Vietnam lacks standards for green buildings

Posted at: THUrsday - 25/11/2010 11:07 - post name: Nguyễn Mai Nhiệm
HCMC – Vietnam still lacks official standards for assessing and certifying green buildings while the trend of developing more energy-saving buildings is emerging in major cities such as Hanoi and HCMC, said the director of the Energy Conservation Center of HCMC.

HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Trung Tin (spectacled) listens to HCMC Energy Conservation Center (ECC-HCMC) director Huynh Kim Tuoc (3rd, L, front row) introducing the first Vietnamese-made solar cell panel on the opening day of ENCON EXPO 2010 in HCMC on Thursday. This product is made by Red Sun Energy Joint Stock Company, a joint venture between ECC-HCMC and Tan Ky Nguyen Trading and Technology Company. The expo at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in District 11 is attended by more than 200 local and 30 foreign firms - Photo: Kinh Luan

Huynh Kim Tuoc said on Thursday that the lack of assessment standards and the absence of qualified consulting companies for green building construction hindered the development of more green buildings in the country. Tuoc was speaking to the Daily as an exhibition on energy conservation named Encon Expo 2010 kicked off in the city on Thursday.

The higher construction cost for green buildings is another major drawback for the trend, he said.

“The construction cost of a green building is estimated to be 40% higher than a conventional building, which makes people hesitant to invest in green structures,” he said.

The director of the energy conservation center, which is organizing the aforesaid exhibition, said some green buildings have been operational in the country, but they were all certified by international organizations. Other buildings are self-certified as ‘green ones’ for the trading purpose rather than the environmental factor, he said.

As construction is booming in major cities, with the construction area in HCMC alone expanding by around 3.5 million square meters each year, Tuoc said, the country needs to have a common set of standards to assess and certify green buildings so as to encourage investors to follow the trend.

He also cited some examples of green buildings to be developed in HCMC in the coming time.

“In 2011, the head office of the city’s Department of Science and Technology will be rebuilt as a green building,” he said. This building, located at 244 Dien Bien Phu Street in District 3, will cover a total of some 2,500 square meters and require a total cost of some VND200 billion.

According to a document that was released on Wednesday by Tuoc’s center, a green building should meet some basic environmental criteria including a 30% reduction in energy consumption, a 35% cut in dioxide carbon emission, and a 30% decrease in water use.


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