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.