Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green property becomes global requirement

ENVIRONMENTALLY friendly properties are now more than a requirement, green and energy saving properties have become a global trend that is revolutionizing the property industry and have become a symbol of technological progress as well.

The green property industry began in the early 1990s with the related criteria starting in England in 1993 and was made popular in the United States by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) which issues a certificate called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Soon developers began to apply an ecological framework in their properties. This was in line with the global demand for green and energy saving buildings which in the long term will reduce the exploitation of natural resources. “Sooner or later environmentally friendly properties will be the consumers’ main requirement especially in major cities and the property industry has an important role in developing such projects,” said Stephanus D. Satriyo, associate director for property and facilities management of PT Cushman & Wakefield Indonesia.

Well, how about developers here in Indonesia? Are they really concerned about the issue? Unfortunately not totally, because it is still under discussion. Moreover major tenants, like multinational corporations, are not demanding “green” buildings for their office space here.

Actually such major tenants are in a good bargaining position to demand a green building as they use huge spaces for their offices and pay a lot of rent. However, in Indonesia we now have the Green Building Council of Indonesia (GBCI) which was established in 2009 comprising professional construction service providers, developers, education and research institutions, professional associations and individual members concerned about the environment.

GBCI is a member of World Green Building Council (WGBC) with headquarters in Toronto, Canada, which currently has 64 countries as members and only acknowledges the existence of one GBC in each country.

GBCI conducts various extensive awareness and education activities for the public and provides Green Building Certification in Indonesia based on an evaluation standard that is uniquely Indonesian and is called Greenship. The construction of such green buildings in Indonesia will be sustainable ecologically, energy saving, economically efficient, competitive and socially responsible as a global citizen. In short such green buildings will greatly contribute to our sustained existence on planet earth.

However, as GBCI is only one year old it has not been able to do much. This is understandable as green buildings are comparatively more costly than conventional buildings. To obtain the green certificate there are numerous prerequisites. The construction must not damage the environment, the materials used must be environmentally friendly (conforming with the reduce, reuse and recycle principle), and be water and energy efficient.

Undeniably a small number of developers have started to construct green buildings and some offices and apartments are called green buildings although they only include a number of green aspects, such as a green area that is more spacious than the area of the building, the air conditioning is no longer centralized and the water is recycled.

Unfortunately in Indonesia there is no building that is totally green to date, because until now no building has been certified as a green building. The fact is there is no demand for green buildings yet. Moreover there is a misperception that such environmentally friendly buildings are costly and not feasible business wise. In developed countries the view point is totally different. Green buildings are not only supported and appreciated but have a high resale value.

Actually this trend is not limited to developed countries. In Mexico, India, China and Vietnam green buildings have already been constructed based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), initiated by the Green Building Council of the United States.

Properties are enjoying positive growth worldwide, but the demand for green properties here in Indonesia is still at the discussionstage. Indeed eco property was the main focus of the 61st World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) in Bali from May 24 to May 28 this year. The congress titled “Save the World: Green Shoots for Sustainable Real Estate” was probably a turning point for all stakeholders in the property business to make a real contribution toward sustainable existence.

Although at present there is no real demand for green buildings it is possible that in three or four years multinational corporations that are concerned about the environment will demand buildings with green certificates. Indeed there is also the impression that the government pays little attention to this matter as no regional administration or government has issued any related regulations although eco-property issues emerged five years ago.

Chairman of the Association of Housing Development in Indonesia (Apersi) Eddy Ganefo said that the central as well as the regional governments should actually be proactive in the formulation and application of regulations on eco property so that developers have proper guidance. “It has been very slow to date while many countries are already applying this concept to reduce global warming,” he told Koran Jakarta.

He said there should be sanctions as well as incentives like discounts in the permits and Land and Building tax discounts (PBB) and banks can lower their interest rates for home loans for such green buildings or apartments. Eddy said that the incentives were important because green properties are huge investments so developers can be persuaded to implement this concept by reducing their production costs.

As a matter of fact basically developers welcome the concept of green buildings, while at the same time many things have to be prepared, such as guidelines, equipment and other related standards. GCBI is expected to disseminate information on the green building concept. But most importantly green buildings are not only the responsibility of developers but all of us to preserve mother earth.

Environmentally Friendly, Energy Saving

What is delightful about green property is the energy saving building design, for example aerodynamic skyscrapers that are stable in the face of wind pressure and the use of filters to absorb sunlight to save on electricity and air conditioner use.

The recycle, reuse and reinvest technology also saves energy. Some of the criteria of environment friendly property is they should save energy, use clean water and process waste, have quality air and atmosphere and energy management.

Today there are many eco friendly products available, for example Dulux. The go green trend is also widespread in the paint industry. Using Solar Reflectivity Technology, Dulux Weathershield Keep Cool can reduce the absorption of sunlight so that the temperature of the walls inside the building is reduced by 5 degrees Centigrade hence saving a 15 percent saving on electricity is possible per year.

This high quality paint is committed to being a green product. Currently almost all Dulux products have been given the Singapore Green Label certificate to indicate that they are environmentally friendly. Heat from the sun and rain can damage exterior walls; fungi can grow on the walls and the color can fade. To solve this problem Akzonobel Paints has come up with Dulux Weathershield Max and Pro.

Both paints have Triple Protect formula and contain 100 percent Acrylic Latex which is elastic. The paints can close thin and small cracks so that water does not go inside. Latex protects the wall from the heat and weather. Latex is made from rubber and is very elastic. One can easily clean any stain on it. It is also combined with Acrylic or Polyvinyl.

Dulux Weathershield is based on Elastoshield technology that covers cracks and prevents dampness or the growth of fungi. Color Lock inside Dulux Weathershield Max can protect walls from ultra violet rays. Yes, indeed global warming has made almost everyone concerned about the preservation of the environment. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, November 18, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment