3 Incentive Schemes Used By Singapore Building Developers
Singapore has long been recognized for their innovation and commitment to creating thriving urban spaces. In our pursuit of excellence, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) have employed various incentive schemes to entice prospective buyers and developers, and enhance the overall appeal of infrastructure projects.
From enticing financial benefits to eco-conscious initiatives, this article explores 3 compelling incentive schemes frequently utilized by Singapore’s building developers, which may be of help to those interested in the local real estate landscape.
1. Green Mark Scheme
As you may have guessed, the Green Mark Scheme is dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings. It aligns with the global movement towards green building practices and reflects Singapore’s commitment to mitigating climate change and reducing its carbon footprint. Through this scheme, building developers can look forward to being rewarded by installing environmentally friendly features in their projects, such as solar panels and smart devices.
There are 4 categories to the Green Mark Scheme: Certified, Gold, GoldPLUS, and Platinum. If the project showcases a higher degree of sustainability, it will be given a higher certification rating. A minimum certification rating of “Certified” is required for building developers to qualify for the Green Mark Scheme and submit a request to BCA.
- Benefits of the Green Mark Scheme:
Aside from tax benefits and rebates on development fees, reduced operational expenses can be enjoyed by building developers due to low-carbon features being utilized.
2. Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) Scheme
The Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) Scheme was specifically introduced to promote the growth of strategically important locations in the city to positively impact Singapore’s long-term economic and social progress. Through the SDI Scheme, building developers have the opportunity to request incentives that enable them to undertake projects that might have been challenging to pursue otherwise. These incentives encompass aspects, such as increased building heights, expanded allowable gross floor area (GFA), or more flexible land use options, to name a few.
Unlike the Green Mark Scheme, applying for the Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) Scheme requires several stages. Firstly, building developers have to undergo a pre-application appointment with the URA, where a comprehensive development proposal (plans, designs, specifications, etc) must be submitted. Afterwards, the application will be assessed based on the site’s strategic significance, the quality of the proposal, and the proposed project’s overall effect on the neighborhood.
Due to the complexity of the application process, it is recommended for building developers to seek assistance from an established architecture company in Singapore like AR43 to ensure the application has a high chance of being approved.
- Benefits of the Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) Scheme:
Building developers can be granted an increase in gross floor area (GFA) for their approved project. The extra amount of floor space given depends on various factors, such as the site’s location, overall size, and significance. In addition, the SDI Scheme may reduce the Development Charge payable, which is a fee that building developers are required to pay in order to be granted permission to construct on a certain site.
3. Central Business District (CBDI) Incentive Scheme
The Central Business District (CBDI) Incentive Scheme is to incentivize the construction of mixed-use developments within the Central Business District (CBD). If a project meets the criteria set by the URA, additional Gross Floor Area (GFA), otherwise known as Bonus GFA, will be offered, which building developers can take advantage of by installing additional facilities.
Applying for the Central Business District (CBDI) Incentive Scheme requires a written application to be submitted to the URA. The written application should include the following: comprehensive information about the planned development, location, intended land use, and projected floor area. Expected expenses and financial returns of the project must also be provided, alongside a thorough explanation of how the project will positively impact the Central Business District (CBD)’s growth and progress, such as generating employment opportunities or enhancing transportation infrastructure.
- Benefits of the Central Business District (CBDI) Incentive Scheme:
Other than an increase in gross floor area (GFA) and a reduction in Development Charge, the Central Business District (CBDI) Incentive Scheme can provide greater flexibility in land use.
With these incentive schemes mentioned above, building developers have adequate resources and support to meet the challenges of urbanization and to propel the real estate industry towards a more innovative and environmentally conscious future.
As there are many incentive schemes introduced by the government, building developers may get confused and overwhelmed by the options available. Therefore architecture firms in Singapore can provide that much-needed help based on their knowledge of the real estate market and experience in the industry.