As apartment and office buildings continue to fill the Vietnam skyline, the country aims to make those buildings more energy efficient.
Sponsored by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), a $3.2 million project has been started to help reduce green house gas emissions. The project named, Energy Efficiency Improvement in Commercial and High-Rise Residential Buildings in Vietnam, is designed to create 16 energy-efficient buildings within five years. A representative of the Energy Conservation Centre said buildings following the new criteria would decrease their electricity consumption by 14 to 36 percent.
The construction cost for the new design is one to four percent higher then other buildings, but the consumer is said to regain the investment within one to five years through the money they save in electricity consumption. The focus for electricity reduction in this project is: construction cost, air conditioning and ventilation systems, lighting, elevators, automatic power cut-off, and hot water systems.
They have already released some ideas on what they plan to change to lower power consumption. To reduce the heat leaking in from outsides they encourage light concrete bricks and 3D partition, as well as growing creepers. They will apply heatproof film on glass windows and corrugated roofs. New ventilation systems will now use natural breezes and be set on timers to regulate use along with air conditioning and pumping systems. There are also plans to integrate natural light with the lighting system and use energy saving lamps. Finally, solar energy will be used for the heating of water.
While Vietnam has a long way to go in terms of energy efficient buildings, the city has made some strides in recent years. For example, there are some local companies that have been focusing on energy efficiency improvement. The first green hospital in Vietnam, the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Hospital was honored for its energy efficient conditioner system. As well, a number of hotels and spas in the city have been recognized for their environmental efforts.
During the COP21 conference in Paris, Vietnam pledged to reduce emissions 8 percent (using green development practices) by 2030. In 2015, Vietnam’s Environmental Monitoring Centre indicated that CO2 emissions in the city had reached an alarming level.