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Vietnam Today

Ban Ki-moon opens new eco-friendly UN building

Released at: 16:36, 23/05/2015

Ban Ki-moon opens new eco-friendly UN building

UN Chief joins Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in opening Green One UN House.

by Hoang Thu

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh today opened Green One UN House - the first green-certified UN House in the world and the first building in Vietnam to receive a provisional Gold Lotus Rating from the Vietnam Green Building Council.

“I thank the Government of Vietnam for its continued and unwavering support in making this building possible,” Mr. Ban told the opening ceremony. “The UN House in Vietnam is the best-possible eco-friendly and energy efficient office building in the region and is testimony to UN coherence, inter-agency cooperation, and teamwork.”

The UN House forms part of a wider effort to “greenify” the UN in response to calls Mr. Ban made in June of 2007 on “using energy more efficiently and eliminating wasteful practices.” It was built through the adaptation, re-use and recycling of materials from the pre-existing building on the site, which reduced demolition works, cost, and waste.

High-standard construction materials and insulation enables a high standard of air control and indoor air quality, contributing to a 25 per cent reduction in energy requirements. Measures are in place for staff to adopt green behavior, which includes reducing the amount of printing, using recycling paper, plastic and glass, turning off lights before leaving rooms, and cycling or walking to work.

The Green One UN House has been a core element of UN reforms in Vietnam from as early as 2005, with a vision of bringing UN organizations together from ten locations across Hanoi into a single modern and efficient building.

The House has been designed to increase collaboration through an innovation known as “functional clustering”, where staff from different UN agencies sit together according to the issues they work on in order to deliver cross-sectoral results.

The House will also set new standards for integrated common services, with a “One-Stop-Shop” delivering the same level of administration, IT, and facility management services across different organizations.

Renovation of the House began in early 2013, with over $9 million in financial contributions coming from Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia.

The two-day visit on May 22 and 23 is Mr. Ban’s second to Vietnam in five years.

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