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FuturArc Monthly News Roundup

June 2015 News Roundup

Green building developments in the region

Australia: Industry leaders create plan to a sustainable, productive infrastructure

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) recently called for a clear pathway to sustainable and productive infrastructure. The report compiled the views of 35 key representatives of the building sector, government and academia.

“Australia needs sustainable and productive infrastructure—but our current infrastructure planning processes suffer from short-term thinking, politicisation and funding constraints. The solution is a truly visionary, 30-year plan that can spot the gaps and priorities across the nation.” said ASBEC President Ken Maher.

ASBEC has identified that the pathway to the productive, sustainable infrastructure Australia needs should include: a 30-year infrastructure plan developed by Infrastructure Australia with five-year review cycles, augmented by a national spatial master plan; a collaborative stakeholder engagement informing the design and delivery of the infrastructure plan, founded in collaboration between community, industry and government; and five pathways guiding the implementation of the plan—engagement, planning, decision, funding and execution. i

China: Green building development on the rise

According to a property market survey, the development of China's Green building sector is on the fast track, with Shanghai and Beijing surpassing major global cities in green space roll-outs.

As of April, there were 320 million square metres of Green building space in China, certified by either the domestic Green Building Evaluation Standard (GBES) or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard of the US Green Building Council. 

The figure is 154 times as high as in 2008, when the GBES was launched.

The rise reflects rising concern about environmental issues, as well as government support and awareness among developers and tenants of Green buildings, market observers have noted.

Beijing and Shanghai each has nearly 20 million square metres of Green building space, taking the top two positions in the ranking of global Green buildings. That is more than other major world cities including Chicago, New York and Washington, DC, according to the survey by US-based CBRE, a realty-services provider. ii

India: Awaits stricter Green building certification

In order to boost Green building movement in New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida), Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) areas, the process of Green building certification by Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) will soon be strengthened.

Even though the three development authorities provide incentives to all those constructing Green buildings, the process and mechanism to avail the GRIHA-linked floor area ratio (FAR) being offered is yet to be implemented effectively. 

In an attempt to streamline the GRIHA rating system, adopted and endorsed by the ministry of new and renewable energy to assess environmental performance of buildings, a one-day awareness programme—Sustainable Habitats the GRIHA way—was held in Noida. Members of the Architects Association Noida Zone (AANZ) and Credai also participated in the event, held at the Indira Gandhi Kala Kendra, Noida. iii

India: Eyes fivefold solar energy increase by 2022

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the nod to increasing the country’s solar capacity fivefold, to a goal of 100 gigawatts by 2022. Currently, the country’s 4.5 GW is no small feat, considering only six nations as of late 2014 surpassed the 5 GW mark, with the UK the last country to do so.

Bridge to India, a company specialising in the country’s solar market, projects that India will install around 2.7 GW this year, more than solar-driven Germany. After India produces that solar capacity within the next two quarters, it will firmly place the country in the top five of solar markets globally, joining China, Japan, the US and the UK. iv

New Zealand: Circular economy model office project tackles fit-out churn

The New Zealand Sustainable Business Network (NZSBN) is tackling office fit-out churn that sees hundreds of thousands of tonnes of usable materials, furniture and equipment every year going to landfill.

The issue, which has recently come to the fore in Australia, is being tackled by a Circular Economy Model Office (CEMO) project that takes a multi-level approach including designers, manufacturers, asset owners, leasing agents and building tenants.

Network general manager for the NZSBN James Griffin said the CEMO was a simple process for reducing office refurbishment waste that had been developed through a process of stakeholder engagement, workshops and a pilot project undertaken by Auckland Council when it shifted into a new head office.

The working group for the project includes representatives from designers, manufacturers, specifiers, the NZ Green Building Council, NZ Institute of Architects, Designers Institute of NZ, individual architecture firms and Auckland Council. v

Philippines: Legarda lauds shift toward Green building

Senator Loren Legarda lauded the launch of the new Green building code at the Green Breakthroughs 2015 as part of government's long-term transition to a low-carbon economy, noting that Green buildings play a huge role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are largely responsible for global warming.

Speaking at the event organised by the Philippine Green Building Initiative, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways and other aid agencies, Legarda stressed that the code will be an important tool to strengthen resilience to natural hazards and improve sustainable development strategies from the national to the local level.

"We need to move away from business as usual in order to build a sustainable society. A paradigm shift to a sustainable energy system requires close, cross-sector collaboration—between governments, businesses and civil society," she said. vi

Sri Lanka: Rising demand for Green properties

Clearpoint Residences, Sri Lanka (Image taken from: http://http://www.clearpointresidencies.com/)

According to a study by Nielsen, a global research company, 50 percent of global consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly goods and services.

On the contrary, although a house is a much bigger commitment compared to goods and services, yet there is an increased demand for eco-friendly homes in most emerging nations.

Based on a research by Lamudi Global, it was identified that emerging nations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, are attractive markets for eco-friendly properties.

Recently, more developers in Sri Lanka have invested on partially eco-friendly properties by including grey water systems and solar panels to power common areas. vii


Text by Karen Baja Dungalen



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