Building is booming across Asia. Revenue from building construction reached US$1.1 billion in 2012, with economic powerhouses such as China and India responsible for almost 80 percent of the total market in building construction. At the same time, we know the global building sector consumes as much as 40 percent of the world’s energy, 12 percent of its water, and contributes 40 percent of the waste sent to landfill. The solution is a sustainable pathway—one that invests in energy-efficient buildings, and that reduces the impact the built environment has on the planet while also improving the lives of millions of people.
An Unstoppable Force
The potential for design, construction, consulting, auditing and manufacturing companies across the entire value chain is immense—which is why most countries across Asia-Pacific now have a national Green Building Council (GBC) affiliated with the World Green Building Council (WGBC). The GBC model, which demonstrates why collaboration between many can achieve greater results than leadership of a few, rests on the belief that effective solutions require a whole sector approach across the entire supply chain.
When the WGBC was established in 2002, it had eight member nations, none of them from Asia. Today we have 98 member nations, 17 of them in Asia-Pacific.
Green Building Across the Region
Many countries in the Asian region are rich in energy resources—both in terms of renewable and non-renewable energy. However, driven by a concern for environmental degradation and national energy security, many countries are developing comprehensive plans to progressively increase the use of renewable resources and enhance building energy performance.
These national plans are being supported by regulations, fiscal initiatives, market-based mechanisms and voluntary initiatives. Examples include building codes, energy audit requirements, funding schemes, tax exemptions, and energy labelling for appliances.
At the same time, Green building rating tools are being developed and tailored to address the unique physical and socio-economic characteristics of each country. A number of countries have well-established rating systems—from Green Mark in Singapore to Green Star in Australia and New Zealand. The Hong Kong GBC BEAM Plus rating system, established in 2010, now has almost 400 building projects either rated or registered. The Indian GBC is working with more than 2,000 Green building projects—427 million square metres—across the nation’s five climatic zones. In Australia, 20 percent of the nation’s CBD office space is now Green Star-certified.