GBI standards proposed for upcoming projects in Penang-The Star Online

Sunday July 26, 2009

GBI standards proposed for upcoming projects in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Penang may impose the Green Building Index (GBI) accreditation as a criterion for several upcoming development pro-jects.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state would take the lead in promoting green initiatives.

“There are certain prime sites that the state is planning to open for bidding and tender (for projects). We are considering to add a stipulation that these projects should be GBI accredited.

“Personally, I support the GBI initiative to ensure that buildings are more sustainable and energy efficient,” he said when opening a GBI Forum here yesterday.

He said education on green initiatives was essential to gain public support, adding that the housing and property sectors also needed to be consulted.

“We prefer to have the GBI adhered to voluntarily rather than have the government impose it on developers.

“However, the state is willing to take the lead to implement GBI standards in some of our buildings before we make any decision on a general policy,” he added.

The GBI, introduced by the Malaysian Institute of Architects and Association of Consulting Engineers of Malaysia in May, is a certification tool that provides guidelines for sustainable development and environment-friendly construction.

At a press conference later, Lim said adhering to the GBI criterion would help in efforts to make the state an international city.

Lim declined to disclose which of the projects were being considered to be made GBI-compliant.

It is believed that the projects will include the Bayan Mutiara medical hub and the proposed Meetings, Incentives, Convention and Exhi-bition (Mice) centre.

Real Estate and Housing Deve-lopers Association (Rehda) Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan

said environmental protection had to be considered for everyone’s good.

“We want to look into sustainable development and agree that there is a need to look into the environmental aspects,” he added.

Lim said if Rehda Penang wanted to support the GBI initiative, it should do so “unconditionally”.

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