9 Penang Road, UBS South-east Asian Headquarters – LEED Office Interior Platinum

Date Published

7th Jun 2021

Gene Harn Lim
MSc. (Arch), LEED AP, GMM, GBIF
ICL Project Consultant, IES

9 Penang Road is the largest LEED Platinum project in Southeast Asia for interior offices. IES Consulting Asia supported UBS in complying with the LEED CI v2009 requirements while using the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to create a detailed room level benchmark simulation amid the COVID pandemic. 

With close to 400,000 square feet spread across 8 levels, 9 Penang Road (9PR) is the new Southeast Asia headquarters for UBS, which faced tight construction deadlines amid the COVID pandemic. The IES Consulting Asia Team, based in the Singapore office, was engaged for LEED Interior Office certification consultancy. 

IES Consulting Asia was engaged by the design team during the tender interview stage. The team quickly closed the LEED design compliance gap by assembling critical stakeholders into a weekly LEED Champions meeting. This necessary action thus enabled the team to communicate vital requirements across the program, including sharing the aspiration with the UBS sustainability team on implementing sustainability programs for the occupants' benefits.
 
9PR is the largest LEED Platinum project in Southeast Asia for Interior Offices. There are only 14 such buildings certified in Singapore. There are electric vehicle charging stations, priority parking for carpool and green vehicles, and bicycle parking spaces available while staff can refresh at shower facilities to encourage clean and energy-efficient modes of transport. UBS collaborated with the community partner on urban farming to grow herbs and spices for the staff café. In the café, employees get to enjoy daily plant-based protein meal options amongst a range of offerings. All food waste generated from the 9PR café is bio-digested into grey water, which will be fed into Singapore’s treatment systems and converted into byproducts. As such, UBS supports Singapore’s national agenda of reducing the stress on Singapore’s only landfill as well as the conserving water strategy.



Rapid Energy Modelling Capability

A significant achievement was the quick turnaround in which IES Consulting Asia leveraged its expertise in energy modelling while pursuing the Energy and Atmosphere credits. Within just three weeks, IES Consulting Asia used IESVE to create and carry out detailed room level energy modelling and energy model reports. This success was made possible using the VE Navigator for LEED, which automates LEED credit assessments by simulating building data and producing reports to benchmark against ASHRAE 90.1 standards. 

This was a critical point in the project, which saw USGBC Award the total 59 design stage points submitted, with the goal of Platinum in mind. The proposed building design, including all detailed 9PR tenant elements, achieved a saving of 33.09% over the budget building design compared against ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2007 standard. 


 
Stringent Indoor Air Quality Testing

IES Consulting Asia prioritises a clean and healthy interior air quality environment as equivalent to that of energy efficiency. Besides proof checking and communicating with the contractors on the indoor air quality management on site, IES Consulting Asia also facilitated the IAQ sample tests across multiple phases. A total of 155 sample points were taken across the entire office building, in contrast to the required minimum of 34 points by LEED. The close coordination among the site stakeholders has enabled the multiple IAQ tests to be executed within a tight construction handover period to achieve satisfactory results and ensure a safe environment for UBS occupants to move in. 

Making a case for 100% Solar Powered Equivalence

As part of UBS commitment to have 100% of UBS operations in Singapore be entirely run on renewable energy, 9PR has also purchased a surplus of Renewable Energy Credit covering beyond the foreseen annual energy consumption of 9PR. A substantial list of LEED credits have interpretations that are not explicitly catered for Singapore's market. Thus, IES Consulting Asia also assisted 9PR in establishing the narration of Green-e equivalency for the Renewable Energy Credit as the transparency of the documentation on the TIGR (Tradable Instruments or Global Renewables) platform has justified the intention of renewable energy.  

Janet Kwok, Associate Director and APAC In-House Environmental Management at UBS, said:

"IES Consulting Asia has extensive experience in managing LEED projects. They have a deep understanding of the requirements, and it has definitely helped the team to implement the green features smoothly. The project in Singapore is our major project in our portfolio, and the involvement of IES has been key to the building successfully achieving LEED platinum certification."

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