Green initiatives in Asia
Legislations are needed
Building legislations in Asia generally lag far behind Europe where building codes precisely define thermal standards which have to be secured. This is further compounded by low awareness of building requirements and lack of good practices within the construction industry.
Despite the lack of regulations in many of Asian countries, green initiatives have nevertheless been initiated by market practitioners and green building activists.
In May 2009, the Malaysian Green Building Index (GBI) was launched, marking a milestone for Malaysia building sector. To read more about the GBI, download article in related links.
Back in 2006, Malaysia’s Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister stated that plans were under way to include energy efficiency requirements in the Uniform Building By-Laws; and to make implementation mandatory rather then on voluntary basis. “We need to take immediate steps to reduce energy consumption in government buildings. That is why the Prime Minister has directed all government facilities to reduce their electricity consumption by 10% this year,” he said. Although more awareness has been generated with the recent launching of GBI voluntary rating tool, implementation of energy efficiency regulations remains questionable due to lack of mandatory legislations.
Already back in 2004, the Malaysian government had set out to create awareness about green or low energy building by demonstrating its feasibility to industry practitioners. The Low Energy Office (LEO) and Zero Energy Office (ZEO) buildings are two examples of the importance placed by the Malaysian government on energy efficiency in buildings.
Singapore has been one of the leading countries in Asia to continuously upgrade its building codes and implement good building practices. With the Green Mark certification being made mandatory in April 2008 for all new buildings, the landscape in Singapore is expected to change.
The Green Mark rating system is designed to evaluate the building on its performance and is based on a range of criteria, from design to construction. One of the key criteria used to assess the building is energy efficiency, where the scheme requires that the new building is sustainable in terms of its energy consumption.
To read more about the Green Mark, download article in related links.
What are the green building initiatives taking place recently in Asia? Read about the Malaysian and Singaporean developments here.