The Green One UN house, which will house the 16 UN branches operating in Vietnam, has become the first Vietnamese infrastructure project to be awarded the Gold Lotus standard by the Vietnam Green Buildings Council (VGBC).

The Gold Lotus certificate was recently announced during the annual VGBC conference in Ho Chi Minh City, with the participation of over 150 delegations from all over the world, including policy-makers, real estate development companies, urban planning agencies, architects, engineers, contractors and experts.

Praising this achievement, VGBC Director Tran Van Thanh stated that the Green One UN House could help set a new environmental standard for the Vietnamese construction industry, and hoped that future infrastructure projects will learn from this eco-friendly model.

According to Dr. Pratibha Mehta, UN Coordinator in Vietnam, one of the UN’s priorities in Vietnam is to protect the environment. The project contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions as well as water and electricity consumption in the UN organisations in Vietnam.

The six-story building and surrounding complex were designed as an eco-friendly structure that complies with international standards on green architecture.

The entire complex is designed to maximise the effectiveness of the ventilation system and uses thermal insulation, minimising the need for air conditioning. Its atrium-based design lets in plenty of natural light, reducing the amount of electricity needed for lighting by at least 25 percent, compared to traditional architecture.

Moreover, the building’s water management system, which harvests and filters rainwater, is expected to reduce water usage by 36 percent, while the solar panels installed on the roof of the building will generate up to 10 percent of the building’s annual power consumption.

The UN is also working with the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to feed the national power grid by excess energy from the house.

Construction on the Green One UN House began in early 2013, and is scheduled to become operational by the end of October 2014.-VNA