EDGE, which stands for excellence in design for greater efficiencies, is a standard that focuses on testing the resource efficiency in buildings.
Launched globally in September, the new system is created for developing countries which have seen a booming development in construction such as China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and South Africa. IFC’s work to promote green buildings in Vietnam is delivered in partnership with the Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
“So far, the rate of urbanisation in Vietnam has surpassed 30 per cent, while the construction industry consumes up to 25 per cent of total national energy consumption. Therefore, saving energy in the building sector is one of Vietnam’s national goals,” said Nguyen Trung Hoa, director of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment under the Ministry of Construction.
The Bridgeview Apartment and the FPT complex Danang are two pilot projects of IFC’s green building system in Vietnam. To achieve the EDGE standard, both designs must reach minimum savings of 20 per cent in energy, water, and embodied energy in materials.
Situated in Nam Long Urban Area, the 592-apartment Bridgeview project has qualified for the EDGE standard thanks to its energy-efficient amenities. These include high-performance glazing, energy-saving light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, and dual-flush toilets.
Through these innovations it is expected to ensure 20 per cent savings in energy, a 22 per cent reduction in water consumption, and achieve materials efficiency of 27 per cent.
Meanwhile, FPT’s building project covers a total area of 5.9 hectares with an aim of providing high-end offices for its employees. Once completed, FPT complex Danang will be capable of serving 10,000 people. It’s efficient design includes such features as sealed double glazing, a dry cooling tower, and concrete flooring. The structure aims to achieve resource savings of 21 per cent in energy consumption, 32 per cent in water use, and 20 per cent in embodied energy in materials.
According to Autif Sayyed, the Regional Green Building specialist for the East Asia Pacific Region at IFC, the green building market in Vietnam is very promising.
He told the VIR that more developers and investors in Vietnam have shown a very strong interest in the new system because it is easy, affordable, and cost-efficient.
In addition, IFC gets a lot of interest from Vietnamese companies who want to establish a partnership with the corporation and promote green building development in Vietnam.
Autiff Sayed shared with VIR that IFC has been endorsed by the Vietnamese government for its green building system, which brings both trust and viability to the market.
The corporation has also worked with the Ministry of Construction (MoC) on setting up the mandatory Building Energy Efficiency Code [QCVN 09:2013/BXD] for large buildings.
Meanwhile, IFC’s EDGE voluntary certification standard has become a benchmark that encourages developers to go beyond the mandatory code.
To support the green building programme in the Vietnamese market, IFC has invested directly with developers and investors, who are committed to using the EDGE tools or other resource efficient systems in green buildings.
For example, IFC poured $7.5 million into the building project of Nam Long Investment Corp. The corporation has also teamed up with manufacturers and providers, who use resource-efficient equipment and building materials.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, design director of Nam Long Investment Corp, the investment capital of Bridgeview Apartments increases only 1.2 per cent when they adopt the EDGE design standards. As such, this increase is both acceptable to investors and affordable for end users.
Vu Linh Quang, an architect who specialises in sustainable standards, with ARDOR Architect, who designed the Bridgeview, said that IFC’s experienced specialists have given them helpful advice since the beginning phase of the project.
However, he also cited some challenges they had to overcome. For example, energy-saving materials and equipment are more costly, and it is difficult to find providers of resource efficient equipment that meets the EDGE standard.
Despite these challenges, the benefits of EDGE are enormous.
For home users, the resource-efficient buildings offers them savings on their energy bills over the long-term. In addition, the green home design has significant health benefits compared to conventional housing.
On a global scale, EDGE helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts by promoting green building development.