Green Buildings in Singapore: Analyzing a Frontrunner’s Sectoral Innovation System

Vidushini Siva, Thomas Hoppe, M Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


The building sector in Singapore consumes up to half of the nation’s total energy. The government has therefore been urging the transformation of the industry by targeting 80% of all buildings to be green-certified by 2030. Thus far, Singapore has done relatively well, and is widely viewed as frontrunner in this respect. This paper addresses the question: what are the benefits and limitations of Singapore’s sectoral innovation system in spurring an energy transition in the building sector, in particular by up-scaling the use of green building technology? The Sectoral Innovation Systems (SIS) theoretical framework was used to analyze the Singapore case. Four SIS components were assessed: technological regime, market demand, actor interactions and networks, and institutional framework. The benefits of Singapore’s sectoral innovation system identified in the analysis basically concern aspects of all of the four elements of SIS. Particular success factors concerned the launching of an integrated strategy to support green building innovations (i.e., the Green Mark policy scheme), implementing support policies, and setting up test beds. Furthermore, a masterplan to engage and educate end-users was implemented, knowledge exchange platforms were set up, regulations on the use of efficient equipment in buildings were issued, and standards and a certification system were adopted. The results also shed light on key barriers, namely, the reluctance of building users to change their habits, ineffective stakeholder collaboration, and green buildings innovation support coming from the government only. Measures in place have been moderately effective.
Original languageEnglish
Article number919
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • energy transition
  • green certification
  • policy
  • sectoral innovation system
  • Singapore
  • green buildings


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