I think it was Kuala Lumpur mayor who said previously that the city council would start using Green Building Index, and now, if I am not missing any other news piece on this issue, Penang is taking the same applaudable step:
PENANG: State assemblymen, Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councillors and technical department staff will be briefed on the Green Building Index (GBI) in line with the state’s move to encourage developers to adhere to the index.
Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state would hold a seminar on the GBI this month for them to have a better understanding of the concept.
“We want to create awareness about the GBI among the administration, so that they would have a better understanding on the matter and help the government to implement it.
“It will be useful for the technical staff to be well-versed with the GBI, so they can better handle the plans submitted by the developers,” he said.
It was reported in August that the state government was giving incentives to developers who adhered to the GBI for their new projects.
Introduced by the Malaysian Institute of Architects and Association of Consulting Engineers of Malaysia in May, the GBI is a certification tool that provides guidelines for sustainable development and environment-friendly construction.
According to this index, GBI will be awarded to buildings which meet these criteria:
• Energy Efficiency
• Indoor Environmental Quality
• Sustainable Site Planning and Management
• Materials and Resources
• Water Efficiency
Maybe I should not explain lengthily on the importance of buildings constructed or innovated to meet these criteria.
Energy efficient system would initially requires higher capital cost, but it saves money over time. When I was in the UK, energy-saving bulbs are given for free by some organisations ( I bet during Freshers’ Week they distribute these bulbs for free too!), because basically people will be reluctant if they have to buy them themselves. They cost approximately £3.50 each, well, more expensive than the ordinary £1 bulb.
Replacing light bulbs with CLF’s can have a huge impact. One bulb can save at least $30.00 in electric bills over its lifespan and 5 bulbs can save 50 percent on annual lighting bills. CLFs also reduce greenhouse emissions from power plants.
I haven’t calculated its payback period in the case of Malaysia, but I do wonder if we have energy-saving ‘kalimantang’ light. That’s the most typical kind of lighting item used here.
p.s. I cannot ignore the fact that Penang government is taking very nice steps in term of environmental conservation (except for the bit on Ecotourism) – they have Mondays without plastic bags, and I do love that!