Last year, the Anantara Resort & Spa in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province won first prize at the Energy-Efficient Architecture Contest initiated by the Ministry of Construction and the second tropical building prize at the "Building Energy Efficiency East South Asia in 2012" contest.
Earlier in 2011, the complex also won first prize at the Energy Efficient Buildings Contest initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The Anantara Resort & Spa is clear evidence that buildings in Vietnam can fully meet local and regional criteria for green buildings; but the question is how to replicate the model nationwide.
Green buildings, a global trend
According to statistics from the Ministry of Construction, the energy consumption in the building sector in Vietnam accounts for 22.4-30 percent of the total national energy consumption. Green building technology can save up to 30-40 percent of the energy for new buildings and 15-25 percent of the energy for operating buildings. With these substantial savings, green environmentally friendly buildings have become a world trend.
In Vietnam, green building construction has only recently developed. Director of Ho Chi Minh City Energy Conservation Center Huynh Kim Tuoc said: "Considering global green building criteria, a green building should start from its planning of location, green space, and architectural design so as to achieve energy efficiency (EE) and optimize the recycling waste materials."
According to Prof. Nguyen Quoc Thong, Vice President of Vietnam Association of Architects, the green building trend adopts traditional materials such as sunscreens, wide verandahs, and trees so as to take advantage of light and wind, while making the building look more beautiful.
According to CEO of A & B Co., Ltd. Ha Van An, the investor of Anantara Resort & Spa, the complex is located in the straits of Mui Ne in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, where some of the most beautiful coastal resorts in Vietnam can be found. The resort was designed in a rustic southern style to take advantage of green space, wind power, and natural light. Visitors can enjoy the quiet provided by the tranquil ponds, pure white lotus flowers, the red-tile-roofed villas, and tall coconut trees.
The resort was designed with reduced use of concrete components, increased use of trees and shrubs, and wide corridors and verandas so as to take advantage of the wind and fresh air, thereby saving energy thanks to reduced air conditionings. This design also provides visitors with a romantic view of the sea from the room. All equipment used in the resort is highly energy efficient. The building temperature is continuously maintained at 27.6 degree Celsius while the humidity rate averages at 85.5 percent. The Anantara Resort & Spa has won several awards for green buildings thanks to these advantages.
Green building solution is applicable
The resort proves that Vietnam is fully capable of developing highly energy efficient green buildings. However, Deputy Director of Ministry of Construction's Science, Technology and Environment Department Tran Dinh Thai said the biggest hurdles to the replication of green buildings in Vietnam were capital and technology.
According to David Hathaway, a clean energy efficiency project manager in the US, the US government has not launched energy efficiency programs but all states should do it themselves. The single Government funded program is the Energy Star Program with clearly defined levels of the specific energy consumption for each work. Vietnam can follow this policy too, to quickly improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions into the environment.
Prof. Nguyen Quoc Thong said: "we can reduce investment rate in the construction of green buildings by increasing green and water spaces, which is probably energy efficient and less expensive solution."
"Although investment rates for green buildings are not small, they will in the long term bring greater economic efficiency by saving from 30-40 percent of energy consumption compared with conventional buildings. Moreover, ESCO Vietnam offer advanced green building solutions that may be most suited for domestic demand" Director of Ho Chi Minh City Energy Conservation Center Huynh Kim Tuoc said./.