KUALA LUMPUR, October 16 — The government should provide incentives to developers who would like to promote sustainability in their projects, said the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
IEM President Datuk Lim Chow Hock in a statement said the government should also encourage developments with Green Rating and give tax incentives to developers who achieve a certain Green Rating.
“Government and government-linked company projects should specify Green Rating, Energy Efficiency and sustainable construction as a requirement in project specifications to ensure contractors adopt the concept,” he said.
Lim said sustainable construction, which aims to meet present-day needs for housing, working environment and infrastructure without compromising future needs, also promotes economic growth.
“This means efficient use of natural resources, minimising use of hazardous substances, and reducing pollution and waste,” he added.
The government has already initiated sustainable and energy-efficient programmes such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards, Small Renewable Energy Power Programme by the Energy Commission, Feed-in Tariff by SEDA and Building Sector Energy Efficiency Project by the Public Works Department.
However, Lim said, the major challenge in implementing sustainability methods in the construction industry is to achieve win-win outcomes for the environment and the industry.
To attract buyers, housing developers could include certain sustainable elements in their projects, he said.
“Long-term commercial developments will eventually see the benefits of cost savings in adopting sustainable construction and green technologies, where the maintenance cost of the building and infrastructure will reduce in the long run.
“All these would result in overall savings. On the marketing side, developers can also promote the long-term cost savings of their development that complies with the Green Rating that promotes energy efficiency,” he said.
As the implementation increases project cost, Lim said developers must be convinced that solving sustainability issues would add value to the development and the public should be prepared to pay a higher entry cost to enjoy such benefits.
“Unfortunately, the industry still lacks understanding about sustainable construction.
“As such, more construction players should be involved in sustainable construction and also be encouraged to deepen their knowledge of sustainable construction,” he added.