China, Mexico are on the Green Build Bandwagon
With attendees from more than 22 countries attending this year's Greenbuild conference in Portland, Ore. this past Nov., one thing is clear: Sustainable design is fast becoming a worldwide movement—and not just in developed countries. Two new key members joining the World Green Building Council this year—Mexico and China—attest to the fact that rapidly developing countries wan...
With attendees from more than 22 countries attending this year's Greenbuild conference in Portland, Ore. this past Nov., one thing is clear: Sustainable design is fast becoming a worldwide movement—and not just in developed countries. Two new key members joining the World Green Building Council this year—Mexico and China—attest to the fact that rapidly developing countries want to be a part of it.
The board of the World Green Building Council met with Vice Minister Qui Bao-xing and others from the Ministry of Construction of the People's Republic of China in Portland to discuss the creation of China's GBC.
Chinese authorities realize that with the world's largest construction market, they have much to gain by joining forces with the GBCs of other nations—and many problems to solve.
"We have two to three times more energy consumption per square meter than in the United States," said Lai Ming, director of the Ministry's Dept. of Science and Technology. "And only 20% of waste water is being recycled. And, we have 15 million people per year moving from the countryside into the cities."
These are just a few of the obstacles that Lai described as lying ahead for Chinese green proponents. But while they are enthusiastic about learning from other national GBC organizations, Chinese authorities are quick to point out that it is necessary to look at the unique needs of China. "One needs to understand the peculiarities of the Chinese situation," said Qui.
At the Greenbuild conference, China and the World GBC officially signed a memorandum of understanding bringing the Chinese on board. According to Che Wall, chair of WorldGBC, establishing a China Green Building Council will be instrumental in furthering the push for sustainable development and green buildings worldwide.
In fact, China is taking a proactive attitude toward sustainability and will host an Intelligent and Green Building Conference in March 2005.
Mexico is another developing country that has been working hard during the past two years to set up its own national GBC and has become an active participant in the WorldGBC organization.
Delegates from Mexico, along with GBCs from around the world, also held a press conference at this year's Greenbuild, where Cesar Trevino, a founder and driving force behind the organization, announced the work that is being done to develop the Mexico GBC.
"We started on this project two years ago and have all the legal statuses in place," he said.
The Mexico GBC is working to create strategic alliances with key industry and research organizations, as well as federal, state and local government agencies to transform the built environment. "Through their active participation in the Council's endeavors, members expand their networks around the fast-growing green building market," Trevino said.
The Mexico GBC is distinguished by its open, non-exclusive representation, including a wide range of public and private stakeholders from the building and property industries, said Trevino.