China Showing Some Green

Sustainable planning and green construction in China, India and South Korea are showing rays of hope.  Amazingly, China now has 166 projects that have entered the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process.  India has 56 LEED certified projects and South Korea has 49.  This is tremendous progress and is drawing environmental acclaim from international and regional industry experts.Simple policies like design of proper bike storage, low-water landscaping designs, the implementation of pro-active recycling plans, aggressive waste reduction and use of recycled building materials carry a long way in green construction.  Projections are that more advanced window insulation designs and new installation techniques can reduce energy losses by as much as 11 percent almost overnight.The standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council through its benchmark third party rating system are at work in these countries.  This year, ground was broken for the $450 million Chinatrust Bank of Taiwan.  A large portion of the building’s construction fund was designated for eco-friendly features.The building is expected to open its doors in 2012.  Special green features will include low-power air-conditioning, a site location assuring proximity to public transport and convenient for bikers and a development campus that will contain a public park and consist of 52% open space.One third of the building’s space will be leased to international entities.  Chinatrust projects that it will recoup the added green costs within three years.Just as encouraging are recent policy developments in Singapore.  The Southeast Asian city-state is now offering government backed incentives of up to $4.00 per square meter for new energy-efficient improvements.  Singapore has determined that its international businesses are requiring green concepts in their leases.Kendrew Leung of Savills Property Management in Hong Kong explains;  “Once government gives more incentives, things get done.  Now green building is a trend but not a must.  It takes time to make a habit.”  This is truly one habit that will benefit the world.

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