The launch took place in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with SGS Vietnam Limited to offer EDGE, a programme that proves the business case for building green in emerging markets.
EDGE offers a free software that allows designers to choose technical solutions while showing the extra costs to build green and the payback period. Better design reduces energy and water use, which in turn lowers the monthly utility bills for owners and tenants.
“We encourage investors, developers, and practitioners to construct more environmentally friendly buildings that reduce energy consumption and mitigate climate change,” said Le Hoa Binh, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Construction Authority.
“EDGE is an innovative, voluntary building-certification system that will help us improve the environment for our people,” Binh added.
Buildings account for more than 30 per cent of the total energy use in fast-growing economies like Vietnam, hence improving energy efficiency in new buildings is critical.
“Precise and strategic changes can make a big difference in improving the efficiency of buildings, which make up about a third of Vietnam’s total energy consumption,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC regional director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Resource efficiency will significantly reduce the operating costs of buildings and put Vietnam on a low-carbon economic growth path.”
Vietnam is a focus of IFC’s EDGE programme along with a few other priority countries, which include Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.
Speaking at the conference, Prashant Kapoor, IFC’s Principal Green Building specialist emphasised the need to adopt green building tools like EDGE in Vietnam. “The more and more developers start to use easy and affordable green ideas, market will change fundamentally.”
SGS Vietnam, a subsidiary of SGS S.A., a leading inspection, testing, and certification company headquartered in Switzerland, will serve as a third-party certifier of EDGE in Vietnam.
Over the next six years, SGS Vietnam expects to award EDGE certifications to 20 per cent of new construction projects in the country, equivalent to about 70,000 housing units. This level of penetration will help cut 19,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions per year, avoid 43,500 megawatt-hours of energy use, and save $8 million per year by 2021.
“We are seeing strong interest from investors and developers in fulfilling the increasing demand for eco-friendly and resource-efficient buildings in Vietnam,” said Steven Du, managing director at SGS Vietnam.
“As EDGE offers the most cost-efficient ways of bringing green features into building design, we believe it will be effective for a wide range of properties, including office, residential, and commercial buildings in Vietnam,” Du noted.
Developer Nam Long Investment Corp. is among the first to receive an EDGE certification in Vietnam for its Bridge View Apartments. The design will cut energy use by 20 per cent, water use by 22 per cent, and construction materials by 27 per cent, but adds only 2 per cent to the construction costs.
Three developers were awarded with EDGE certification at the event. They are the National Housing Organisation (NHO) for its First Home Premium apartment building in Binh Duong province; Novaland Group for Orchard Garden Apartments in Ho Chi Minh City, and The Ascent REIC Ltd for The Ascent – Thao Dien Condominiums in Ho Chi Minh City.