An article by Ruth Ninajanty, The Jakarta Post.

Green buildings have hit the mainstream in the West. The use of solar panels and sustainable materials is already common, as people aim to minimize pollution and create a healthy indoor environment.

Going east, people are now campaigning for the importance of sustainable living. In Southeast Asia, many developers are promoting “green homes”.

With eco-friendly features, these homes feature green building concepts. So what makes a building green?

The trend is taking off in Indonesia. “The demand for green buildings is increasing. Building owners have begun to realize that green buildings help to save on operational costs,” said Naning S. Adiningsih Adiwoso, Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) founding member and chairperson.

GBCI issues certification for green buildings through its rating tools. This year, the council recorded over 100 building managements as being interested in the certification, most of them located in Jakarta.

People start to understand that resources aren’t going to be available forever, so they want to use them efficiently.

“What makes people interested in green buildings is how they can measure the performance of a building. You can evaluate your energy, water, waste, air quality and the products being used,” Naning further explained.

Green buildings also mean taking human health and environment into consideration. In green offices, for example, the concept creates a healthy environment, which reduces absence and increases employee productivity.

As for residential developments, living in a green condo is definitely healthier due to its better air and water quality, and also due to better management of waste.

“GBCI will soon launch the TAG, a rating for green homes. It will be available for download by residential owners to do a self-assessment on green residences.

The creation of TAG is based on the fact that today’s younger generation, especially in cities, is fully aware of the benefits gained from living in green and healthy homes,” Naning said.

Thailand is also setting trends in green buildings. A developer – Fragrant Group – is building several new eco-friendly luxury condos under the Circle brand.

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