Laying foundation for green architecture

Posted at: THUrsday - 19/09/2013 07:58 - post name: Nguyễn Mai Nhiệm
(VEN) - On September 20, the Energy Conservation Center of Ho Chi Minh City (ECC-HCMC) and the University College of Northern Denmark (UCN) are going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of a Green Energy and Architecture Institute. The institute is one of the latest among the two side’s chains of green growth cooperation. Vietnam Economic New’s Phuong Lan interviewed Director of ECC-HCMC Huynh Kim Tuoc about this issue.

I know that cooperation in green architecture is one of the highlights in cooperation programs between ECC-HCMC and Denmark. Can you tell more details about this issue?
Five years ago, as we were aware that energy efficiency in buildings would promote the investment, design and construction of green works, ECC HCMC conducted research to find out the market demand on this area. This orientation received many interests of domestic and international organizations. In 2011, through the introduction of the Danish Embassy, the working delegations of UCN and KA Architecture Company came to Vietnam (including schools, universities and institutes) to conduct surveys on green architecture. Finally, UCN and KA chose ECC as its partner because of its knowledge, human resources and the possibility of marketization of this area.
With the support from the Danish Government through Danish business program, and after one year doing research on the market and the legal framework in Vietnam, ECC-HCMC, KA and UCN decided to establish the Green Energy and Architecture Institute.
What are the functions of the Institute?
As Vietnam has not set any standards for green works and there are no training centers on this area, neither, the Green Energy and Architecture Institute will concentrate mainly on three aspects: Training at primary and intermediate levels, and short term courses, coordinating with universities to train Bachelor of Arts; doing research and exchanging research students; and consulting green works.
The annual expert exchange programs will allow experts to participate in various green architecture projects in both Vietnam and Denmark.
It is said that the human resources for green architecture remain weak. What will the Green Energy and Architecture Institute do to resolve this issue?
There are two problems relating to human resources in the field of green architecture. Firstly, there have been no standardized training program at university level and higher in Vietnam. In addition, designs of green construction works and information management in Vietnam are mostly inclined to theory and lack support tools. Therefore, the training programs of the institute will provide these new support tools and methods. The orientation of the institute is training following the market demand and leading to new designing styles.
It is expected that by March 2014, the Green Energy and Architecture Institute will officially debut. Talking about Vietnamese-Danish cooperation in green architecture, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen said “Denmark could support Vietnam in terms of technologies and skills. Through this support, we want to point out that the green works with smart designs to increase natural light and good insulating materials could help Vietnam save 15-20 percent of total national energy consumption.
More specifically, the institute will organize short-term courses to teach architects and construction engineers skills and provide them with support tools such as Be10 and BIM to design the green works. Besides, the Active House will also be built at the same time with the Green Energy and Architecture Institute, helping learners monitor and learn directly the ways to build a complete green work.
In addition, different from working methods of Vietnamese architects, the institute will organize meetings with participation of architects, construction engineers and sociologists who discuss ways to build a green construction work from the beginning to the end, making the designing ideas more thorough, consistent and efficient.
I believe that if the institute operates well, it will change thoughts to design a construction work and at the same time will form up a new faculty which is architecture engineer that Vietnam’s architecture universities are planning to establish. After the establishment of the Green Energy and Architecture Institute, in the coming time, ECC-HCMC will coordinate with Hanoi and HCMC Architecture Universities to open this new faculty.
I also believe the cooperation between ECC-HCMC and UCN will help to form a pioneer in green architecture, contributing to the future development of the field./.

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