This post continues from my previous introduction to green building in Vietnam which you can read here.
The majority of countries in South East Asia have established a national green building council. Most of these are operated as NGOs but in some cases, such as Singapore, green building is a function of government. Each of these bodies has established a building rating framework:
- Green Mark – Building & Construction Agency, Singapore
- BEAM Plus – Hong Kong Green Building Council
- Green Building Index – Malaysian Green Building Council
- LOTUS – Vietnam Green Building Council
In addition to these locally developed rating systems, USGBC’s LEED system is also available in South East Asia. Of note, the only systems available in Vietnam are Green Mark, LEED and LOTUS. A building may be designed to comply with the criteria of another rating tool but it will not gain formal certification.
With the exception of LOTUS, each of these green building rating systems has a specific tool to assess and certify residential development; with LEED and Green Mark having tools applying only to single residential dwellings. It is therefore necessary, when developing a new rating tool, to understand the existing international framework and minimum standards within existing applicable rating tools. Although there is a plethora of rating tools worldwide, it is more applicable to consider regional tools that deal with local climatic conditions.
A broad summary of the existing rating tools is shown in the table below.
Whilst this provides an overview, a more critical analysis is required to understand how each rating tool achieves each credit point. This analysis has focused largely on whether a tool dictates a prescriptive- or a performance-based approach to realizing credit points.
Most noticeably, no rating tool took a single approach but each included some credits that were very prescriptive and others that allowed a greater flexibility for a design solution. Some examples are presented in the table below. Generally, Green Mark took a more prescriptive approach to achieving credits. Whereas LOTUS and BEAM Plus generally utilized more performance based solutions.
From this analysis, it is clear that a LOTUS tool developed specifically for single dwellings would need to use a combination of both prescriptive- and performance-based controls. Performance controls allow flexibility for the designer to achieve the desired outcome without the restrictions of prescriptive requirements but this strategy often includes complex modeling and a high level of technological competency. Prescriptive controls on the other hand, offer clear, black and white understanding of the requirements and do not require complex modelling. In Vietnam, there is a broad range of educational understanding of green building as well as technical competency, therefore it is important the LOTUS Homes offers both prescriptive- and performance-based solutions to a multitude of credits. This will enable smaller scale projects that may not have the budget and project team to understand complex modelling to still achieve green building design, whilst also allowing design freedom to implement creative solutions to green building issues.