Thailand: ‘Bangkok the Green City’ to Spur Green Buildings Construction

Bangkok city 2Developers will need to weigh up benefits against higher costs

The construction of “green” buildings will be boosted by the new Bangkok city plan, with its design theme of “Bangkok, the Green City”.

Under the plan, the final draft of which was approved by the Cabinet last Tuesday, the goal is to promote environment-friendly buildings in line with the guidelines of the Thai Green Building Institute by permitting increased floor-area ratios beyond the level allowed for standard buildings.

While this will present a challenge for property developers, who will need to increase their budgets if they are going to put up green buildings, the aim is to save energy costs in the long term, said Panyapas Nopphan, deputy director-general of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s City Planning Department.

The new Bangkok city plan will be vetted by municipal authorities before officially taking effect to replace the current plan, which expires on May 15.

She said the green-building standard would be in line with the qualifications set down by the Thai Green Building Institute, which was established in 2009.

The institute’s green-building concept covers eight key factors: building management, site and landscape, water conservation, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, environmental protection, and green innovation.

Building management, which accounts for 3.5 per cent of the total achievable score of 85 points in the institute’s evaluation process, includes the preparation required to be a green building, the maintenance system, and the project design process through to completion.

Site and landscape, which makes up 19 per cent of the total, entails an investigation of whether the project location has a negative impact on the surrounding environment, as well as whether the transportation system is convenient for users and visitors.

Water conservation, accounting for 7 per cent, covers the waste-water treatment system and the recycling of water for further use by the building.

For energy and atmosphere, making up 23.5 per cent of the total, there must an expert’s guarantee about the energy-saving system for the building. The building must also have energy-saving controls for all electrical systems, such as air-conditioning and lighting, as well as use alternative-energy sources such as solar cells.

The materials and resources factor – making up 15 per cent of the total – focuses on the raw materials used in construction. The emphasis is on the use of energy-saving, locally sourced and recycled materials.

Indoor environmental quality – 20 per cent of the total – concerns issues such as the potential effects of the chemicals used in painting and the building’s cleaning system on the health of users and visitors.

Under environmental protection, accounting for 6 per cent, the institute rates the building on whether its waste-management system is safe for both users and the environment.

Last but not least is green innovation, which makes up the remaining 6 per cent. This evaluates the extent to which the technology used in construction reduces CO2 released into the atmosphere, as well as the building’s energy-saving system.

If a building receives an overall pass score under these eight factors, it will be certified by the institute as a green building that will save energy costs of between 30 and 40 per cent when compared with those generated by a normal building.

Reward, but higher cost

If a building is designed and built in line with the institute’s green-building concept, the developer will be rewarded by being permitted to increase floor-area ratios over and above those of a normal building, Panyapas said.

However, the cost of putting up a green building will be some 20 to 30 per cent higher on average than for a normal building, said Issara Boonyoung, president of the Business Housing Association.

Developers will, therefore, have to compare the benefits from increasing floor-area ratios with the higher construction costs before deciding whether the green route is feasible for a particular project, he said.

“We have to study the details of the new city plan and the cost of putting up a green building, and decide how much of a challenge that is in business terms,” said Prasert Taedullayasatit, chief business officer of leading residential developer, Pruksa Real Estate.


Source: The Nation

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Tips: Choosing HVAC System for Houses

If you're considering a new system for your home, talk first to your architect or designer. Conversations with HVAC contractors will probably...