December, 18 2013 09:25:00

Environment experts call for more green buildings

File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Green buildings are still rare in Viet Nam though the country is among the 10 most vulnerable in the world to climate change and sea level rise.

Environmental and construction experts told a conference on energy-efficient construction held yesterday by the Viet Nam Green Building Council and the HCM City Institute for Development Studies that green construction is still restricted to slogans.

Buildings use a lot of energy and this put huge pressure on both the environment and house owners, especially in the last decade.

With fuel bills headed in only one direction in the foreseeable future and given the economic situation, Viet Nam needs to put energy efficiency on the front burner.

Nguyen Minh Thong, CEO of the Viet Nam Green Building Council (VGBC), said some environment-friendly buildings may have been built in recent years but knowledge about them remains low.

Most of these buildings were the outcome of market demand rather than any government policy, he said.

People think building green is much more expensive than conventional, he said, adding, "It is funny how people in the construction industry firmly believe that green buildings must be very expensive."

Melissa Merryweather, the VGBC's southern regional coordinator, and director of Green Consult – Asia, agreed with Thong saying green buildings can be cheap.

Information source

The Viet Nam Green Building Council and Fairventures Worldwide took a significant step forward in their efforts to promote a more sustainable and adaptive environment with the launch on Monday of E4G.org, a green database for buildings and urban planning in Viet Nam and the Asia Pacific.

It is meant to foster energy efficient buildings and practices through open knowledge-sharing, hands-on experience, case studies, insights into the benefits of green buildings, and networking.

E4G offers in-depth knowledge and expertise in green buildings and energy efficiency for free.

Fairventures Worldwide is a German non-profit and consulting organisation working in international development.

The project is sponsored by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, an international non-profit organisation that aims to scale up clean energy solutions in developing countries. — VNS

Robert Fries - scott17110@yahoo.com   Robert Fries
December, 18 2013 21:05:17
Interesting article. I hope use and popularity of green buildings follows other innovations that started a little costly but became much cheaper due to demand: TV, telephones, computers, motor bikes, etc. An associated but very unpopular topic for discussion is composting toilets. A perfect companion for a green building. "Yuck! An outhouse in the house!" Not so. Regular toilets use a lot of water and the discharge has to be treated or raw sewage is simply dumped in rivers. A properly constructed composting toilet uses no water, a pipe to the roof top carries odors away, and human waste is naturally broken down by bacteria and microbes that can later be used in flower gardens with no smell or threat to health. A short period of composting outside will make the material suitable for vegetable gardens. I have seen composting toilets in tourist sites in the US and they resembled and were as clean to use as regular toilets.
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