It all starts with resilient buildings

Tanvi Kapoor

The construction sector is responsible for over one-third of global final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Energy demand from buildings, including air conditioning and buildings construction continues to rise, driven by improved access to energy, greater ownership and use of energy-consuming devices and rapid growth in buildings floor area.

We spend most of our time in buildings. Whether it is at home or work, at the train or bus station, at the airport or port, at the mall or even at a local mom and pop store, we are always in or surrounded by buildings. If buildings are so central to our lives, could they possibly have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing? The answer is a definite yes.

Is there anything we can do to reduce the impact of the built environment on the natural environment? The LEED green building program provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings around the world. The path to low-emissions and efficient and resilient buildings, will require greater collaboration with the construction sector and  policymakers at all jurisdictional levels, as well as with urban planners, architects, developers, investors, construction companies and utility companies. 

What kind of buildings are suited for LEED?

LEED works for virtually all building types, and currently impacts every sector in the Southeast Asian market. of the following LEED certified projects all contribute meaningfully towards making their communities green and resilient and are great examples of the potential that the rating system and green building hold for the region.

Saiham Knit Composite & Saiham Suites, Bangladesh: The export oriented vertically integrated composite knitting factory of Saiham Knit Composite & Saiham Suites received LEED v4.1 O+M Platinum certification. The company has implemented 100% rainwater harvesting and management, 50% water savings and 85 energy savings over the baseline, 100% waste performance and a 90% IEQ performance – making it one of the most sustainable industrial manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh.

Danone Aqua’s New Plant, Banyuwangi, Indonesia: While AQUA Group produces healthy, scientifically accountable bottled drinking water and non-carbonated soft drinks, it has taken another meaningful step towards improving the lives of its community by achievingLEED v4 Gold certification under the warehouse and distribution center programme. From ensuring energy efficiency initiatives to water conservation, to maintaining healthy indoor air quality, the company has taken noteworthy steps in making sure that its warehouse and distribution center is the first in Indonesia to secure this important certification.

IKEA Distribution Centre, Port Klang, Malaysia: The 1.011 million square foot warehouse of Ikea in port Klang is the first LEED certified warehouse and distribution centre in Malaysia. Having received a LEED v4 Gold rating, this facility has implemented green and sustainable initiatives such as preferred parking for bicycles and electrical vehicles and utilizes a daylight harvesting system to reduce dependency on lighting energy. The facility has also achieved 70% savings on lighting fixtures, 45% savings on air-conditioning energy and 48% water savings.

Twenty Anson, Singapore: Twenty Anson is a 20-story Grade A office building situated in Singapore. This building comprises 16-story offices, 2-story carpark, a sky garden and a café. It is the first-of-its-kind project in Singapore to achieve LEED Gold certification under LEED v4.1 O+M:. From ensuring energy efficiency initiatives to water conservation, to maintaining healthy indoor air quality, the project ensures that the office occupants always have access to a healthy and sustainable work atmosphere.

Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence, Sri Lanka: Incorporated in 2008 as a public-private partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and five private companies, SLINTEC is notable for being the first public-private research institute in the country. True to its title as a centre of excellence, it is the highest certified LEED 4 BD+C: NC Platinum project to date. It has a plethora of sustainable and green initiatives such as potable water savings of over 50% from efficient flow/flush fixtures, energy cost savings of over 50% compared with baseline model, use of native and adapted plants for the landscape to avoid the installation of a permanent irrigation system and the like, making it a role model for other buildings to follow.

FM Logistic Hanoi Stage 1, Vietnam: This family-owned and independent logistics company with a presence in 14 countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America, is a model of how all businesses should go green. FM Logistic received LEED v4 Gold certification, making it one of the most sustainable logistics companies in the region.

In short, any and every building can achieve LEED certification. With a keen attention to building operations and maintenance, the efficiency and performance of older buildings can be turned around and drastically improved through implementing LEED O+M certification for existing buildings. New buildings can incorporate LEED at the design stage. As we move towards a brighter future, we will have to work together to ensure that both our new and existing buildings commit to reducing their carbon footprint by adopting sustainable and green practices – because it all starts with resilient buildings.

To check out more projects in India and around the world that are advancing decarbonization and impacting our health and wellness, view our LEED Lookbook.

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