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Building industry groups support ‘green' construction

Saturday, November 17, 2012 01:34 AM    Views : 399by:Jonathan L. Mayuga

PARTICIPANTS of a two-day Asian conference in Manila vowed to work for a unified green-building standards and a viable green-rating system to set a specific target for annual reduction of carbon footprints for the building sector.

The move was in response to the challenge of Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez, who called on the building sector to set target goals for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.

Alvarez said there is a need for buildings that are environment-friendly and efficient in the use of space, energy and water.

Buildings account for 39 percent of CO2 emissions globally.

"In the Philippines," Alvarez said, "the building sector is the second-largest carbon-dioxide emitter next to the transport sector."

"It is high time that our engineers and architects put their words into action being men of precise calculation and numbers. A paradigm shift must be made to green buildings and bring the Philippines up to global standards in sustainable buildings and construction techniques," Alvarez said.

The conference, billed as an "Asian Technoforum on Sustainability," was held on November 8 and 9, and sponsored by the Architects Regional Council Asia, Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) and allied organizations at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Architect Michael Ang of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), the conference's director, announced that the calls and recommendations made by Alvarez would be heeded by the industry with urgency.

He asked Alvarez to guide the builders' group in setting the target for an annual CO2-emission reduction by next year.

To help cut CO2 and greenhouse-gas emission, Alvarez encouraged the participating organizations from across Asia to replicate best practices.

He recommended to the PGBI and its allies to study, adopt or modify the green standards established by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Singapore is using its land, water, energy and other resources in the most efficient, prudent and pragmatic ways.

Singapore's sustainable development program has set a target of achieving an 80-percent compliance with its BCA Green Mark certification rating by 2030 and an energy-efficiency target of 35-percent reduction from the 2005 level by 2030.

Also, Alvarez said PGBI should establish a working group to look into US developments on zero-energy commercial buildings or zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) that "use no more energy over the course of the year than it produces from on-site renewable source."

Newly constructed ZEBs on the US Pacific Coast are gaining wide international attention from engineering and conservation groups.

ZEBs are constructed using readily available technology, with an integrated design, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, that achieve high levels of energy efficiency.

Last, the UAP, the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers, PGBI and allies must start drafting a proposed legislation that will establish a national green-building code.

The proposed code, Alvarez said, should include an evaluation process and rate buildings on their sustainability, site development, energy use, water consumption, natural-lighting quality, use of green materials and other vital considerations.

Source: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/features/green/3165-building-industry-groups-support-green-construction

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