Iskandar Malaysia Strengthen its Collaboration with Japan on Green Agenda

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Johor State International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee Chairman, Jimmy Puah with IRDA being represented by its Head of Environment, Boyd Dionysius Joeman

Collaboration on the implementation of Comprehensive Assessment of Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE)

As a continuation of Iskandar Malaysia’s collaborations with Japan on the green initiatives, an exchange of Memorandum of Understanding between Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation (IBEC) was held at Iskandar Puteri on Tuesday, 18 September 2018.

The collaboration charts a new phase in the implementation of the CASBEE assessment tools for the built environment of Iskandar Malaysia. It was witnessed by Jimmy Puah, Johor State International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee Chairman, with IRDA being represented by its Head of Environment, Boyd Dionysius Joeman, while Prof. Dr. Mohd Hamdan Hj Ahmad, Dean of Faculty Built Environment representing UTM and Prof Dr Ikaga Toshiharu, Deputy President representing IBEC.

Jimmy Puah stated that there are potential for growth in green building assessment. He believes there is a huge potential in the local market especially in Iskandar Malaysia, a fast-developing economic region to have a proactive policy on going green through the Iskandar Malaysia Low Carbon Society Blueprint and CASBEE Iskandar manuals.

“Comprehensive Assessment of Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) is a tested tool in Japan and now we have customized it to a tropical country like Malaysia. Iskandar Malaysia is the pioneer of CASBEE in our country. Several pilots and projects have been done over the past 3 to 5 years and have shown that this assessment tool is robust and very effective,” he added.

Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said that by adopting and using CASBEE Iskandar, it will attract more domestic and international investors to the region as our international standards of greening our built environment is high. This will boost confidence of investors and developers that Iskandar Malaysia is the place to develop and do business.
“In an effort to achieve Iskandar Malaysia’s vision of becoming A Strong and Sustainable Metropolis of International Standing, and ensure the region develops into a low carbon society, the development must adhere to and practise green principles by being more energy-efficient, use locally available building materials, and build their developments to be in harmony with the natural and built environments,” said Datuk Ismail.

At the same event, YB Jimmy Puah also officiated the 2-day CASBEE training workshop, which was jointly organized by the Johor State Government via Johor State Investment Committee (JSIC), IRDA, IBEC and UTM. Workshop participants are from across different sectors, namely 16 local authorities of Johor, developers, town and country planners, and industry players.

The original “Letter of Cooperation” was signed in October 2015 in Toyama City, Japan, which led to the preparation and production of the CASBEE Iskandar Manuals. These manuals are the first ones outside Japan, which have been customized for a tropical country.

CASBEE implementation needs a broader cross cooperation between local authorities and other agencies such as Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), JSIC, Ministry International Trade and Industry (MITI), as well as buy-ins from the project owners.

CASBEE, which originated in Japan, is design based on the concept of environmental efficiency or eco-efficiency in terms of built environment efficiency (BEE). It takes into account the level of quality within the targeted built environment, while accounting for environmental load outside the targeted built environment. At the same time, CASBEE assessment will produce the carbon emissions of a building.