Monday, 2 April 2012

Green House Hunting

We've been in our temporary accommodation for a couple of weeks now so it's about time we started looking for somewhere more permanent to live. Of course, the choice of where we live will impact on our green lifestyle.

I've not lived in rented accommodation for a few years now, so I've had total control over the energy and water use and been able to reduce these by making changes to our house and fittings, and been able to compost and grow food in our garden. Our house was also located in cycling distance from my work too. Going back in to rented accommodation means that some of those decisions are taken out of our hands.

In the UK every home that is rented has to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which rates the energy performance from a G rating (worst) to A rating (best), so if you're interested, you can select your future home based on the energy rating band. New homes can also be rated using the Code for Sustainable Homes or EcoHomes (for slightly older properties). But then as house building is at an all time low in the UK, not many homes are being assessed under the Code.

Whilst Singapore doesn't appear to have an equivalent of the EPC, it does have Green Mark. There are over 1000 rated buildings or projects. Since 2008, all new buildings had to achieve the minimum Green Mark score, so there are (after a quick search on 10,781 apartments to chose from today. Gulp!

After putting all our criteria for an apartment in, that leaves a whole 3 properties to choose from which have the Green Mark! How lucky we are. Two of those are in the same condo - so are possibly the same property, and the condo is right on the other side of the island, so too far to commute and one is actually being advertised as a flat share. So that is a total 0 properties! It seems that to afford a Green Mark rated flat, we'd have to vastly increase our budget.

So, it's back to the usual compromise of location, price and size, with "green" being at the bottom of the checklist. that gives me an idea. So you can't afford a Green Mark rated apartment? Don't worry! Watch this space for my Renting Green in Singapore checklist!

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