GAIA is a certification initiative by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) that honours outstanding businesses in Iskandar Malaysia who have contributed towards the adoption of sustainable design, planning, retrofitting, and operation to the built environment. It was first launched by Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin in April 2016 at the 6th Iskandar Malaysia Open Day (IMOD).
The 2nd GAIA 2017 introduces new categories to encourage more participations from organisations, businesses and individual residents within Iskandar Malaysia.
Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of IRDA said that GAIA is one of the 281 implementation programmes listed in the Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia 2025 (LCSBPIM), with the objective of promoting green building design and construction in Iskandar Malaysia.
“Our focus is to create a more sustainable built environment as part of our vision to establish a strong and sustainable metropolis of international standing. The aim is to achieve 70% certified green buildings for new buildings by 2025. With this initiative, we wish to promote greater awareness and encourage organisations operating in Iskandar Malaysia to incorporate the green agenda in their operations and bring positive impact to their surrounding environment,” said Datuk Ismail.
“In order to achieve the carbon reduction target in 2025, it is important to get support from all sectors and agencies at Federal, State and Local government levels and the private sector to implement the programmes in Low Carbon Society Blueprint for Iskandar Malaysia (LCSBPIM) 2025.
“Thus far, we are grateful for the very good response from all sectors for the LCSBPIM programmes. IRDA will continue to intensify the number of ‘green-focused’ programmes to be implemented over the next 8 years, especially through GAIA, Building Energy Monitoring and Reporting System (BEMRS), Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) and other initiatives,” said Datuk Ismail.
GAIA uses existing tools in its assessment to select worthy recipients of the certification. The uniqueness of GAIA is that it goes beyond the assessment of Environmental Quality.
It takes a bigger picture in its assessment not only the environmental quality of the building or the area’s Environmental Load, but also takes into consideration the green innovation and management commitment as additional bonus parts. GAIA is considered a comprehensive system compared to the other awards and rating tools currently available in the market.
“GAIA is a holistic assessment of the organisation itself and its built environment. Sustainable environmental features and enhanced livability and community resilience will also be taken into consideration in GAIA assessment. This is the human-oriented approach for the GAIA,” Datuk Ismail added.
Three categories are now open for online registration namely GAIA Commercial Building, GAIA Township, and GAIA Individual properties. The GAIA Township and Individual properties are the two new categories introduced for the 2nd GAIA.
Datuk Ismail added that the assessment criteria for the 2nd GAIA will focus on the built environment, energy efficiency, and the use of green technology.
“Creative and innovative ways in tackling climate change will also be recognised. The Panel hopes that the 2016 Award recipient and those with special mentions will encourage more industry players and others to follow suit.
The registration period is open for 2 months from now until 17th August 2017. In line with our effort towards reducing the carbon footprint, registration and submissions are made simple by going online. Please visit our recently launched IM Green Portal at www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my/green for more information.