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CIDB Promotes 'Greentech' In Construction Industry

By Norindah Khairi

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Green technology, or "greentech" has been acknowledged as the technology able to overcome destruction of the environment caused by carbon emissions.

The application of greentech is also known to boost human health.

Utilisation of green technology has had an impact on the green revolution by producing more innovations in the effort to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, as well as conserve the environment.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in April 2009, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Malaysia had agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40 per cent by the year 2020.

In line with this objective, Malaysia has drafted the Green Technology Policy to provide direction for all Malaysians to enjoy better surroundings and a healthier life.

Green technology is also important in the construction industry, where all players in this sector are encouraged to utilise it.

The Construction Industry Master Plan 2006-2015 underlines the importance of the environment to achieve the highest possible standard in terms of quality, safety and health.

Via the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), various action plans have been drawn to fully implement this goal.

CIDB AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY

The agency has established the Green Technology Programme in line with the environmental development programme initiative of 1999 by setting up the Technical Committee of Good Environmental Practices, also known as TC9.

CIDB Construction Technology and Development Sector manager Emasria Ismail says this committee assists in the development of policies to improve green practices in the construction industry.

The committee has produced several publications, including one on environmental good practices.

"In 2010, CIDB formed the Technical Committee on Best Practice in Green Technology in the construction industry, comprising representatives from government agencies, professional bodies, academicians and societies related to the construction industry.

"The committee is to assist the CIDB to identify the preparation and development of the construction industry's standards, guidelines, manual, technical reports and training modules related to green technology," Emasria says.

CIDB ASSESMENT STANDARD

CIDB is actively pursuing a programme for quality evaluation known as the Quality Assessment System in Construction (QLASSIC), as well as Safety and Health Assessment System in Construction (SHASSIC) that assess the practices on safety and health at work sites.

To complement QLASSIC and SHASSIC, CIDB, with the cooperation from the Technical Committee on Standard Green Performance Assessment System in Construction, developed the construction industry standard known as the Green PASS to assist the industry in evaluating the impact of buildings on the environment.

However, this standard is still in the evaluation stage, with improvements to be made to ensure all aspects are taken into account, she says.

ENCOURAGEMENT TO APPLY GREEN TECHNOLOGY

As an agency under the Works Ministry, CIDB is entrusted to develop the construction industry.

It is taking proactive measures to introduce the Green Technology Programme in construction, and this programme has received feedback from various government agencies and other professional bodies.

Emasria says that among the green technology programmes being implemented are green labelling for construction products known as the CIDB Green Label.

"This programme is to encourage manufacturers and producers of construction materials to make environmentally friendly construction materials.

"Green labelling is able to boost the green building assessment system or index, and green procurement to be implemented by the government soon."

She says the CIDB provides a scheme to guide contractors towards ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) certifiction.

The scheme was developed to assist contractors in implementing a structured and effective environmental plan as support for environmental conservation.

It is also to provide information on contractors who have shown commitment to environmental conservation to relevant agencies such as the Public Works Department (JKR), housing developers and local authorities.

GREEN CONSTRUCTION CONFERENCE 2012

CIDB's proactive move in improving awareness among those in the construction industry towards the importance of green technology assessment is to support the nation's efforts in reducing carbon emissions by 2020.

Hence, the agency, with collaboration from local and foreign industry players, held the inaugural Green Construction Conference last Feb 15 and 16.

The conference focused on green technoogy applications in construction, and among the speakers were experts in green technology from Australia, Finland, Singapore and Dubai.

A live video conference was staged with the office of the California Governor on Green California Building Industries and Cities. The conference was staged to obtain California's experience in green technology in construction.

Among other programmes held was an exhibition on green technology products, GreenBuild Asia and International Construction 2012 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre KLCC).

The presentation of the Environment Special Award was also held at the Malaysia Construction Industry Excellence Award event, to acknowledge the contractor who has applied green technology in their work.

Emasria says she hopes that these initiatives will enhance the good practices of green technology in the industry.

-- BERNAMA