Construction Chemicals Industry Contributes to Green Building Practices in ASEAN | BASF | Dean Draper

Dean Draper - BASF

When it comes to the sustainable construction, the considerable measure goes beyond the mere execution – a holistic approach needs to be taken in order to ensure it gets closest to the ideal objective. It is a multifaceted norm in which construction chemicals are among the key factor impacting the level of environmental destruction it entails.

In ASEAN, there is a general lack of awareness of the benefits of buildings’ energy mitigation, and as the construction consumes almost a half of the global energy, numerous companies have come into the game to offer their products and solutions to help minimize the detrimental effects of each construction project. Dean Draper, the Managing Director, ASEAN sub-region, BASF South East Asia Pte Ltd, explains how the construction chemicals industry can actually contribute to the green construction practices on this exclusive interview with AsiaGreenBuildings.

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How does your organization contribute to the green building growth in ASEAN?

Dean Draper (DD) : BASF is leading the construction chemicals industry in providing broad portfolio of materials, products and system solutions. Construction consumes 40% of the global energy and contributes to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which poses greater requirements for energy consumption in the industry. BASF offers better insulation materials and others that reduce energy consumption and products that speed up the pace of construction while increasing the life span of buildings.

With regards to the green building practices particularly in the ASEAN marketplace, what still remains as a big hole to fill in?

DD : When it comes to the gaps or opportunities, in Asia Pacific and ASEAN in particular, there is generally a lack of awareness of the benefits and cost savings which investments in energy efficient buildings can bring. The key challenge for the construction industry is to drive innovation which makes energy efficiency more affordable and for regulators to set the right incentives commercially. We believe that regulations can incentivize innovations for sustainable construction. Singapore’s national target of greening at least 80% of all buildings in the country by 2030 is one good example. And most recently, the new regulation that construction firms must be certified “green and gracious” by the Singapore government if they want to bid for public housing, school and hospital projects from 2017, is another.

As chemical products can be detrimental to the environment when not handled correctly, how do you ensure that your products offer a tenable sustainability value upon application on the buildings?

DD : To BASF, sustainability means aligning economic success with environmental and social responsibility. We understand sustainable construction as the process of developing built environments that balance economic viability with preserving resources, reducing environmental impacts and taking social aspects into account. For several decades, BASF construction experts have been actively engaged in Green Building Councils and work closely with architects, planners and urban developers to address the industry challenges in providing innovative and effective solutions to support the advancement of green buildings, thus reducing CO2 emission, improving the life comfort, increasing the safety and durability of construction structures.

One highlight in this area is our work with Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. Under the Sustainable Construction Plan of the Building and Construction Authority, this Resorts World Sentosa Project was required to comply with its environmental guidelines, calling for the use of recycled materials with a reduced dependence on sand and other natural resources. To fulfill the requirements, VSI manufactured sand (VSI M-sand) and blast furnace slag, substituting natural sand (N-Sand) and cement, were used in concrete production. However, the use of VS1 M-sand presented challenges for the project, such as lower concrete strength and poorer slump retention as well as workability. These issues could not be easily overcome with the use of conventional admixtures for concrete.

BASF experts provided two concrete admixtures with different technical specifications to meet the project’s diverse construction needs. We also supported the concrete suppliers in developing a mix design to optimize the use of VSI M-sand and slag. In a nutshell, we helped to reduce the use of natural sand, in compliance with the government’s environmental guidelines, as well as assisted with the fast and cost-effective project delivery. The enhanced durability of the facilities is expected to extend the project’s service life with a relatively lower maintenance cost.

How is it ensured that the sustainability activities in BASF go beyond a mere CSR and give impactful benefit on the environment, as well as the customers?

DD : With rapid growth in the world population to nine billion by 2050, BASF has embedded sustainability firmly into our strategy and organization. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life.

For example, with our products, we enable customers to reduce their carbon footprint. We define climate protection products as those product groups which, compared with the alternatives, avoid greenhouse gas emissions over their entire life cycle – from production and use to disposal – and whose eco-efficiency is at least as good as that of alternatives.

The use of climate protection products sold in 2012 reduces our customers’ emissions by 320 million metric tons of CO2. The most significant emission reductions through the use of BASF products are achieved in the construction and residential sector: a total of 269 million tons globally in 2012.

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About BASF :

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company with portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF is the only industrial company that regularly presents a comprehensive and quantitative corporate carbon footprint since 2008. The company takes a holistic view through reducing emissions along the value chain. Emissions are analyzed in detail and we obtain pointers on where the influencing factors for preventing greenhouse gas emissions are to be found. BASF has been able to reduce absolute emissions in the chemical business by 45% compared with 1990. The reduction per metric ton of sales product was in fact 73%.

Website : www.basf.com

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