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Few construction works are green

Only 155 construction works have been certified as green as of Q3 2020, according to IFC, a modest number compared with other Southeast Asian countries and the rest of the world.

Realizing the high demand for green construction, especially green high-rises, many real estate developers are advertising that their products are green to boost sales.






“Green’, ‘natural’ and ‘ecological’ are the words most seen in advertisements run by developers when opening new products for sale. The images of green trees, green space and green life are used in sales designs. However, the advertisements and reality are quite different.

However, it is true that construction firms have changed their development strategies, striving to launch products with ‘green elements’ and energy efficiency.

The demonstration projects of UNDP on technical solutions to minimize energy consumption in newly built and improved works show that the energy saving levels could be 25-67 percent per work, and the cost is higher by 0-3 percent and maximum capital recovery 5 years.

However, according to IFC, as of the third quarter, Vietnam had only 155 construction works officially certified as green.

The problem is that when developing a green construction building, businesses have to pay additional costs of 10-15 percent.

Some analysts say that the additional 10-15 percent cost is inconsiderable for high-end works and is acceptable for developers. However, 10 percent is high for common houses compared with the average income of Vietnamese.

Speaking about the green trend at an annual real estate forum, Nguyen Cong Thinh, deputy director of the Science, Technology and the Environment Department under the Ministry of Construction (MOC), said that despite clear economic benefits in energy consumption and environment, not many real estate developers have certificates for green works.

Thinh attributes this to insufficient regulations related to management, support and encouragement to develop green works. There are not regulations requiring construction work owners to make an investment and run works in accordance with green standards.

Meanwhile, the experience of investors, consultants and contractors in green work design and construction remains modest. Besides, banks and financial institutions are not enthusiastic about funding green works.

MOC and UNDP are organizing Vietnam Green Work Week 2020, which will gather speakers from ministries and branches, international and domestic experts, and technological solution and material suppliers.

According to MOC, the government has committed to a 9 percent reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions compared with normal development and increase the contribution to 27 percent if there is international support by 2030, as updated by NDC (nationally determined contributions). 

Thanh Hung

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