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VGBC Annual green building conference 2014

As usual, it is the 7th time that Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) has organized the Annual conference with a new name of Annual green building conference 2014 in order to convey a clearer message for the conference’s theme. Proudly sponsored by International Finance Corporation (IFC), USAID, Saint-Gobain Vietnam Co., Ltd, NS BlueScope Vietnam Ltd., GreenViet Consultancy Co., Ltd, the conference was successfully held on 19th September, 2014 at Duxton hotel, Ho Chi Minh city. At the same time, we set the date of 19th September as Vietnam's green building day, an essential landmark of green building movement for the whole year, awakening people's awareness about green construction for Vietnam. Not only was it truly a destination and a platform for networking and discussion on green initiatives of investors, developers, architects, engineers, and stakeholders but also a rare opportunity to meet Ms. Phan Thi My Linh, Deputy Minister of Construction along with other governmental officials and hear about their perspectives on green construction.

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The conference started with the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Arch. Nguyen Huu Dzung, Chairman of VGBC Board of Directors, providing an overview of green building development in Vietnam and Mr. Tran Van Thanh, VGBC’s Executive Director introducing our missions, objectives and activities in the past few years.


Strikingly, we were so honored to meet Ms. Phan Thi My Linh, Deputy Minister of Construction. She has a deep concern about climate change resilience especially in the extreme weather condition resulting in a lot of unwanted effect on people's lives. She put much anticipation on local and foreign investors for more involvement in green construction. And so does VGBC.

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Another theme that needed to be mentioned was sustainable urban development coupled with green growth, presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arch. Do Tu Lan, Deputy Director General of Urban Development Agency -Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction, cum advisor for Minister of Construction. She emphasized that Vietnam was in need of a criterion set for green city development, which required not only to be comprehensive with 2 targeted groups: green color and conceptual green design but also to be very open and appropriate for various regions and types of urban areas, depending on different economic conditions.


Besides, there were many viewpoints raised from organizations and companies that have carried out projects on sustainable development and green construction in Vietnam. EDGE, a green building certification of International Finance Corporation for developing countries, is one of those sparkling projects. EDGE is under an intensive research on Vietnam’s typical conditions with a hope to be applied in our country in the near future. Mr. Autif Sayyed, expert of green building in International Finance Corporation demonstrated detail functions, outstanding advantages, eligibilities and basic user guide for this tool. Exceptional benefits are to be fast, simple, smart, free for anyone who registers (only certification carries a cost) with ability of calculating and analyzing on the basis of the building information, thus to deliver the result of energy use for baseline and improved case, % reduction on energy, water and materials embodied energy, cost of utilities and savings. Differentiate from other green building tools which target to only top-tier clients, EDGE can meet requirements of green building for the low- and middle- income.


EDGE    Picture1   Picture2

Source: IFC


In the conference, representatives from green consultancy companies and green material providers shared their practical experience in Vietnam market. Mr. Do Huu Nhat Quang from GreenViet consultancy company introduced their green consulting activities in Vietnam since the establishment. Moreover, Ms. Phan Thu Hang, Technical Marketing Manager of Saint-Gobain Vietnam stated their committment in their overall corporate activities for their gypsum product "Sustainability provides opportunities to create value and improve the quality of life for the company, people and the community". Ms. Lam To Trinh, Technical Marketing Manager of NS BlueScope Vietnam Co., Ltd has also developed Thermatech®, a new technology which mitigating the Urban Heat Island effect for product line of the company.


In the afternoon, the conference continued to be more exciting with the update on LOTUS, the first green building rating tool for Vietnam. Mr. Vu Hong Phong, Technical coordinator of VGBC revealed we were in the process of updating LOTUS with an aim to make it easier to approach and adopt for Vietnam's green buildings.


Accompanied with VGBC and also be a member of Asia-Pacific region, World Green Building Council, Malaysia Green Building Confederation (MGBC), represented by Mr.Ar Sarly Adre Sarkum, clarified the core issue that made investors undecided about green building solutions was the true cost of adopting green. It can be said that, the cost of green building is equal to benefits it might bring. Facts have been proven in Malaysia. Choosing to apply green building practices is not simply deprived from objective factors of policies and regulations but from the voluntariness of investors after cautious comparison between negative effects and huge values from green buildings. He also provided more statistics about the cost premium and the payback time for a green building. Concurrently, he gave out reasons for circumstances in a cost rise-up such as weakness in planning, design and mistakes in proposing requirements at the initial stage.



A typical example of a newly certified green building under LOTUS NR (v1.1) certification of Vietnam is Pouchen Kindergarten, or Little flower kindergarten, the first green school certified as LOTUS Silver. Mr. Peter Tsai, Vice Director of Sustainable Development, Pou Chen Group in Vietnam has been highly aware of sustainable development, which becomes the motto for their corporation: long-term development and community support.

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Finally, Arch.Tran Khanh Trung, General director of TTT Architects cum president of HCMC Green Architecture Club summarized the green building development at Ho Chi Minh city from 2007 till now in one sentence: "The development of green building at HCMC like a bus without its igniter to start the engine, that needs many people to push." or joint effort from many stakeholders to improve green building development in HCM city. The contribution factors on this process are government, organization, association, consultants, designers, project management construction contractors, suppliers, developer, universities, media, users. Lacking 1 or 2 factors could hardly lead to giant success. The success model can be easily seen right in Singapore and Malaysia, our neighbors in the region, with more than 1500 and 89 certified buildings. So what Vietnam is missing? We might recognize the answer and just wait for the full attendance of all above factors to create success.

TKTSource: TTT Architects


VGBC was honored to award LOTUS for 2 newly certified projects: Mainetti Factory and Office - LOTUS BIO Pilot at Certified level and Green One UN House - LOTUS NR Provisional pilot at Gold level, currently the highest certification level of LOTUS.

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In the late afternoon, we held the member networking for VGBC’s members and partners to discuss, seek for more partnership opportunities and freely give their feedback on VGBC's membership programme.


We would like to send our sincere thanks to governmental officials from MoC, all speakers from international and local organizations for sharing experience and thoughts about green building development, to all distinguished guests taking part in our conference, to all sponsors supporting us to gain this success in luring more attention of stakeholders in construction sector. We will continue to strive for replicating green building-related events on an upper scale, heightening the public awareness about the importance of sustainable development for the sake of the future of not just an individual, an organization, but for the future of our entire nation and our people.

Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC)



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