Rising energy consumption has always been a cause of concern for the Malaysian government in the last few years. The appearances of green building constructions and developments confirm the need for more environmentally friendly buildings in the country – especially to conserve the high usage of energy and electricity in buildings for a modern country such as Malaysia.
In a previous report by the Energy Commission of Malaysia, the country has steadily increased its electricity usage by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% from 2005 – 2009. It is even more alarming to note that 78% of the electricity consumed was by Industrial and Commercial sectors for infrastructure operations in 2009.
Why Green Building in Malaysia?
One of the biggest advantages of constructing green buildings is the cost-saving benefits both in the short and longer term. Utilisation of recycled materials to construct the building immediately lowers your short term cost whilst putting in place longer term solution such as energy saving devices helps lower the longer term cost impact of building maintenance and repairs.
On top of the obvious cost-savings benefits, many construction and developers firm are also constructing greener; more sustainable building simply because of the market’s higher valuation on such properties. Both residential and commercial properties stand to gain a higher resale value since buyers are aware that maintenance cost in the longer term will be lower than non-sustainable developments.
The government’s incentive also proves to be effective in driving the development of green buildings in Malaysia. In 2009, the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water published a guidebook on various incentives for developers and encouraging the industry to obtain Green Building Index (GBI) certification. Attractive incentives includes 100% tax exemption on any GBI qualifying expenses (QE) until 2014 and also stamp duty exemption for purchases incurred on such accredited GBI properties in Malaysia.
Realizing the cost savings potential of green buildings, many property developers in Malaysia are actively turning green to join the race. Corporation such as Teliti International has plans to build a 120,000 sq ft green datacentre whilst Faber Group Berhad will spearhead a pilot project to conduct energy audit at five local government hospitals in Malaysia for efficient energy usage.
Whilst qualifying for tax and stamp duty exemption may be a credible reason for adopting GBI; there are other longer term solutions for building cost management. Even if the organisation does not plan on adopting GBI, there are alternatives for cost reduction such as adopting a good energy management system that can help the organisation lower its overall long term maintenance and energy cost.
Developed by BSI, the BS EN 16001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard has provided many organisations with the necessary framework to manage, monitor and react to its own energy consumption patterns. It allows management to plan for the reduction of energy usage thus saving costs from daily building maintenance and operations. The framework also helps to boost productivity of staff members by identifying critical points of energy wastage and affecting behavioural changes to effectively reduce energy consumption in the organisation.
SAVING Cost with a Good Energy Management System
However, the real value of the BS EN 16001 EnMS standard is not only in the implementation of the framework but rather on the certification to the standard. Certifying against BS EN 16001 EnMS induces
critical self-assessment upon the organisation management through periodic auditing to constantly evaluate and monitor the energy consumption of the organisation. BSI Group auditors are qualified to organise annual audit sessions to ensure that the organisation is not merely complying to a minimum standard for energy reduction but pushing beyond to save more by being efficient with their energy consumption through a formal ‘plan, do, act and check’ cycle.
The recent launch of a new energy management standard by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) also provides organisations with a further option. Experts from the BSI Group were actively involved in the formulation of the ISO 50001 Energy Management System standard which is planned to supersede the BS EN 16001 EnMS by 2012 as the international standard for energy management.
While green-friendly devices can help reduce energy wastage and unnecessary consumption; it is often people and entrenched practices that prevent optimal energy usage. After all, a green building is only just another building if not for those whom chooses to go green in their everyday practice. BSI Group’s BS EN 16001 EnMS and the recently launched ISO 50001 EnMS standards offer a formalised energy policy management framework to help ensure that green buildings are not only built green but continue to be operated in an environmentally friendly manner.
This article is republished with permission from our Knowledge Partner, BSI.