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Pursuing green values in urbanization

The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Nov 15,2010,21:30 (GMT+7)
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By Dinh Dung in HCMC

Besides comfort and beauty, many property developers these days have another feature to boast: green values. And in the process of fast urbanization in major cities around the country, such a feature is worthwhile, as it add dimensions to comfort and beauty.

Developing green values in property projects has become trendy, as more people in the world come to the perception that green designs and improved energy efficiency in buildings will help reduce not only energy costs but also greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the fight against climate change.

For many people, property projects designed to incorporate green values will help not only to save costs and protect the environment, but also to offer a competitive advantage in the property market. Particularly in the residential sector, some developers often highlight green values rather than elements of luxury as they market their projects.

Khoo Teck Chong, general director of Setiabecamex JSC, shares his view over the topic, saying that the property developer started its business in Vietnam by developing a township project named EcoLakes My Phuoc in the southern province of Binh Duong. The Malaysian firm brought core development criteria featuring eco theme and green values into the EcoLakes development master plan, which is being developed on a 226-hectare site with some 10,000 housing units, comprising villas, row houses, apartments and commercial centers.

“We emphasize respect for the environment and implement green initiatives at every stage of our EcoLakes development, from earthworks to completion of the property,” Khoo says, adding that the company has committed to spend about 20% of the total development area for green spaces, as well as incorporating energy-saving features in all the house designs and infrastructure works.

For example, the houses are designed to allow for maximum natural lighting and ventilation, thus reducing energy consumption. Besides, the developer has developed a 2.5-hectare town park and a two-hectare lake with a sandy beach. These facilities are open to the surrounding communities.

“Taking the eco theme and sustainable development as core values, it is our duty to bring these values to the surrounding community and eventually to the people of Vietnam,” Khoo says.

Talking about investment and profit, he says it is hard to quantify the returns, but the green values and energy saving programs implemented in the company’s development benefit not just its residents but the surrounding community in terms of a better living environment and sustainable development. For that reason, the company will continue to promote green values and sustainable development in all its projects in Vietnam in the years to come.

This trend is also seen in several other property projects in Vietnam.

The Singapore-based developer CapitaLand can be considered another green-value advocator, introducing environmental design practices to property projects in Vietnam. Its serviced apartment buildings, including The Vista in HCMC and the Mulberry Lane in Hanoi, are residential projects that incorporate energy efficiency and environmental friendly designs.

Tan Boon Thor, vice president and design manager of CapitaLand (Vietnam) Holdings Pte Ltd, says that CapitaLand has always been mindful of conserving the natural environment whenever it can. Therefore, many of its commercial, retail and residential properties have won local and international awards for their quality and environment-friendly designs and features, as well as for energy efficiency.

A layout providing natural cross ventilation to reduce the need for air-conditioning, ample windows openings to reduce the requirement for artificial lighting, large landscape areas with sky gardens to create vertical greenery and energy efficiency are among criteria for designing the company’s projects in Vietnam, he says.

Like the above developers, AECOM Technology Corporation has launched its new brand in Vietnam market, introducing its services of architecture, building engineering, design and planning, energy, environment, project management, urban development and transportation.

The company marked its presence by signing two memorandums of understanding with the HCMC Department of Science and Technology to cooperate for information exchange in practices and techniques for sustainable design and green technologies.

Speaking at the company’s launching event held in HCMC last month, Vincent Tong, the company’s regional managing director, touched on the sustainable building design issue, saying that governments and institutions around the world are increasingly concerned about the adverse impact of urbanization.

Vincent says as a professional management support service provider, the company has done several projects in Vietnam, and realizes urbanization will bring with it problems such as rising carbon footprint, thus it has been pushing for green features in its projects.

“We do not want to rob the next generation of the environment that we are blessed with,” he says, adding that it is imperative to invest in green technology and incorporate environmentally friendly features in buildings to lessen such adverse impact.

“It is our responsibility and mission to create, enhance and sustain the world’s natural and social environment,” Vincent says.

The Saigon Times Daily

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Giấy phép Báo điện tử số: 321/GP-BTTT, cấp ngày 26/10/2007
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Pham Huu Chuong
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