GREEN BUILDING – A new future for the construction industry
Vietnam’s natural resources are getting depleted with its growing economy, increasing population and rapid urbanization. Furthermore, The country’s enormous coastline makes it vulnerable to the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. This alarming problem has encouraged the government to transit towards making its urban development smarter and more sustainable; thus, opening a new path for the construction industry in Vietnam.
GREEN ARCHITECTURE ON THE RISE
In recent years, project developers have had many changes in their vision and orientation, leaning more towards providing the market with buildings that incorporate a variety of green elements and energy efficiency. The application of the new technical solutions to reduce energy consumption in new and renovated buildings, demonstrated by the UNDP, has the potential to achieve from 25% to 67% in energy savings with each construction, the cost only increases approximately 3% of the total investment and the maximum payback period is 5 years.
However, as of April 2020, Vietnam has only reached a number of 150 works recognized as green buildings by various certification systems like LEED, EDGE, LOTUS and Green Mark. This figure shows that there is a growing market for green building; yet, the speed is very moderate, not commensurate with the potential of the construction industry and Vietnam still stand far behind other countries in the region
NEEDS FOR SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
Materials are the essential components of a building construction. The design of green buildings should thus begin with the selection and use of eco-friendly materials with related or better features than traditional building materials which is also considered as the fastest way for builders to start integrating sustainable design concepts in buildings. Therefore, with the increasing rate of green buildings using environmentally friendly and energy-saving building materials, the building material industry cannot be out of the trend.
SUPPORTING GOVERNMENT POLICIES
Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction (MoC) has promoted a project called “Energy Efficiency in Commercial and High-Rise Residential Buildings in Vietnam” (EECB) that aims to find more solutions for energy efficiency in building. Additionally, the EECB project has contributed to the amendment of the Law on Construction, especially regarding policies and regulations on efficient and cost-effective approaches in using energy.
Vietnam’s construction sector has promulgated several policies related to green building:
- Decision 1393/QĐ-TTg issued by the Prime Minister on “National Green Growth Strategy”
- Decision 403/QĐ-TTg issued by the Prime Minister on “Actions to implement the National Green Growth Strategy”:
- Decision 419/QĐ-BXD issued by Ministry of Construction on “Plan of actions of the construction industry to implement the Green Growth Strategy””
- Decision 3457/QĐ-UBND issued by HCMC People’s Committee on “Regulating the management of urban spaces and urban architecture of the current HCMC downtown area (930ha)”
CHALLENGES IN GREEN BUILDING SECTOR
In spite of various actions to promote green building and maintain sustainable development in Vietnam, green building adoption has been claimed as being slow and lacking governmental support. The majority of green building project’s investors are reported to be multinational companies, while domestic enterprises still show hesitation in Green Building investment. Pham Duc Nguyen – the vice chairman of Green Building Council Vietnam (GBCV) also stated that the green building sector within the country still lacks public awareness even though this movement has been promoted worldwide for many years.
It is necessary for the nation’s government to take more crucial action to promote green building and minimize the negative effect on the environment, such as providing financial incentive for enterprises to invest in green building, enacting policies related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Additionally, domestic enterprises have to be more cautious toward sustainable development issues and acknowledge green approaches like green building, renewable energy usage, etc. would be the optimal solution to reduce the negative effect of business actions on the environment.
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