Driving towards a sustainable built environment

LOTUS Green Building Rating & Classification System

LOTUS is a set of market-based green building rating tools developed by the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) specifically for the Vietnamese built environment.

 

LOTUS rating tools are based on various international green building rating systems (LEED, Green Star, BREEAM, GBI, and Green Mark) and have the following goals to:

- Establish standards and benchmarks specific to Vietnam

- Guide the local construction industry towards efficient use of natural resources

- Introduce and promote environmentally friendly practices

 

LOTUS rating tools have been developed through long-term research, with the expert advice of specialists giving particular consideration to Vietnam's economic and natural characteristics and to existing Vietnamese standards and policy.

 

VGBC has developed 3 rating tools; LOTUS Non-Residential, LOTUS Multi-family Residential and LOTUS Buildings in Operation to accommodate for various building types.

 

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Benefits of LOTUS Certification

There are many benefits for choosing LOTUS for your projects. LOTUS certified buildings have:

- lower operating costs

- higher return on investment

- greater tenant attraction

- enhanced marketability

- improved occupant productivity

- reduced liability and risk

- healthier places to live and work

- demonstration of Corporate Social Responsibility

- future-proofed assets

- competitive advantage

 

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LOTUS History & Development

The development of LOTUS began at the inception of the Vietnam Green Building Council in 2008. The first tool developed was LOTUS Non-Residential followed by LOTUS Residential and now LOTUS Buildings in Operation is being developed.

LOTUS_History_Timeline_ENG

 

Each tool has been developed through a process which has involved input from a panel of experts and stakeholders called the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) as well as local and international experts, public and industry consultation and technical workshops. The general framework for the development of a LOTUS tool is as follows:

 

LOTUS_tool_development_process_ENG

 

To improve your understanding of LOTUS and green buildings, the VGBC offers comprehensive training programs. Click here to learn more.

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LOTUS rates buildings (at the design, as-built and operational stages) measuring environmental effects, energy efficiency & impact on occupants. Aiming to provide a rating system for the majority of building types LOTUS consists of 3 rating tools- LOTUS NR and LOTUS R cover the design and construction stages of a building whilst LOTUS BIO, encompasses the operational stage of a building.

 
 

What are the LOTUS certification levels?
LOTUS consists of three levels of certification – certified, silver and gold – based on the number of points a project receives. There is a varying number of points available for each tool plus up to 8 bonus points (available within the Innovation category). To earn LOTUS certification, a project must satisfy all prerequisites and achieve a minimum of 40% of the total amount of points.
management_weighting
 
LOTUS Categories
LOTUS NR & MFR have 9 categories while LOTUS BIO has 8 categories which assess buildings according to an allocated weighting. The categories have been developed in line with green building principles of being energy and water efficient, environmentally and occupant friendly whilst reducing waste and pollution. Each category contains a varying number of credits. Against each credit, specific criteria have been set carrying individual scoring points. In addition, many categories have prerequisites which are mandatory and must be achieved in order to obtain LOTUS certification.

Energy

Fast economic growth has improved Vietnamese living conditions, however it has also led to rapidly increasing energy demand. Vietnam’s energy is mainly generated from non-renewable fossil fuels, which is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings consume a significant proportion of energy produced in Vietnam, but there is great potential for mitigating climate change and energy insecurity by integrating energy efficiency measures into buildings. Credits reward:
- Optimizing thermal performance
- Incorporating natural ventilation
- Adopting energy efficient technologies
- Utilising renewable energy sources
- Implementing advanced energy management technologies
 
Water
Water quality and supply is a growing problem in Vietnam. Seasonal water shortages are becoming acute, especially in the country's premier rice-growing regions, and so threaten the nation’s food security. As clean water becomes less available its price is bound to increase. Therefore, a water-efficient building will not only ensure consistency of operation and production but also save money. Credits reward: 
- Monitoring of water consumption
- Water-efficient fixtures
- Water reuse/recycling
- Rainwater harvesting
- Water efficient landscaping

Materials
The extraction, processing, transportation, use and disposal of any construction material can have adverse effects on the environment. With rapid urbanization, construction sites are rising in all corners of Vietnam and the demand for construction materials is expected to rise by 10% annually. Materials exploitation in Vietnam is often small-scale and processing technologies are out-dated and inefficient, adding to the waste of natural resources and environmental damage. Credits reward:
- Onsite reuse of materials & structure
- Consumption of materials with recycled content
- Materials from sustainable sources
- Unbaked materials 
    
Ecology
Vietnam’s rapid urbanisation and economic growth is raising the general standard of living, but it also poses a threat to ecosystems. As virgin land quickly turns into construction sites, habitats and species are disappearing. To reduce the impact of development on the natural environment, construction projects should avoid areas of high ecological-value and preserve or create habitats whenever possible. Credits reward:
- Appropriate site selection      
- Preservation of top soil
- Biodiversity
- Vegetation & green roofing
Waste & Pollution
Buildings produce various forms of waste and pollution throughout their lifecycle including sewer discharge, water & light pollution and green house gases. Vietnam’s urban areas generate over 8 million tones of solid waste per year, of which only about 70% is collected and treated. Reducing waste and pollution is a key aim of any green building. Credits reward: 
- Wastewater treatment & sewer discharge reduction
- Strategies and technologies which minimize the generation of waste & pollutants
- Use of refrigerants that do not damage the ozone layer
- Management of waste throughout lifespan of buildings
- Reuse & recycling programs
 
Health & Comfort
A growing number of people will spend an increasing amount of their lives within the built environment due to urbanisation. It makes economic sense to maintain high standards of indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Good IEQ reduces ill health and absenteeism and increases productivity resulting in reduced costs and increased savings for building owners and operators. It also increases the resale value of buildings. Credits reward: 
- Quality of indoor air
- Visual, acoustic and thermal comfort   
 
Adaptation & Mitigation
It has been predicted that Vietnam will be one of the five countries most affected by climate change. Current Vietnamese buildings use conventional construction practices and are susceptible to damage from floods, storms and earthquakes. VGBC encourages design strategies and technologies to strengthen buildings’ resilience to natural disasters and reduce their contribution to the impacts of climate change. Credits reward: 
- Resistance to natural disasters  
- Reduction of storm water runoff
- Mitigation of the heat island effect
- Use of green transport and local materials
 
Community
Construction projects can have significant impacts on surrounding communities, especially large scale projects in rural Vietnam. Although development helps to create jobs and raise the living standards of nearby communities, it can also have adverse impacts on local areas. It is important in sustainable development to ensure that society, the economy and the environment develop in harmony. Credits reward: 
- Consulting with the community
- Conducting a heritage study
- Situating building near basic services/transport
- Employment of local workers
- Providing public space
   
Management
It is extremely important that project teams work together, adopting appropriate environmental principals at the project’s inception with high levels of communication and coordination between all parties. This includes transferring information from the construction team to building users and managers enabling design features to be understood. Credits reward: 
- A pre design “eco-charrette” (developer, architect, engineers define a strategy and performance level for the project)
- Internationally recognized project management systems
- Properly employed commissioning program
- Targeted & continuous preventative maintenance programs
- Use of LOTUS APs
 
Innovation
Innovation drives projects to look at alternative or new strategies that will enhance green buildings. Credits reward: 
- Innovative techniques and initiatives
- Exceptional performance in other credits within LOTUS

Vietnam Green Building Council

7th floor, Viglacera P&B Building, 676 Hoang Hoa Tham, Tay Ho, Ha Noi.

Telephone: (+84) 4 3629 1107

Email address : info@vgbc.org.vn

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