My Tree House, World's 1st Green Library for Kids

Release Date : 09 May 2012

A National Library Board and City Developments Limited Collaboration

Singapore, 9 May 2012 – The National Library Board (NLB) and City Developments Limited (CDL) unveiled plans to develop the World's 1st Green Library for Kids named as “My Tree House”. This library development is a synergistic partnership between NLB and CDL. “My Tree House” is steered by green principles in all facets from design, infrastructure and use of sustainable materials, to collection and programming.

Attributes of “My Tree House”

“My Tree House” is a unique green library purposefully conceptualised, constructed and operated with environmental sustainability in mind. CDL will provide green expertise from its vast experience of developing eco-friendly properties and integrate comprehensive sustainable practices to create a green prototype library for kids. The eco-directive set for this innovative first-of-its-kind project will ensure that every detail from the holistic conceptual design and infrastructure, materials used in the construction, incorporation of innovative key features, are not only sustainable but proactively reinforce the overall green concept.

CDL has brought together other like-minded corporations, who are leading green players in their own fields, to lend their expertise and support in this groundbreaking initiative. These partners include ADDP Architects LLP – the design consultant led by Mr Tang Kok Thye, recently awarded Green Architect of the Year 2012 by Building and Construction Authority (BCA); Interface – the world's largest manufacturer of sustainable carpet tiles which will provide the carpeting for this library; and Royal Philips Electronics – a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, which will be the lighting consultant and supplier of energy-efficient lighting solutions and fittings for “My Tree House”.

The library has been designed to create an enchanted forest ambience with fun spaces for hands-on learning and reflections. “My Tree House” takes its name aptly after the centrepiece which is a tree house structure constructed with recyclable materials. It will evoke the feeling of a special place for children as featured in story books. 

Targeted for completion in mid-2013, the library will be home to 70,000 books. About 30% of these books will focus on green topics such as animals, plants, nature, water resources, environment and climate change. NLB plans to work with other public agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, National Climate Change Secretariat, National Environment Agency, National Parks Board and PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency in developing the library's collection and on using the library for environmental education and outreach. A wide range of tailored activities like games, storytelling and craft-making to spur interest in children ages 4 to 12 are being planned. NLB is also gathering feedback and suggestions to customise the experience for child visitors. Members of the public can provide suggestions through email or forms at the library.

Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of NLB said, “We are breaking new ground in public, private and people sector collaboration in library development. Together with City Developments Limited and its partners, we are creating a special library that will encourage children to explore, discover and challenge their curiosity in learning and caring for the environment. 'My Tree House' will help to nurture children to grow up to be environmentally-conscious adults.”

Ms Esther An, CDL's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and General Manager (Corporate Affairs) added, “CDL has been championing the development of green buildings in Singapore for over a decade. Pioneering this children's library with NLB is the perfect amalgamation of CDL's green building expertise, commitment to greening private and public spaces, and most importantly, raising eco-awareness amongst the young for the benefit of our community and the environment. This is in line with our long-standing commitment to youth development and promoting sustainable development.”

This green library will be appropriately housed at the Central Public Library located within the National Library Building. This building first received the Green Mark Platinum Award in April 2005 and subsequently in March 2009. This is the highest honour for green buildings in Singapore bestowed by the BCA. In July 2007, it also won the first prize in the ASEAN Energy Efficiency Awards under the “New and Existing Building” category. In May 2007, the Building was given the Silver Award in the Universal Design Award from BCA, for its wide spaces, good lighting, accessibility and clarity in wayfinding.