Kevin Hydes, General Director of Canadian Intergral Group, who attended FuturArc Forum, a workshop held in late 2011, said that the current construction material increases, the demand for protecting the environment and the market demand all are the factors that prompt real estate investors to look for green, safe and environment-friendly designs.
However, he also pointed out that despite a lot of exertion, the community still has not had high awareness of the issue. Meanwhile, the lack of the connection among the different stages of the projects’ implementation, from the design to the completion, still hinders the development of the green construction works.
Vision and links needed
Currently, in order to have a green construction work, the investors would have to pay more for initial investment, while it will take longer to take back the investment capital, and the efficiency of the green works would only come after a long time.
Tran Dinh Thai, Deputy Director of the Department for Science, Technology and the Environment under the Ministry of Construction, also said that green-design works allow to save energy and bring big benefits, but they always require big initial investments. This makes a lot of investors hesitant in spending money to develop green works.
However, Thai said that if investors have a long term vision, they should accept the high initial investments, because they can save the expenses in the operation of the works later.
Yannick Millet, Managing Director of the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC), said that in new green and energy saving projects, it will not require much more money, if architects, engineers and involving partners sit together to discuss the energy saving solutions for the buildings. This means that it’s necessary to have a link among the different stages of the project implementation.
However, he stressed that this would be a long term process, which requires the long term vision, not only for one or two years. He also thinks that the government needs to apply the policies that encourage and support enterprises to join the program on green designing and energy saving.
Reasonable policies, not money, are needed
Regarding the energy saving program, Singapore has made a big leap in encouraging the development of the program. BCA, a state agency of the country, is managing a fund worth 100 million dollar which aims to support buildings, from high rise office buildings to apartments, to upgrade their energy saving systems. The buildings may get the prop-up of 35 percent of the total investment capital for the upgrading.
To date, BCA has implemented 25 million square meters, about 12 percent of the total floor construction area of the country. It strives to upgrade the buildings and help develop green and energy green saving designs for 80 percent of the high rise buildings in the country by 2030.
Mr Millet said that the government can intervene to help develop the program on green development, not by giving money, but by laying down reasonable policies. For example, the state should allow investors to increase the floor construction area by one or two percent instead of giving money. This is also the indirect support some countries are applying to encourage investors to join the green development program.
Thai from the Ministry of Construction said that currently, the State only encourages enterprises to join the energy saving program. However, in the long term, Thai believes that it is necessary to set up the regulations forcing investors to apply green designs for their construction works, in addition to giving preferences to investors.