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‘GBR Expo Asia’ Forum Reveals Positive Green Building Trend

May 20, 2014 Conferences No Comments Email Email

Prospects for the green building industry in Thailand and ASEAN are bright, according to green building experts at the Thailand Green Building Industry Forum, organized recently by GBR Expo Asia 2014 – Thailand’s only international green building show, which will take place on 18th-20th September 2014 at Hall 5, IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand.

At the Thailand Green Building Industry Forum, experts from the green building industry joined to share insights into the outlook for green building in Thailand and ASEAN. In the experts’ opinion, Thailand presents significant opportunities for green building because of the large volume of existing buildings in the country. Moreover, the government aims to reduce energy consumption by 25 per cent in 2030, so will support projects that promote efficient use of energy in commercial buildings, development of new green building standards and application of green technologies.

Experts joining the forum included Dr. Somchai Harnhirun, Director-General, Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry, Mr. Oh Lock Soon, Managing Director of Keppel Thai Properties Public Company Limited and Chairman of the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Ayuthaporn Buranakul, President of Thailand Facility Management Association (TFMA), and Mr. Christopher C. Seeley, CEO of Climate Change Solutions Co., unnamed (3)Ltd.

At the forum, Dr.Somchai Harnhirun, Director-General, Office of Industrial Economics, Ministry of Industry said that “To celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 84th Birthday in 2011, the Ministry of Industry held an organization-wide launch of the Green Industry Project, including provincial industrial offices, institutes and industrial estates, to raise awareness among industrial firms about social and environmental issues and to reward environmentally-friendly industries by providing five levels of Green Industry certification. The first level is Green Commitment, with companies then able to progress through Green Activities, Green System, Green Culture, and Green Network. We also implemented the Eco Industrial Town program, and we hope that within the next few years, we will see some areas in Thailand adopt this eco business concept. 

“In relation to full implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, many aspects are already in practice. For example, Thailand’s import duty already stands at 0 per cent for ASEAN member countries. Thinking beyond the AEC, I see opportunities to raise consciousness among the public about the environment. I believe green building assessment in Thailand may face challenges, and may not be as easily implemented as in Singapore, because of the geographic differences between our countries. Green building enjoyed success in Singapore because of financial support from the government. In Thailand, we try to provide incentives but these can also present challenges, as incentives mean you reduce costs for developers but you do not create demand. 

“Compared to 10 years ago, the cost of construction and operations is lower, and the quality of residential buildings is higher, because materials are easier to find and the market has become more competitive. New technology can also help to improve product quality, while reducing prices. The government also has a role to play in providing policy frameworks that create demand.” 

Mr. Oh Lock Soon, Managing Director of Keppel Thai Properties Public Company Limited and Chairman of the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce added that “Keppel Thai Properties Public Company Limited is a subsidiary of Keppel Land Limited, the property arm of Keppel Corporation Limited, one of Singapore’s largest multinational conglomerates with core businesses in offshore and marine, infrastructure as well as property. Right now the company is looking at ASEAN as a whole, and we are planning to ramp up our activities in Thailand. Our company strives to be a leader not only in Singapore but globally, and as part of this mission we hope to develop some well-known and respected projects in Thailand so that not only Thai people but also foreign investors recognize us as a good brand.” 

Mr. Ayuthaporn Buranakul, President of Thailand Facility Management Association (TFMA) noted that “At TFMA, we manage facilities that are built by other parties. The core expertise of TFMA is in the fields of integrated architecture, engineering, client management, and CSR. We manage the 3Ps–People, Place and Process– especially in facilities management. In addition to security, office planning and waste management, we are also concerned about energy management in the building, because 48 per cent of greenhouse gas is produced by buildings, so we need to understand the building capabilities so we will know how to best manage them.

“Nowadays there are technologies available for efficient energy management and effective building maintenance. Some examples include HVAC systems and LED technology, which can reduce energy consumption by up to 45 per cent. Such technologies help building owners to increase their returns on investment.” 

Mr. Christopher C. Seeley, CEO of Climate Change Solutions Co., Ltd. said that “Existing buildings represent interesting potential for Bangkok, given that there are approximately 1,500 buildings in the city, which is considered a large market. The opportunity to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings presents economic and cost saving opportunities that are of great interest to the private sector commercial building market. If a building owner takes an existing building and retrofits it, thus reducing energy consumption and energy costs, the value of the property will definitely increase.”

To increase demand for green buildings in Thailand, Mr. Seeley gave the example that “In 2015, electricity prices will increase about 15-17 per cent, so if people in the market realize that there are opportunities to reduce energy costs by increasing energy efficiency, hopefully this will spur more activity from building owners.”

The 4th edition of GBR Expo Asia 2014 in Thailand will act as a leading platform for the green building and retrofit industry, showcasing leading and quality new products, services and solutions to the 10,000 industry professionals from Building & Construction and Facilities industry expected to be present during 18-20 September 2014 at Hall 5, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand.

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Mr. Ajinveat Vhongthong, Tel: +662-833-5210 or e-mail to ajinveatv@impact.co.th and visit our website at www.greenbuilding-asia.com

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