Penang wants to be the first state in the country with the highest number of properties classified as green buildings.
State local government, housing, town and country planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said Penang was currently in third spot and to clinch the top spot, he has instructed that all public housing schemes in the state be made green buildings.
While property developers were required to build green buildings under their new projects, existing old buildings could be retrofitted to become green buildings, he suggested.
“I believe Penang can have the highest number of green buildings in Malaysia.
“I have instructed that all our government buildings be given priority. That must happen first so that we can lead by example,” Jagdeep said during a press conference at the Chowrasta Market.
He added that there were currently 59 buildings in Penang that had attained the Green Building Index, with a total gross floor area of 23.56 million sq ft.
“We have four green rating agencies recommended to us by the Federal Government.
“There are many rating tools that can apply and we are always open to a better operator,” Jagdeep said.
Also present at the press conference were Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) chairman Tan Hun Beng.
Tan said the participation of more green rating agencies would create positive competition and help speed up the state’s initiative for a greener and healthier living environment.
He thanked the state government for its inclusiveness and fairness in accepting other rating agencies for green buildings.
He cited several other green rating agencies, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the United States, Green Mark from Singapore and Green Star from Australia
“We also have Green RE (or Green Real Estate) from Malaysia.
“The main objectives of our green rating tools are to measure energy and water consumption, reduce carbon footprint and cut down the greenhouse effect.
“Eventually, the people of Penang will benefit. We believe Green RE will do its best in greening buildings and enriching the environment,” Tan added.