollar portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Ms Ervin is widely recognised as a major force behind the vibrant green building market in the United States.

In her talk, Ms Ervin noted that today’s vibrant green building market is a key driver for clean and resilient economies. Ms Ervin shared her perspectives on green building trends and developments, the drivers and barriers to adoption of green building practices, how green buildings help to address environmental and social challenges that are increasingly interconnected, especially in rapidly urbanising Asia and lessons learnt from best practice projects in the United States and Asia. She also discussed how key policies could enhance efforts to green the urban landscape in Asia. The Lecture explored how real progress can be achieved by adopting a fresh perspective of the issues and seizing the opportunities which exist to address the challenges. While much has been achieved in green buildings, especially in Singapore, Ms Ervin rightly pointed out that "there is still some way to go.”

The event was attended by policy makers, urban planners, architects, engineers, persons in the building industry, environmental practitioners, Faculty members and students.

The lecture was chaired by Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh, who also chairs the Advisory Committees for APCEL and the MEM programme. It was generously funded by City Developments Ltd (CDL), Singapore's leading "green" developer.