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Certification Criteria


The ABC Waters Certification Scheme is evaluated based on four categories  Active, Beautiful, Clean and Innovation. The certification criteria was updated on 1 August 2017.  All entries that meet the certification criteria can be awarded under either the ABC Waters Certified or ABC Waters Certified (Gold) categories.

​Click here ​for more details on the Active, Beautiful, Clean and Innovation categories [PDF].


ABC Waters Certified

For a project to be ABC Waters Certified, the project needs to attain a minimum of 45 points, with​ at least 5 points from the respective Active, Beautiful and Clean categories.​

ABC Waters Certified (Gold)

​​The ABC Waters Certification (Gold) aims to distinguish developers and professionals who integrate ABC Waters design strategies extensively, and accord distinction to projects with outstanding ABC Waters design. This certification is the highest accolade that can be attained by developers.

For a project to be ABC Waters Certified (Gold), the project needs to attain a minimum of 65 points, with at least 5 points from the respective Active, Beautiful and Clean categories. In addition, treatment of surfac​e run-off from at least 40% of the total site area must be attained through the use of ABC Waters design features.

This section aims to encourage vibrancy and activity in each site. By providing new community spaces for people to enjoy ​recreational activities, we hope to bring people closer to water. 

1) Provision of facilities for new community spaces & public enjoyment, with possible educational values 20
a) Provision of facilities that bring people closer to water and promote waterside or fringe activities in development - (E.g. Viewing decks / look out decks / Boardwalks / Seating spaces by the waterway or ABC Waters design features - excluding swimming pools / fountains)5
b) Accessibility and safety consideration for the facilities provided (e.g. barrier free design)5
c) Maintainability of the ABC Waters design features (e.g. design features which involve minimal maintenance)5
d) Scope for public education (E.g. Signage to explain about facts about water / nature / ABC Waters design features)5
2) Usage by stakeholders & community engagement 10
a) Proposal for formation of interest groups or for organising activities (with plans to ensure sustainability of activities) at project site5
b) Convenience of usage by members of the public5

This section focuses on integrating water and greenery to achieve scenic waterscapes.

1) Integration of water features within site architecture 20
a) Aesthetic improvements of surface water drainage (e.g. use of vegetated swales / bioretention swales instead of concrete drains, use of retention ponds, wetland plantings etc)10
b) Aesthetic improvements to the sky terrace / roofs (e.g. usage of intensive or extensive green roofs to slow down runoff)5
c) Aesthetic improvements to the façade (e.g. through use of vertical greenery, planter boxes for treatment of rainwater)5
2) Integration with greenery 10
Planting scheme with a variety of plants (preferably native plants) that encourage habitat creation (eg. for butterflies / dragonflies and birds) and enhance biodiversity10

The section focuses on sustainable and holistic water management through the adoption of the ABC Waters design concept.

1) Incorporation of sustainable stormwater management features 20
(a) Treatment or retention of run-off from more than 35% of the total site area through ABC Waters design features, infiltration features or retention ponds20
(b) Treatment or retention of run-off from 11% to 35% of the total site area through ABC Waters design features, infiltration features or retention ponds15
(c) Treatment or retention of run-off from up to 10% of the total site area through ABC Waters design features, infiltration features or retention ponds5
2) Holistic water management of the site 10
a) Rain water harvesting and integration with ABC Waters design features7
b) Rain water harvesting and re-use of rain water (e.g. for irrigation)3

This section recognises creativity and innovation in incorporating ABC Waters Design Elements or other environmentally friendly features in their projects to minimise the impact of urbanisation on the quality and quantity of rain water. It also acknowledges exemplary designs that go beyond the standard criteria listed in under the ABC Waters certification scheme.

1) Incorporation of innovative ABC Waters design in projects Up to 20
a) Infiltration measures e.g. porous pavement, engineering soil ​
​b) Creative drain cover designs ​
c) Innovative irrigation systems that use rain water
d) Gross Pollutant ​Traps
e) Other natural drainage systems