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Green Building for Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction

1. Background

  At the Earth Summit 1992 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the international community raised awareness of the importance of global climate change and environmental protection. In the Summit, delegates from more than 170 countries worldwide discussed the problem of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, global warming, loss of Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice extent, sea level rises, and relevant environmental issues. The summit led to the signing of the Convention Framework on Climate Change, endorsed the Rio Declaration, and declared an unprecedented plan of action for sustainable development, Agenda 21. One year later, the United Nations established the Commission on Sustainable Development to launch a series of global environmental protection programs. Further in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was proposed as an international agreement to require major developed countries (US, UK, Japan, etc) to commit in stabilizing and reducing GHG emissions. Five years later, the Earth Summit 2002 resumed in Johannesburg, South Africa, and provided an opportunity for the international community to adopt concrete steps and identify quantifiable targets for better implementing Agenda 21. Pursuing Sustainable Development was thus recognized as the most urgent issue for all human beings and the earth’s ecosystem.

  In response to such an international concern, the Executive Yuan of Taiwan established the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1996 to come up with policy guidelines and programs. The concept of green building and its corresponding strategies were thus initiated by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) and have been incorporated into the national development plan as one of the most effective measures The Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior (CPAMI) officially declared to promote the green building policy in the White Paper of Construction, as well as in the White Paper of Environment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the national energy conference held in 1998, the Architecture and Building Research Institute (ABRI), Ministry of the Interior, thus launched the “green building and living environment technology plan” and has been continually implementing relevant programs.

  Moreover, Taiwan started investing in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry quite early. Nowadays, for hardware manufacturing, the industry has accumulated remarkable outcomes in manufacturing processes, low-cost research and development, and competitive advantages. Currently, several programs such as “Intelligent Taiwan” are being actively implemented as well. In 1999, the meeting of “Reporting Major National Policy Progress” of the Executive Yuan of Taiwan concluded that “for future development, in order to effectively maximize the ICT advantages of Taiwan for creating greater economic values, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) are hereby assigned to propose the Promotion Program of Intelligent Green Building.”

2. Evolution

  • 1997 – “Green Building an Living Environment Technology Plan (First phase, 1998-2001)” was ratified and implemented.
  • 1998 – “Green Building Evaluation System” dedicated for the subtropical climate was established, followed by the establishment of the “Green Building Labeling System” in 1999.
  • 2001 – “Green Building Promotion Program” was ratified and implemented staring from the public sector (central government).
  • 2002 – “Green Building and Living Environment Technology Plan (Second phase, 2002-2006) was ratified and implemented.
  • 2003 – “Green Building Promotion Program” was incorporated into the national development plan – Challenge 2008 and extended its implementation into local governments.
  • 2004 – “Green Building Promotion Program” was revised, including green building labeling system promotion, green building institutionalization, as well as incentives and stimuli for the private sector.
  • 2005 – “Green Building Basic Chapter” of the Building Technical Regulations was announced. The green building institutionalization was completed.
  • 2006 – At least 5% utilization of green building materials for public buildings was required according to the Building Technical Regulations.
  • 2007 – “Green Building and Sustainable Environment Technology Plan (2007-2010)” was ratified and implemented. The green building rating system was launched.
  • 2008 – “Eco-City and Green Building Promotion Program (2008-2011)” was ratified ad implemented.
  • 2009 – The percentage of green building material utilization was raised up to at least 30%.
  • 2010 – “Sustainable Green Building for Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction Technology Plan (2010-2014)” was ratified and started to implement.
  • 2010 – “Intelligent Green Building Promotion Program (2010-2015)” was ratified and started to implement.

3. Overview

  In response to global warming and climate change, the ABRI established the EEWH green building evaluation system in 1998, covering a variety of aspects of ecology, energy saving, waste reduction, environmental protection, and sustainability. The system is capable of accommodating Taiwan’s subtropical climate and sufficiently meeting local environmental issues, such as energy consumption, water consumption, waste generation, etc. The green building labeling system and its certification mechanism were launched in 1999.

  In the beginning of the green building label promotion, its voluntary mechanism resulted in relatively limited applications for green building certification. In order to enhance the overall effectiveness, the Executive Yuan ratified the “Green Building Promotion Program” on March 8, 2001, starting a mandatory EEWH green building design for new publicly-owned buildings. Through successful green building practices in the public sector playing as a leading role, the green building industry and its market can thus gradually be formed.

  For broader extending the green building promotion to the private sector, the CPAMI has started the green building institutionalization work since January 2005 and devised the “Green Building Basic Chapter” in the Building Technical Regulations. The chapter currently includes vegetation and planting, water infiltration and retention, energy saving, rainwater and grey water reuse, as well as green building materials.

  Furthermore, in order to continually developing green buildings based on previous accomplishments and to actively correspond to the impacts of global warming and urban heat island effects, the Executive Yuan extended the green building promotion into a large-scale practice and ratified the “Eco-city and Green Building Promotion Program” on January 11, 2008, with a latest revision on January 5, 2010.

  Following the accomplishments attained in the previous/current promotion programs, the Executive Yuan also ratified the “Intelligent Green Building Promotion Program” in 2010 so that a sustainable green and intelligent industry can be vitally developed.

4. Promotion Programs

  Recent green building promotion tasks included three programs, Green Building Promotion Program, Eco-City and Green Building Promotion Program, and Intelligent Green Building Promotion Program.

  1. (I) Green Building Promotion Program
    Period:from 2001 to 2007.
  2. (II) Eco-City and Green Building Promotion Program
    Period:from 2008 to 2011.
    Achievements of above programs:
    1. Strengthened energy saving criteria for building envelope design and extend its regulatory scope.
    2. Established green building labeling system and implement mandatory green building design for new publicly-owned buildings.
    3. Completed green renovation projects for central governmental buildings.
    4. Research and develop recycled materials.
    5. Conducted IEQ demonstrative projects.
    6. Established green building evaluation system and promote its labeling system.
    7. Completed green building institutionalization and its enforcement by phases.
  3. (III) Intelligent Green Building Promotion Program
    Period:from 2010 to 2015.
    Major Tasks:
    1. 1. Promote intelligent design for newly-constructed buildings and intelligent renovation for existing buildings.
    2. 2. Subsidize building energy efficiency improvement and green renovation projects.
    3. 3. Conduct healthy Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) improvement and promotion projects.
    4. 4. Robust the evaluation and certification process of the Green Building Label, Intelligent Building Label, and Green Building Material Label.
    5. 5. Implement the Green Convenience Store certification and classification project.
    6. 6. Publicize demonstrative green building education bases and hold green building promotion and training workshops.
    The tasks listed above aims to effectively carry out intelligent green building concepts for further enhancing building energy efficiency and IEQ, so as to significantly reduce environmental impacts.

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