Observing Asian Green Construction’s Development | McGraw-Hill Construction | Harvey Bernstein

Harvey Bernstein

The advent of green standardizations with regards to the global constructions and infrastructure development has come to a point of necessity. The universal definition of green building, however, requires a consistent vernacular of measurement method for each different region – and over time, Asia in particular has been trying to keep on track by continuously improving their green standards as well as their propensity of adherence to it.

In the coming future, there will be a shift of drivers in the green building adoption as the value of doing so is deemed to lie on the financial benefits and its impacts on the occupants. Harvey Bernstein, the Vice President, Industry Insights and Alliances of McGraw-Hill Construction shares more of his observation on how the green building industry shapes up across the Asia region on this exclusive interview with AsiaGreenBuildings.


When it comes to Asia, it appears that non-market and governmental regulations are more heavily influencing the advent of green buildings. Do you expect a shift in the drivers towards client or market demand in the region?

Harvey Bernstein (HB) : I think non-market and governmental regulations will continue to be the key drivers in Asia. Government driven programs like Green Mark in Singapore have been successful and are bringing about a rapid transformation of the marketplace shift to green. I do, however, believe that as the value of green buildings is seen to be higher both from a financial perspective and its impact on building occupants, that client and market demand for green buildings will have a greater influence in driving the demand for green construction.

One of the necessities for a green built environment is architects and engineers who are well versed in green practices. To what extent are architectural and civil engineering college curricula embedding environmental friendliness. Where is there need for improvement?

(HB) : More college courses are being modified to include reference to green design and construction as an integral part of the education process. In particular, students in the field of architecture and engineering are requesting it. As an example, I serve on Princeton University’s Advisory Council for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and in this role I have had the opportunity to talk to both undergraduate and graduate students who have been very vocal in their demand for a greater focus on green design and construction in their curriculum. The University has modified courses to address this market demand. Many schools are providing opportunities for students to become knowledgeable about LEED and many students are entering the workforce having taken the exam to be LEED accredited professionals.

Do you see any sound differences in the sector between Asia region and others in the world? In what sense does Asia outsmart or even lag behind the Westerns alike?

(HB) : Overall, green design and construction is similar worldwide. The difference arises from the standards being used which will result in variations of how green a building is when finished and how it performs. More importantly in considering green construction is the operation, maintenance and monitoring of a green building to ensure that it is achieving the goals established during its design and construction. The training of facility managers of green buildings in the key aspects of green and educating them on the green features and performance goals will be a key driver in the success achieved in any region of the globe. The Asian region has the advantage that it is highly driven by government regulations which are moving the green construction along at a faster clip while also driving the green market. The Asian market also has a lot of new construction occurring which creates more green building opportunities, as opposed to the heavy amount of existing building projects in parts of Europe and the U.S. New projects allow for green design and construction practices to be incorporated more affordably and allows for innovation, which we are seeing on some iconic projects in Asia. These factors coupled with the public’s education on green are establishing a greater awareness of the green marketplace and therefore greater demand for green buildings.

McGraw-Hill Construction counts only Singapore and/or China to somewhat represent the whole Asia region in some of the reports. Why?

(HB) : The market research McGraw Hill Construction conducted on identifying green building trends globally reflected the countries where we received statistically significant responses from Architecture, Engineering and Contracting firms reporting on the green trends in their countries.  In our research in Asia, we received sufficient responses to report specifically on green trends in Singapore. However, we do not use Singapore to be representative of Asia. The responses we received from other countries in Asia were not sufficient to report on other individual countries, so we grouped them together to report on what we observed for the Asian region.

What is the main challenge in conducting the market intelligence in regard to reports focusing on / aimed at the green building industry within various kinds of marketplace?

(HB) : The main challenge in conducting market research is getting sufficient responses from the target audience to present statistically based conclusions. In addition, establishing a universal definition of green building that enables consistency and standardization in responses for comparison on a global basis is key, but we are seeing a more consistent vernacular being used around the world and the similarity of the factors comprising the different ratings systems are helping in this regard as well.


About McGraw-Hill Construction :

McGraw Hill Construction (MHC) is a division of McGraw Hill Financial and a publisher of construction information in the United States and Canada. It provides essential data, news, insights, and intelligence to better inform construction professionals’ decisions and strengthen their market position. MHC has now emerged as an industry leader in the critical areas of sustainability and interoperability. The company’s thought leadership and green building initiatives are led by Harvey Bernstein, who also manages its market research group and partnerships with industry associations.

Website : www.construction.com

This exclusive interview was carried out as part of the media partnership pursued with the International Green Building Conference.

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