EXISTING buildings in Penang will soon be given incentives to be “retrofitted” as green buildings by 2022, Penang Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said.
He said the incentives were aimed at spurring developers to green their existing buildings that are not built according to green specifications.
“From 2021, the assessment fees for existing buildings with GBI certification would be waived for the first three years,” he said.
He also applauded Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for offering the incentive to the developers involved.
To attain the objective of greening Penang, he said the state viewed seriously the need for buildings to obtain the Green Building Index (GBI) standard.
“There are many different levels of the GBI such as Gold award, and the highest being Platinum.
“We are already giving incentives for buildings with Gold and Platinum awards.
“One of the most important rebates is the two-third rebate on development charges by MBPP.
“Buildings with the Gold and Platinum rating will be refunded the charges that have been paid within three years,” he said at the launching of the Green Buildings and GBI Certification seminar at Setia SPICE Convention Centre on Monday.
“When you green your building, you are actually doing yourself a favour, because after a short period of time, your capital will recoup by the savings that you made as a result of the green building.”
He added that the biggest portion of saving will be the electricity bill.
“It is draining the state in the sense that MBPP gets lesser revenue, and two-third of development charges is not a small thing,” he said adding that the projects mostly cost millions of ringgit.
“We will maintain the two-third rebate policy on development charges until Jan 1, 2022,” he said.
He added that the GBI certification would be valid for three years and that developers would have to renew it when the certification expires.
Jagdeep urged all developers to take advantage of the incentive and make their buildings green.
As for new buildings, there will be a 10% assessment rebate and also a two-third development charges rebate.
“The state government has succeeded in its affordable housing and low medium-cost housing for being the first affordable housing units in Malaysia to be awarded GBI certificate,” he added.
He was referring to the Chelliah Park City project which was awarded the Green Building Index (GBI) Gold Rating, making it the first affordable housing project to receive the certification.
“If a low medium-cost housing project can earn a GBI certificate, I do not see why other buildings are unable to follow suit,” he said.
MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said at present, there are 89 green buildings registered in which 43 are GBI-certified.
He added that the GBI is Malaysia’s first comprehensive rating system for evaluating the environmental design and performance of Malaysian buildings based on six main criteria.
They are energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, sustainable site planning and management, materials and resources, water efficiency and innovation.