Developing energy-efficient buildings is an inevitable trend for Vietnam to achieve its environmental objectives.
The energy used by high-rise buildings in Vietnam accounts for around 35%-40% of the country’s total energy consumption.
A survey by real estate service firm Cushman & Wakefield (CWK) showed that around 40% of gas emissions came from real estate.
According to the Vietnam Green Building Council, there are about 200 green buildings across the country.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021 (COP26), Vietnam committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
To achieve the environmental goals, Vietnam needs to develop more energy-saving buildings that are high quality to reduce the negative impact on the environment, and save maintenance and repair costs and future energy use.
According to CWK, the urban ecosystem development, including buildings, landscapes, resources, infrastructure, and air, should follow standards.
The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria could be considered a focus of the urban planning, CWK said, adding that ESG sets out specific standards related to business performance in the real estate market.
Although some said that paying more attention to the environment might limit the pace of development, the on-track urban action was a worthy trade-off. This also creates opportunities for developers, owners and residents to develop strategies for building a habitable zone, CWK said.
Singapore is a typical example of effective, sustainable planning with the introduction of the scoring system Green Mark for all real estate projects from 2005, according to CWK, adding that more than 49% of buildings in Singapore met the government’s green standards.
Other green building rating systems currently applied in Vietnam are LOTUS and LEED.
Buildings with green certificates were Deutsches Haus, Friendship Tower, President’s Place, Phu My Hung Tower and Saigon Centre 2 in Ho Chi Minh City and Techcombank Tower, Capital Place and Landcaster Luminarie in Hanoi.
According to Pham Van Tan from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, construction costs of energy-saving buildings could be around 10%-30% higher, but these buildings could help reduce 20% of the energy cost.
He said that energy-efficient buildings would help reduce operating costs, bring socio-economic benefits, promote sustainable urban development, and ease environmental impacts.
CWK said that industrial real estate would also need to go green, urging developers to pay attention to reducing emissions and protecting the environment, coupled with other factors which had impacts on the community in the building, such as green spaces, parks, and libraries and rooms for kids.
Trang Bui, general director of Cushman & Wakefield Vietnam, said that green buildings could be considered an investment for the future, adding that real estate associated with environmental, social and governance values was an inevitable trend.
According to Hoang Manh Nguyen from the Green Urban Science and Technology Institute, it was necessary to develop a strategy for green building development with a focus on minimising inputs (raw materials) and outputs (waste) and increasing the re-use of materials.