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IFC helping train students to drive green building momentum

Released at: 09:19, 28/02/2019

IFC helping train students to drive green building momentum

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

Organization and universities partner in training new cadre of architects and engineers.

by Hong Nhung

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a license and cooperation agreement with the Hanoi University of Architecture and the University of Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City to improve training capacity and build a new cadre of architects and engineers, helping them drive green building adoption in Vietnam.

With the fourth-fastest construction growth rate in East Asia, 45 per cent of Vietnamese people are expected to live in cities by 2030 and buildings account for one-third of the country’s total energy use. Further, Vietnam’s long, low-lying coastline makes it one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Against this backdrop, green buildings can serve as a sustainable solution to meet the country’s growing infrastructure needs and increase its resilience against climate change.

However, one of the biggest hurdles to scaling up green buildings in developing countries is a lack of skilled professionals. In response, the IFC launched the Green Building Market Transformation Program in 2012 to promote green building growth and design. As part of this program, the IFC further developed a green building course aimed at university students.

“Although there have been several seminars and workshops, there are no well-rounded courses on green building for students in Vietnam,” said Mr. Nguyen Cong Thinh, Deputy Director of the Science, Technology and Environment Department at the Ministry of Construction. “But, with the IFC and Swiss Government’s support, we are delighted to introduce this course to future architects and engineers in an internationally-recognized format that offers a global perspective and a local context.”

IFC’s “Designing for Greater Efficiency” program, a course to design bioclimatic and resource-efficient architecture, got underway with train the trainer sessions between February 26 and 28 in Ho Chi Minh City. Pilot courses will then be offered to around 40 students in close coordination with IFC experts. From green building standards, codes, and management to design evaluation tools, the program covers a wide range of topics.

“We appreciate the Ministry of Construction and the IFC’s support to introduce this new course,” said Dr. Le Van Thuong, Rector of the University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh City. “In recent times, we have integrated green building into the curriculum of nearly all faculties. This course will further help students familiarize themselves with green building modeling software and present ideas clearly and quantitatively to future clients.”

The course’s core content was developed by ETH Zurich, a premier Swiss University, under the guidance of a steering committee of instructors from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia, among others. The program is likely to see 200 young architects with green building design skills joining the workforce each year, thereby driving green building momentum in Vietnam.

“An IFC analysis sees a $3.4 trillion green building market by 2025 as emerging markets rapidly urbanize,” said Mr. Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. “In this context, Vietnam will need more skilled professionals who can enable better design decisions. In alignment with the Ministry of Construction’s priorities, the IFC’s timely course will better equip Vietnam’s young architects and engineers with key skills, enhancing their role as leaders in sustainable urbanization.”

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