Vietnam Holds Opportunities in Green Building Sector | Holcim | Nguyen Cong Minh Bao

Bao SD Nguyen 3 Regardless of its infancy, the green building sector in Vietnam possesses its own appeals – rapid urbanization, energy shortage and demands serve as opportunities for enterprises which want to provide sustainable solution in the local construction market. Relevant industry players in Vietnam are now focusing on the non-residential segment as the demands in the hospitality market is spiking due to the sustainability trend popularized by the climate change.

Nguyen Cong Minh Bao, the Sustainable Development Director of Holcim Vietnam shares his thought on the current overview of green building industry in China. He was also a panelist in the Breakfast Meeting, “Vietnam’s Green Building Goals: Aspirations VS Realizations” hosted by Solidiance and Vietnam Green Building Council.

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What strength does Vietnam’s green buildings sector possess that other countries in Asia region don’t, to potentially make it excel in the industry?

Bao: Actually, green construction is just mentioned in Vietnam in the last several years while currently, a large numbers of countries in the region have considerable achievements in this field. That is to say, green construction market in Vietnam is on the very first step with visible potentials.

According to a recent report of Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC), in Vietnam there are 1 million new people every year, urban areas will set to double in 2020, 70 percent of energy demand will be in shortage in 2025, carbon dioxide emission increases the fastest in the world since 1990 to 2005 and the percentage of population affected by climate change is at the highest rate.

Firstly, high increase of population, fast urbanization speed, shortage of energy as well as tremendous impact of climate change in Vietnam pose an question on long-term solutions that green construction would be a primary answer since the construction area consumes around 30 percent of the national energy consumption and directly relates to urbanization, living and working place for such a growing population.

Secondly, with the current low rate of green buildings in Vietnam, the demand of this emerging market will be increased in the next several years with current attempt of the government and organizations in making research, enhancing public awareness as well as drawing a strategy towards green construction.

Foreign players are currently dominating green buildings market in Vietnam. Why – what hinders local players from growing to compete with the foreign players in this sector?

Bao: The fact that foreign players possess the advantages in this field is easily understandable as they have the chance to approach green construction for a long time, very sooner than local companies do. The problem is how to extricate local players from hindrances to become stronger in this field. In my opinion, there are 3 issues needed to be solved.

First, the cooperation of different and related government departments is indispensable to publish an integrated law regulating the urban planning and construction towards green construction. Besides the law, incentives policy is also required to encourage not only local construction enterprises but also end-users to build and use green buildings.

Second, the first requisite should lead to improvement and wide application of an aligned and unique green building rating system applicable for Vietnam’s condition which all construction companies can refer to. Currently, LOTUS green building criteria (VGBC rating system) is a prime example.

Third, the current slow process of enhancing awareness of the whole public on green construction should be accelerated, especially in terms of noticing the importance, urgency and long-term benefits of green construction not only to the environment as well as human life but also in terms of economy thanks to lower cost of operation.This awareness changes would lead to a demand and action alteration to build a more sustainable society later.

What are the current market trends in Vietnam’s green buildings sector that are worth noting and be emulated by other countries in the region?

Bao: In Vietnam, green buildings sector is now focusing on non-residential constructions, especially in the hospitality industry where “green” creates obvious advantages. We do hope that with this trend, the importance, benefits and application of green buildings will be diffused to the other industries and the whole society as well.

How is Vietnam government supporting the green buildings industry currently? What are still missing?

Bao: Vietnam government is attempting to cooperate with related parties in Vietnam and in foreign countries in doing researches on green buildings industry and devising proper strategy.

At this time, there is an overwhelming interest from different related ministries in this field. Recent law to use environmental friendly construction bricks instead of clay bricks is an example of initial steps towards a greener construction. However, as I mentioned above, we still need an integration solution which required a highly cooperative binding of these ministries.

How is the growth of renovation demands towards green certification in Vietnam?

In Holcim Vietnam in particular, we incessantly make an attempt to provide the society with a greener and greener products with premium quality. We also recognise this effort in several companies in the construction field, however the overall growth of renovation demands towards green certification in construction materials area in particular and the whole construction market in general is still at a low speed. Given our current adversely impact on the environment, boosting from the government and organisations towards green certification is highly necessary because tomorrow matters.

 

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More about Holcim:

Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel) with centennial heritage. Green buildings or sustainable construction is one of Holcim key areas of sustainable development strategy which is conveyed in a couple of measures: provision of premium green products and participation in LOTUS rating system improvement. The company carries out Holcim Awards as for their endeavor to seek out and apply unconventional ideas in the field of sustainable construction.

Website : www.holcim.com

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