Green buildings in Malaysia

The Green Building Index (GBI) is Malaysia's version of the green rating tool, conceptualised in 2008. This rating system provides incentives to Malaysian developers and building owners to take sustainability and the environment into consideration in their designs. Similar rating schemes have been implemented by many ecologically-friendly developed countries, including our regional peers such as the Green Mark system in Singapore (since 2005) and Green Star in Australia (since 2003).

The GBI assessment process includes three steps:
1. Application & registration
2. Design assessment
3. Completion & verification assessment

Table 1 shows the number of buildings (by category) that have completed each step of the assessment process by January 2012. According to this update, three buildings have completed the process and have been verified by the GBI, while 279 buildings have completed the registration process and are under review.

The GBI rating takes a score system based on six key criteria, with energy efficiency carrying the most weight in the allocation of points. Buildings granted the GBI rating will be classified according to the total points they receive.

Asean Green Hotel Standard

The Green Hotel Standard is one of the six Asean Tourism Standards, an initiative taken by the 10 Asean member countries to standardise tourism services in the region. A hotel certified with the Asean Green Hotel Standard is a hotel that is environmentally-friendly and adopts energy conservation measures. The Green Hotel Standard Award is held every two years; 2012 is the third consecutive time this event has been held.

Eighty-one eco-friendly hotels in the region won the award in January 2012, including 10 Malaysian hotels, up from five during the first event in 2008. (2010 also saw 10 Malaysian hotels winning the award.)

Half of the 10 Malaysian award recipients have received the award for three consecutive times, while Miri Marriott Resort & Spa Sarawak and Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur won the award for the very first time in 2012.

Water and power consumption in Penang

Total water consumption in Penang has been increasing almost every year, with the consumption rate between 1999 and 2011 increasing as much as 44.6%. On the other hand, daily water consumption per industrial consumer in Penang has been dropping since 2007. This trend was observed in both Penang Island (-20.7 %*) and Seberang Perai (-6.9 %*).

The bigger concern regarding water consumption in Penang lies with domestic consumption. Penang’s per capita daily water consumption is the highest in Malaysia; the average domestic consumer in Penang uses 39% more water than the average Malaysian, and 84% more than the average Singaporean. How Penang handles its domestic water consumption will be key when it comes to the state’s water security issues.

*Decline rate from 2007 to 2012.

The maximum power demand in Penang has been continuously increasing over the past decade, with demand growing by 68% between 2000 and 2011, compared with only 27.6% growth in power supply capacity over the same period. Additionally, there is a downward trend in installed capacity since 2008.

In other words, though Penang still has an excess capacity of 50% in 2011, the growth rate difference between power supply and demand, as well as challenges in maintaining high levels of power generation capacity mean that Penangites will have to start paying close attention to how they use energy or they could run the risk of power shortages if no sufficient energy conservation efforts are taken.

Electricity in Malaysia is mainly generated from gas, coal, hydro and oil. Due to growing demand, electricity supply has grown by more than 180% from 1995 to 2011 and the energy generation mix has changed to support this increasing power production. For instance, though hydropower capacity has grown over time, its composition in the power generation mix has dropped from 11.3% (1995) to 5.7% (2011). This is because the total electricity production growth has outpaced hydro capacity growth.

Additionally, power generated from oil has decreased, while coal usage has gone up from 11.3% in 1995 to 41.9% in 2011. Total energy generated by coal has increased by 948% over the same period.

Malaysia has grown increasingly dependent on non-renewable resources (i.e. oil, gas and coal) for its energy generation; the total portion of these resources makes up a massive 87.2% (1995), 93.1% (2003) and 94.1% (2011) of Malaysia’s total energy output.

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