The building sector should pay attention to promoting energy efficiency right from the stage of designing as well as in the construction process of projects, experts said at a seminar held in Hanoi on June 6.

They also added that it is advisable to use energy-saving and environmentally-friendly construction materials to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Head of the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Construction, Nguyen Trung Hoa, highlighted the Vietnam Clean Energy Programme as part of the national low gas emission development strategy to reduce power consumption.

The programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be piloted in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho where there is a high rate of urbanisation, he said.

Experts highlighted convenience, design, durability, and aesthetics as four compulsory criteria for any proposed building.

However, Vietnam is lacking professional technicians and cannot easily access capital sources for technology innovation. Meanwhile, the prices for modern equipment are too expensive and users have yet to become really concerned about saving energy.

The project, therefore, will pay attention to improving the competence of staff and exploring how buildings will use energy, said consultant Joseph Deringer.

This will help put forth energy-saving measures, while software systems will also be developed to monitor the power usage in Vietnam, he added.-VNA