Nguyen Thanh Xuyen of the city Department of Construction said green construction is a rising global trend to combat climate change and pollution, but the number of green buildings in Vietnam is low since it is not mandatory.
His department is working with other related agencies to draft policies to encourage green construction, and they would soon be submitted to the city for approval, he added.
Nguyen Thu Nhan, manager of the International Finance Corporation’s Vietnam Green Building Programme, said there is a lack of awareness of green buildings in the country though that is changing with more and more adopting the practice.
"Green buildings can help investors save costs in the long run and improve a property’s attractiveness," she said.
IFC’s green building certification EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) has been conferred on around 1.42 million square metres of buildings in the country, she said.
Martin Maier, Switzerland’s consul general in HCM City, said green building certifications such as EDGE add value to buildings and benefit societies.
Richard Colville, director of Property Management at property consultancy CBRE Vietnam, said more people will build green buildings in the future as electricity costs, incomes and environmental awareness increase.
Investors who build properties and operate them for a long time would reap the benefits of green buildings, but there are some that sell finished buildings immediately and so do not care for such standards, he said.
They should be persuaded “they have an interest and the community has an interest in keeping the buildings green, even if their connection to the building is short term,” he said.
He said many big companies greatly prefer having offices in buildings certified as green.
Currently Vietnam has 104 properties with 2.5 million square metre of land have green building certification, a small proportion considering that 58 million square metres of properties were developed in 2018 alone.
The conference was organised by the IFC, CBRE Vietnam and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.