Vietnam: IFC launched EDGE green building certification system

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is launching its green-building certification program in Vietnam to encourage the construction of more resource-efficient buildings. Vietnam is the first market in East Asia to introduce EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies), which empowers developers to reduce their buildings’ energy and water consumption by 20 percent while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions.

IFC is partnering with SGS Vietnam Ltd. to offer EDGE, a program that proves the business case for building green in emerging markets. EDGE offers a free software that allows designers to choose technical solutions while showing the extra costs to build green and the payback period. Better design reduces energy and water use, which in turn lowers the monthly utility bills for owners and tenants.

“We encourage investors, developers, and practitioners to construct more environmentally friendly buildings that reduce energy consumption and mitigate climate change,” said Le Hoa Binh, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Construction Authority. “EDGE is an innovative, voluntary building-certification system that will help us improve the environment for our people.”

Buildings account for more than 30 percent of the total energy use in fast-growing economies like Vietnam, hence improving energy efficiency in new buildings is critical.

“Precise and strategic changes can make a big difference in improving the efficiency of buildings, which make up about a third of Vietnam’s total energy consumption,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Resource efficiency will significantly reduce the operating costs of buildings and put Vietnam on a low-carbon economic growth path.”

SGS Vietnam, a subsidiary of SGS S.A., a leading inspection, testing, and certification company headquartered in Switzerland, will serve as a third-party certifier of EDGE in Vietnam. Over the next six years, SGS Vietnam expects to award EDGE certifications to 20 percent of new construction projects in the country, equivalent to about 70,000 housing units. This level of penetration will help cut 19,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions per year, avoid 43,500 megawatt-hours of energy use, and save $8 million per year by 2021.

“We are seeing strong interest from investors and developers in fulfilling the increasing demand for eco-friendly and resource-efficient buildings in Vietnam,” said Steven Du, Managing Director at SGS Vietnam. “As EDGE offers the most cost-efficient ways of bringing green features into building design, we believe it will be effective for a wide range of properties, including office, residential, and commercial buildings in Vietnam.”

Developer Nam Long Investment Corp. is among the first to receive an EDGE certification in Vietnam for its Bridge View Apartments. The design will cut energy use by 20 percent, water use by 22 percent, and construction materials by 27 percent, but adds only 2 percent to the construction costs.

Vietnam is a focus of IFC’s EDGE program along with a few other priority countries, which include Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. “By introducing EDGE, IFC brings to the market a solution that spells out the cost advantages of building green,” said Julia Brickell, IFC Climate Business Anchor for East Asia and the Pacific. “We want to help support Vietnam’s sustainable growth by making large-scale adoption of green buildings easy and affordable.”

Source: International Finance Corporation

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