Buildings alone are responsible for over 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and are a major contributor to climate change. According to the International Energy Agency, ASEAN’s building sector accounted for 23% of final energy use and 24% of CO2 emissions. Green buildings therefore have huge potential to combat emissions while also offering one of the most cost-effective ways to do so through measures such as increasing energy efficiency.
A Greener Era for the Asia Pacific Building Sector
In response to the growing urgency, there has been a collective effort to reduce carbon output in buildings at a global level, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Most of ASEAN Member States have set national energy efficiency targets with a regional target of energy reduction of 30% by 2025. By improving the energy efficiency of buildings and the products used, we can contribute to total ASEAN energy consumption and help to attain long-term objectives. On a national level, more countries are also introducing legislation and building energy codes. These policies have a trickledown effect and have created an increased demand for green buildings in the region with an increasing number of projects and companies advancing towards net zero energy.
Green buildings not only provide a wide range of environmental benefits such as reducing resource consumption, waste production and greenhouse gas emissions, it also has economic benefits such as lower operation costs and better asset value. Occupants may also benefit from increased workplace productivity and indoor air quality. These benefits can often be achieved through adhering to the various standards, rating systems and certification systems governing green buildings.
While new buildings will be made green, attention should also be paid towards improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. It is estimated that 60-80% of buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built today. It is therefore vital for existing buildings to undergo decarbonisation towards being net zero carbon for the industry to be able to hit its emissions reduction target. On top of legislation, many governments have also created incentives to help with the cost of retrofitting buildings with greener solutions. By making buildings more energy efficient, it will not only help in the fight against climate change but also lower energy cost and increase energy security.
Source: World Green Building Council
Guoco Tower, Singapore, Stopray Titanium 37T and Stopsol Supersilver Clear
LEED Platinum certified and BCA Green Mark certified
Green building rating systems are a type of building certification system that rates or rewards relative levels of compliance or performance with specific environmental goals and requirements. As part of the green building movement, these systems have become increasingly commonplace in the region.
Most countries now have a domestic green building rating system which is set up with a nationalistic focus, keeping local standards and codes in mind. Examples of these are the Green Mark Scheme for Singapore, TREES for Thailand, Greenship for Indonesia and Green Star for Australia & New Zealand.
In addition to these, international green building rating systems like US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) and Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) are increasingly gaining traction and adoption across more projects with wider recognition in the region. This trend is expected to continue to grow and develop further as new policies are put in place.
The Troika, Malaysia, Sunergy Clear
Sustainable materials have become preferred in construction. These materials are based on sound management of resources throughout the supply chain, including natural materials or materials with a longer lifetime and lower degree of processing. Green product certification gives stakeholders confidence that a material's green marketing claims are credible and verified by a third party. In the region, most countries have their own domestic green product certification or labelling system. Many domestic green building rating systems and international green building rating systems also require materials that have attained green product certification. As a result, green product certifications are on the rise and the demand for greener products continues to increase.
When it comes to green buildings, glass is often an important component as it is often used extensively on exterior façade and in the interior space. AGC Glass Asia Pacific has a selection of certified sustainable glass products which adhere to different categories of the various building ratings schemes and can help you achieve higher levels of certification for your sustainable buildings.
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