More than 200 Vietnamese and international scholars, researchers and entrepreneurs gathered in Ha Noi on March 26, to share experiences related to sustainable architecture.


Customers examine environmentally friendly solar heaters at the premises of Tan A Dai Thanh Company in Ho Chi Minh City. The Ministry of Construction has started implementing an action plan to prevent construction projects from causing environmental problems.

"UN statistics show that the world's construction projects use up 17 per cent of drinkable water, 25 per cent of timber, 30-40 per cent of energy consumption, 40-50 per cent of raw materials and account for 33 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions," said deputy minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi. "This underlines the importance of creating a sustainably built environment."

In Viet Nam, the construction sector experienced robust growth over the past year. There were 760 urban areas established and 51 million tonnes of cement consumed.

This put huge pressure on the environment, Nghi said.

As building a sustainable environment is one of the country's Millennium Development Goals, the Vietnamese Government has approved a Strategy on Sustainable Development. The Ministry of Construction has also started implementing an action plan to prevent construction projects from causing environmental problems.

A delegation from the ministry visited the UK early this month to learn about sustainable design. Its most valuable findings will play a role in future policies.

Angela Brady, president of the Royal Institute of British Architecture, said that Viet Nam should make a long-term construction plan that takes into account environmental, economic and social factors and the preservation of architectural and cultural heritage.

Sustainable construction balances the impact on natural environment with the needs and values of the community, according to Dr Chris Goodier from the UK's Loughborough University.

Viet Nam currently faces many challenges in this regard: 28 new coal power plants are expected to go into operations by 2020 and slag waste from iron and steel factories is projected to double by 2025.

Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the long-term resilience of infrastructure and energy systems.

The two-day conference, "Sustainably Built Environment for Now and the Future," was jointly held by the Viet Nam National University of Civil Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, Loughborough University, British Council Viet Nam and UK Trade and Investment.

It was one of several activities marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Viet Nam and the UK.

Source: VNS