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Green Buildings To Ease Urbanization Impact
By staff writers
Wednesday,  Nov 24, 2010,16:40 (GMT+7)

Green Buildings To Ease Urbanization Impact

By staff writers

Property developers have been interested in energy efficiency and the environment when designing their residential and office buildings in cities

For many people, property projects designed with green values will not only contribute to saving costs, protect the environment but also offer a competitive edge in the property market. Particularly, in the residential sector, some often highlight green values rather than luxury elements as they market their projects.

From green buildings

Khoo Teck Chong, general director of Setiabecamex Joint Stock Co., 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 along with it core development criteria featuring eco theme and green values to apply to the EcoLakes development master plan, which has been developed on a 226-hectare site with some 10,000 housing units, comprising villas, row houses, apartments and commercial centers.

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

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

Talking about profit and investment, 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 communities 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.

Another property developer, the Singapore-based CapitaLand, has brought with it environmental design practices to develop and manage property projects in Vietnam. Besides its serviced apartment buildings, The Vista in HCM City and the Mulberry Lane in Hanoi are the two residential projects that the company has developed incorporating energy efficiency and environment-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, and shows that many of its commercial, retail and residential properties have won local and foreign 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.

To green technologies

Like the above developers, AECOM Technology Corp. has launched its new brand in Vietnam, 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 HCM City 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 HCM City last month, Vincent Tong, regional managing director, touched 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 were blessed with,” he says, adding that it is imperative to invest in green technology and incorporate environment-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.

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