Located at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) Heritage Museum, the CDL Green Gallery is the first zero-energy gallery in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific dedicated to climate education, engagement, and advocacy.

Facade of the CDL Green Gallery at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The CDL Green Gallery is an exemplary model of CDL’s green building expertise and extensive partnerships. It demonstrates CDL’s long-standing commitment to educating the community on biodiversity, climate and sustainability-related subjects through exhibitions that are free for the public. The CDL Green Gallery has hosted 20 exhibitions since its opening in November 2013 and welcomes an average of 34,000 visitors annually (this information is accurate as of Jan 2024).

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, CDL is pleased to renew its partnership with the National Parks Board to operate the CDL Green Gallery for another decade (2023 – 2032). This unique and longstanding public-private partnership reinforces CDL’s dedication in taking a multifaceted approach to catalyse change throughout the wider community.

Launched by CDL and opened alongside the SBG Heritage Museum by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2013, the CDL Green Gallery was built within 24 hours using prefabricated, modular construction technology. To reduce the environmental impact at SBG, this 314 sqm gallery was assembled off-site before being installed and pieced together at SBG—much like building blocks. As a leading force in sustainability, CDL also ensured that these building blocks could also be modified for reuse in the future.

The gallery is constructed from Hempcrete, a biomaterial that consists of the hemp plant, lime, sand and water. This material is not only resistant to pests, fire, mould and mildew, but also keeps indoor temperatures cool with its high thermal efficiency.

A key feature of the building is the solar photovoltaic (PV) cladded roof panels that are expected to harvest all the energy required for the building’s operations. With 105 solar panels installed on its roof, CDL Green Gallery generates 31,000 kWh annually, surpassing the gallery’s estimated yearly energy consumption.

Other innovative green features include energy-efficient air conditioning, as well as LED lights that consume 57% less energy than conventional lighting. The gallery is also clad with vertical green walls, planted with selected species that attract butterflies such as the Plain Tiger and Chocolate Pansy. These lush plants are irrigated by water from the nearby Swan Lake, rather than potable water.

For its innovative eco-friendly features, the gallery was accorded the BCA Green Mark Platinum status—the highest tier of green buildings in Singapore.

The CDL Green Gallery is a shining example of CDL’s green building expertise and extensive partnerships, demonstrating its unwavering dedication to community engagement, environmental conservation, and the arts.

In a spectacular example of 3P partnerships, the opening of “Singapore’s Greening Journey: 200 Years and Beyond” exhibition was filled with children, foreign ambassadors, youth groups, and various industry leaders from the public and private sector. In this photo (first row, from left to right) are: SBG Group Director (2011-2019) Dr Nigel Taylor, NParks Chief Exeuctive Officer Mr Kenneth Er, Garden City Fund Chairman Professor Leo Tan, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong, CDL Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Group General Manager Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer Ms Esther An, culinary anthropologist Ms Nithiya Laila, and Institute of Parks and Recreation Singapore President, Ms Maria Boey.

In partnership with the National Library Board and the Singapore Green Building Council, CDL launched “Singapore’s Greening Journey: 200 Years and Beyond” exhibition at the CDL Green Gallery in June 2019, which showcased the evolution of Singapore’s landscapes from 200 years ago till present day. The exhibition was officially opened by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance. Held in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial commemorations and as part of the SBG’s 160th Anniversary celebrations, the exhibition ran from 21 June till 10 November 2019.

Divided into three zones and using a mix of interpretive panels and interactive displays, the exhibition took visitors across three themes through three different timelines:

  1. From Forested Island to Urban Jungle (1819 – 1964)
  2. Garden City to Biophilic City in a Garden vision (1965 – 2019)
  3. Biophilic Garden City of Tomorrow (2019 and beyond)
Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong celebrating Singapore’s rich greening history with several schoolchildren.

About SBG Heritage Museum

Situated in Holttum Hall, which is next to Botany Centre in the Tanglin Core of the Gardens, the SBG Heritage Museum has been designated as an Urban Redevelopment Authority conservation building.

This two-storey 240sqm building was where Professor Eric Holttum, the Gardens’ Director from 1925 to 1949, developed the innovative orchid breeding technique which enabled the efficient production of healthy seedlings in sterile flasks from a hybrid seed. This technique, which is still used today, was a key factor that stimulated thriving orchid industries throughout the region then.

Today, the SBG Heritage Museum features interactive and multimedia displays that detail little-known facts of the Gardens’ rich heritage. Historical items displayed date back to the early 19th century, and include old photographs, artefacts, plant specimens, rare botanical books and botanical paintings.

The exhibits in the museum are proudly supported by CDL through the Garden City Fund, a registered charity and institution of public character established by the NParks.

The entrance of the SBG Heritage Museum.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of SBG Heritage Museum with the late CDL Deputy Chairman Mr Kwek Leng Joo (in light blue).

Admission to the gallery is free and the opening hours are as follows:

Open: Monday – Sunday, 9.00am to 6.00pm

Closed: Every last Tuesday of the Month

Address: 1 Cluny Road (Closest to Napier Station on the Thomson East Coast line; Enter via Tanglin Gate)