Green buildings are on the rise in Asia. Most countries have at least one domestic green building rating scheme and some, like Japan, even have two. Registrations and certifications continue to grow but green projects are still a far cry from forming a majority in the construction industry. Let us have a look at the state of green building certifications across the region.
Green Building Certification Across Asia
The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) rating system has been adopted across Asia, with nearly 6,000 projects registered and more than 2,000 certified across 18 countries. In addition to the LEED system, however, many Asian countries have developed their own rating system.
Singapore has set itself the goal to get 80% of its building stock (excluding logistics and industrial facilities) certified with its Green Mark tool by 2030. This is backed up by a framework of legislation that requires newly developed properties to be certified, and re-certified after three years. In addition, any existing property that now undergoes a heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrade must get Green Mark certified. The Green Mark applies to various categories of new and existing buildings, from offices and supermarkets to stores and data centers. In Singapore, 69% of design and construction firms plan on developing green retrofits and renovations.
China launched its Green Building Action Plan in 2013, requiring all public buildings, public residential buildings and commercial buildings with a gross floor area greater than 20,000 sqm to achieve at least one star in the China Green Building Evaluation Standard. The rating tool of China’s 3-Star rating system assigns a score based on the predicted performance of the building. A summary table of credit weighting by category is included below.
In India, where the national green building footprint exceeds 356m sqm, there are more than 850 buildings certified with the national IGBC rating tool. The government is leading by example by getting their own buildings certified. Delhi Metro stations are certified with IGBC Metro to Platinum level. Policy focus is around decarbonizing the economy, with a push to renewables.
South Korea also has its own green building certification system, the Green Standard for Energy and Environmental Design (G-SEED). These regulations require that all large buildings obtain a G-SEED certification and, over the years, certified buildings have been increasing to a rate of over 2,000 buildings annually. The total number of buildings certified with G-SEED is expected to exceed 11,000 by the end of 2016. A positive trend is that in terms of total GFA, more than 50% of new construction in 2015 was G-SEED certified.
Bangladesh’s green building market is still in the early stages. At present, the LEED system is the most active, with 19,000 sqm of certified space with the majority being in Dhaka. The Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) is currently being upgraded by the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology and is in its final stage, which will include sections on sustainability and green design.
BEAM Plus, is a green building rating system used by the Hong Kong Green Building Council since April 2010. More than 400 projects registered under BEAM Plus and around 2m sqm of space are certified. In parallel, the LEED system is still very popular and includes around 1.2m sqm of certified space in Hong Kong.
The Japanese Green Building Council has developed a comprehensive family of green building rating tools for many markets and building types. The Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) rating systems are designed to analyze building performance at several stages in the building lifecycle, from pre-design to renovation. All of the rating tools use two general categories of analysis: quality assessments are taken at the building level, while load assessments look at the building’s impact on the local environment or neighborhood.
Overall, while the US designed LEED system remains the worldwide leader in green building certification, we are witnessing a proliferation of national certification standards coupled with national targets and legislation. This can only translate into a rise in demand for certified green buildings – the construction industry should consider this as a golden opportunity to “green” their business.