Under the USAID Vietnam Clean Energy Programme (CEP), the workshop “A review of seven regional and international green building certification systems” was held by the Ministry of Construction (MOC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on 23rd July 2014 at Vietnam National Institute of Architecture. The workshop attracted full participation of about 60 experts in green building practices to discuss and share their review on green building rating tools. Two representatives for VGBC: Mr. Tran Van Thanh – Executive director and Ms. Do Ngoc Diep – Education manager were invited to share our experience in applying LOTUS, one of 7 rating systems, to Vietnam.
An overview of all 7 rating tools was provided by USAID through their detailed research and comparison. Generally there are about 12 categories such as Management, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy, Transportation, Water, Materials, Land Use and Ecology, Pollution, Adaptation and Mitigation, Community, Regional Priority, Innovation although some categories are missing in few systems. Besides each system might have their own name for categories to assess a green building but they still conveys the similar meaning. The difference lies on the weighting of categories. Compared to other rating systems, LOTUS highly rates Energy (28%), Material (11%), Ecology (10%) and Water (10%). Especially “Community” and “Adaptation and Mitigation” categories respectively accounts for 6% and 5% meanwhile 3-4 systems don’t have them. We can easily recognize that due to the typical condition of every nation (such as our geography, laws and regulations as well as people’s life style and habits) credits rewarded to categories will change accordingly. For example, because the weather condition is more extreme, solutions to tackle climate change should be more crucial or because energy and water resources are more scarce, their roles are also leveraged.
Seven rating systems not only have differentiation on registration and certification process but also prerequisities and criteria.
Through this workshop, attendants are more aware of existing rating systems, in particular, their criteria, their pros and cons in the process of applying to their own country.
Hoping that in addition to applicable and innovative criteria learnt from international rating systems, LOTUS continues to keep our true color of meeting natural and specific conditions of Vietnam and our people to have a ‘Vietnam’ green building.