Indonesia: GREENSHIP Home, a Green Residential Rating Tool for Sustainable Future

The current backlog in Indonesian property sector imposes a far more serious problem over the next decade. The housing demand in the country reaches up to 700,000 units annually, mounting up to a backlog of 15 million houses as of the year of 2013. According to the Real Estate Indonesia (REI), it is forecasted that there will be a need of 2,700,000 house units over the course of 2012 – 2022 in the property market which not only serves as an economic threat, but also puts the situation on an intensifying environmental distress.

As much as 85% of the whole development in the residential segment in Indonesia is dominated by the informal construction plans, and therefore a more closely-engaged approach to the society is urged to tally its environmental impact. In the attempt to address and advocate a sustainable solution, the Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) recently held a seminar to release the first draft of GREENSHIP Home, a green rating tools specifically designed for residential sector in Indonesia.


Real estate trends in Indonesia

One of the speakers of the seminar, Johannes Tulung, the Head of Environment Compartment of REI remarked that there are several current trends spotted in Indonesian real estate sector. In the past, the property owners prided themselves on the quality over quantity when it comes to housing. By then, expensive price of houses was deemed as more a praiseworthy factor compared to the quantity of units possessed by the property owners – and it has shifted to the contrary in the present days. Innovative technology is also becoming a more ubiquitous option chosen to advance their home building performance – unfortunately without really concerning its societal nor environmental impacts.


GREENSHIP Home: a green home assessment tool

GREENSHIP Home is a rating system initiated by GBCI used to measure the green performance of houses in Indonesia. The tool is aimed to be used by the home developers, architects, mechanical and electrical professionals, landscape designers, or even the property owners themselves. There are six categories taken into consideration for this type of assessment, constituting appropriate site development, energy efficiency and conservation, water conservation, material resources and cycle, indoor health and comfort, as well as Building and Environment Management (BEM).

GREENSHIP Home requires a proper availability of basic green area, vegetation, local nursery, as well as the inclusion of infrastructure and community accessibility. The compliance of this certification also seeks for energy use mitigation and a more efficient power consumption, which involve the application of electrical metering, heat reduction material, energy-efficient artificial lighting, maximum utilization of renewable resources through water heater, etc.


Where will it take off?

In Indonesia, households use approximately 20% of the total energy consumption and contribute to 65% of waste in landfill. In the cities where the built environment are already dense with the existing buildings and homes, there are possibly more retrofit projects to be pursued with regards to the green compliance, especially in the residential sector. More property developers will advance their key differentiations through the application of advanced technology like Home Building Automation System, as it is likely to leverage their competitive advantage within the crowded marketplace in the coming future.

Bali architecture - house

Meanwhile in the rural area, achieving green in the future is more likely to involve demolishment of the old houses to construct new and more environmentally friendly structures with the use of green materials. The use of better passive design such as appropriate glazing, correct building orientation and cross ventilation is also envisioned to enhance the performance of the house building performance. Unlike what is seen in the modern construction, traditional architecture at some point is already applying this passive design – such as Balinese houses (see: photo above) which comprise collective and largely open structures including separate arrays for the kitchen, shrine, sleeping and bathing areas within a high-walled garden compound, maximizing the use of natural lighting from the sun and air circulation.


Seeing beyond the pavement ahead

Debunking the myth of high construction cost of green house, one of the key takeaways from the seminar is that the upfront costs to build green are only around 2 – 2.5% higher than the regular houses. These expenses will be redeemed through a return on investment when the property owners are not charged as high on the electricity and water bill as they use eco-friendly materials and technology.

While currently there are not much of a law enforcement nor incentives from the government on this initiative, in the coming future, more opportunities and different approaches may be available in the marketplace to accelerate the adoption of green housing. Apart from the widely expected tax exemption from the government, there may also be an easier provision of credit or loan given by the bank to those who would like to improve their house building performance to comply with the green rating standardization. Meanwhile, insurance companies may also play role in spurring the adoption by offering cheaper premium to their customers who do/build green. (AGB – SA)

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