While there is growing awareness about preserving the environment, not much has been done to educate the public about energy-saving buildings.
From their construction to operation, buildings across the globe have consumed 40 percent of the energy countries produce and 12 percent of clean water. Adding to that, buildings contribute 25 percent of global waste production and 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to global energy management company Schneider Electric.
Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) chairman Iwan Prijanto said on Tuesday that the lack of awareness has hampered green building projects in Jakarta and nationwide.
“GBCI members comprise almost all developers in Indonesia. There have also been regulations that make green building mandatory. But if there’s no demand from the market, it will go nowhere,” Iwan said.
The government, through the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, as well as the Jakarta administration, have issued Ministerial Regulation No. 2/2015 and Gubernatorial Regulation No. 38/2012, respectively, to reduce the environmental impacts of the construction sector.
The Jakarta gubernatorial decree stipulates that developers must comply with green requirements with energy and water efficient buildings or fail to receive a construction permit.
These requirements also exist in other cities, such as Bandung in West Java, Medan in South Sumatra and Denpasar in Bali.
The Public Works and Housing Ministry has turned one of the buildings in its office complex in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, into an example. The building has been certified by the GBCI and declared as the first government building to apply a green concept.
The certification was based on the GBCI’s green building standards, called Greenship.
The next major challenge comes from existing buildings that do not comply with green regulations. In Jakarta, more than 90 percent of all buildings were built before the green building decrees were issued.
According to Schneider Electric Indonesia’s segment manager for health care and real estate, Ferry Kurniawan, the least they could do is to revamp some parts of the building to meet a number of green requirements.
“It might not be done all at once. They could at first, for example, change their light bulbs or replace their air conditioning system with an eco-friendlier one,” he said.
It would be so much easier, Ferry added, if the developer had implemented a green concept from the designing of the building’s blueprints. In planning a building, developers could apply both green and smart design concepts, which includes internet connection to connect the building and all devices installed within it to a cloud or big data.
“In Schneider, we have products and services that comply to a smart building concept, using the Internet of Things, big data and analytics,” Ferry said.
Ferry claimed that smart buildings would not only be more energy efficient but also more comfortable. They could also save money by paying less for electricity each month.
Inhabitants, meanwhile, could enjoy better lighting and air circulation. Both initiatives could also better control energy use, he added.
“It requires all parties to support the green or smart building movement; the government, developers, customers and also banks,” Iwan said.
By banks, Iwan meant all banking policies under Financial Services Authority (OJK) Regulation No. 51/POJK.03/2017 on sustainable finance. The regulation is aimed at enhancing financing to projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, green tourism and sustainable fishery and agriculture.
“After all, sustainability is also survivability. It’s about whether or not we and our children could survive amid all these environmental changes,” Iwan added.
In July, Surabaya will host the 2019 Indonesia Smart Building Smart City Week. The event, which is the third of its kind, will include seminars and exhibitions for all things related to smart buildings, starting from products, technology to services for building systems and automation that supports energy efficiency.