Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG)’s Asian office took part in a training workshop on green buildings, hosted by the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC). Held over the course of two days, a couple of modules were presented to staff; the first an ‘Introduction to Green Buildings’, with the second ‘Introduction to LEED’ module providing an overview of the world’s most widely sought after green certification for construction projects.
Vietnam, home to BSBG in Asia, has shown a growing appetite for green, sustainable and energy efficient buildings – a trend mirrored across the whole continent. The rise in architects and developers embracing sustainable design can largely be attributed to consumer demand. Social awareness of the environmental impact of architecture is widespread, and environmentally conscientious construction is now a must in some of the more progressive markets across the world. Energy consumption figures for buildings are regularly scrutinised by media outlets, before being disseminated to a public keen to learn which corporations treat the word ‘sustainability’ as a commitment, rather than phraseology with diluted meaning. The effect is that green certification objectives are often now one of the first considerations in the project planning phases.(From top left clockwise): Green One – UN House, a resort in Quy Nhon, Pou Chen Kindergarten and Deutches Haus
Asia is the second largest region in the world for LEED-certified space behind America/Canada. But whereas in the US the volume of genuine green buildings can largely be attributed to State building regulations, in Asia sustainability is largely driven by the market. Senior Architectural Technologist Alan Gander continues: “The green building initiative in Vietnam is not the same movement we see in many other countries. A lot of clients and developers here understand that Vietnamese society as a whole is very serious about green design. The positive effect of achieving green credentials in terms of publicity here is not like any other market.”
During the first module, BSBG staff learned about LOTUS – the specific points-based green building certification system developed by VGBC specifically for Vietnam. It is similar to the LEED system, used in the US and now adopted in 135 countries worldwide, and also Green Mark in Singapore.
The second workshop provided an introduction to LEED, which is becoming increasingly sought after by clients and developers in Vietnam as the preferred means to demonstrate the green credentials of a building or development and use of sustainable and energy efficient systems and products.
“All the staff found the workshops a valuable learning experience,” Alan said. “BSBG has already played a key role in some of the UAE’s most significant sustainability-focused projects, such as the Masdar Irena HQ in Masdar City, and in Asia we are focused on ensuring the excellent capabilities and reputation the group has for green design is carried forward into this region.”
For the next steps, Alan tells us that a number of staff at BSBG’s Asian office will work towards becoming either a LOTUS or LEED Accredited Professional.
For more information on the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC), click here.