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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     16-18 November  2011

Towards Green development in Vietnam

Viet Nam should join the growing trend of constructing environmentally-friendly buildings as an important step towards sustainable development, experts said a conference yesterday.

The second Green Conference, jointly organised by Kohler Viet Nam and HCM City Association of Architects, attracted more than 200 delegates representing property developers, architects, and design consultancy firms.

Nguyen Truong Luu, deputy chairman of the HCM City Association of Architects said the green factor was indispensable, so property developers need to have a thorough understanding of the "green" concept and apply its standards in their construction projects.

A green building will conserve resources, including energy, land, water and construction materials, limit pollution, protect the environment, help safeguard the health of community, said Prof. Nguyen Huu Dung of the Viet Nam Institute of Urban and Industry Environment.

Participants stressed the need to pay special attention to installing wastewater treatment systems, minimising waste discharge and ensuring the quality of internal and external environments by reducing pollution to the maximum.

Dung noted that environmental degradation as a result of wastewater discharge had reached alarming proportions at the moment, particularly in industrial parks, urban areas and buildings in HCM City and Ha Noi.

There is an evident shortage of onsite wastewater treatment plants in many residential compounds, new townships, building towers and commercial complexes, he said. These places discharge untreated wastewater directly into the environment, he said.

‘Get serious'
Dung informed the seminar of updated information about current water treatment regulations including Decision No 88 adjusting environmental fees for domestic wastewater generation and discharge in HCM City.

He said the fees should be steep enough to deter violations.

Joseph Azzarello, senior staff engineer at Kohler Co. a US-based firm that makes sanitary fittings, electric generators and small engines, said Viet Nam was a dynamic market

with a strong growth rate that should seriously target building green buildings.

He said Vietnamese builders and investors should seek the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a leading-edge system devised by the US Green Building Council.

The LEED standard consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

Green buildings have not only helped protect environment, but also brought an increase in return of investment for investors, Azzarello said.

Nguyen Van Tat, deputy chairman of Viet Nam Association of Architects, said developers were concerned that applying sustainable technology in their projects would require more investment, raising it to two or three times the normal capital outlay.

However, they should think of the advantages environmentally-friendly buildings confer, especially for large-scale projects, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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