Vietnam has 305 green buildings but still lacks mandatory regulations


Vietnam has a total of 305 green buildings with a combined certified construction area of nearly 7.5 million square meters by September 30, 2023, according to Nguyen Cong Thinh, Vice General Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Environment under the Ministry of Construction.

Green building in Vietnam has evolved over about 15 years. According to Decree No. 15/2021/ND-CP, green building refers to a construction project that is designed, built and operated in accordance with criteria or standards on efficient utilization of energy and resource saving, ensuring comfort and quality of the living environment within and protecting the environment outside buildings.

(Photo: Unsplash/Danist Soh)

In Vietnam, there are four popular green building assessment and certification systems including Lotus of the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC); Edge of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group (IFC-WB), and LEED of the US Green Building Council and Greenmark of Singapore.

During the Green Economy Forum 2023, experts from the European Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (EuroCham) presented statistics revealing that construction projects in Vietnam account for 39% of energy consumption, 12% of water consumption, and approximately 38% of carbon emissions.

Thinh said that the implantation of green standards and solutions during the planning and design phase would establish favorable conditions for subsequent project stages, such as construction and operation.

If materials that meet green building standards are selected and used during the construction, it will promote production development, boost demand, and encourage motivation to develop green production and green consumption, he said.

In the operation of green buildings, managers and users possess the awareness and skills to use the equipment and utilities and be aware of their responsibility to protect the environment, reduce waste, and change behavior to live a greener style.

Green buildings have contributed to reducing emissions, increasing the local environmental protection index and the score in evaluating urban areas.

The number of green buildings in the Vietnam has increased in recent years, including hotels, shopping malls, industrial facilities, office buildings and government offices.

However, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tuong Van said during the Vietnam Green Building Week 2023 in September that the growth of green buildings in the country remains relatively slow.

He said that Vietnam’s progress in green construction has been primarily propelled by encouragement from the authorities and voluntary efforts by local enterprises due to the absence of mandatory regulations.

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